Painful. It is the only term I can find to describe the 3 and 4 year old YMCA tee ball season. Since she was two, Madalyn has wanted to do something. She has grown up watching her brother play all kinds of sports. When he played soccer, she told everyone that she did, too. And you couldn't tell her otherwise. "I a soccer player," she would say in this tiny little voice. In the spring, when she was finally old enough to play and it was time to sign up for soccer, I honestly didn't have the money to do it. I had no choice but to sign David up for baseball, which costs a whopping $160 in our fair city. And, of course, that is just to play. You still have to purchase cleats and other incidentals that go along with the sport. Our local YMCA charges $100 now for their sports. And just like anything else, you still have to spend more money for the proper cleats. Needless to say, Madalyn couldn't play soccer during the spring. And I felt guilty about it. She would still talk about soccer and tell people that she was a soccer player.
We received a hefty tax return during the spring, and I promised myself, no matter what, she would play something the next opportunity I had. Anything. I really felt like she just wanted to do anything that looked similar to what she saw her brother doing all the time. And so I found out that the YMCA would be offering a summer tee ball option, and we jumped on it immediately. Madalyn was so excited. Until she realized that it involved activities she didn't really care for: listening, following directions, obeying authority. All the things necessary to being a part of a team. Not quite Madalyn's style. And the practices were painful. And the games were even worse. I spent most of the time fussing with her trying to get her on the field and at least look like she was doing what she was required to do. If I could keep her on the field for an entire practice, I had really accomplished something.
Our last game was Thursday night, and we followed up at Dairy Queen for our little end of the season party. The kids really were quite cute, and some of them will be very good at baseball one day. Madalyn? I don't know. She can hit the ball, but her biggest liability on the field (in all aspects of her little life, really) is the fact that she thinks she knows it all. She does not need to listen to anyone else. She can just do what she wants to do. Anyway... a portion of your astronomical fee to play goes to purchase a little trophy. And to see the look on Madalyn's face when she received her trophy was priceless. It sort of made all the pain of the entire season wash away. Her first trophy.