Even mommies can screw up too
"Where was Big Guy?" his coach asked shortly after we got to practice Monday.
"His karate class ran late, so we were a little behind," I said.
"No, I mean, where was he this afternoon. During baseball assessments."
I'm not sure which hit my toes faster, my heart or my stomach. "Baseball assessments? I thought they were going to be rescheduled."
"No," he said. "We were out there this afternoon."
This was bad. Very Bad in the world of Big Guy, who loves baseball like he loves breathing. Maybe more than he loves breathing, because he often has to be reminded to take his inhaler. No one's ever needed to nag him to play ball.
He needed to be at the assessments because he misses the age cutoff by two months for a higher division he wants to play in. He's envisioning traveling to play on fields with grass in the infield. "Maybe we'll even get to have a Little League patch on our uniforms," he smiled dreamily.
Except someone had screwed that up for him. I suspected it was me.
When I'd last talked to the sports director late the previous week, he said he was pretty sure the assessments weren't going to be Monday. Call early next week and check, he told me.
Monday was a day filled with minor trauma and unnecessary drama, so I neglected to call. Boots and I took off on a bike ride after school, and the hours after that were filled with the rush to finish homework, get them fed and get to karate and basketball practice.
I'd hoped to hide the missed assessment from Big Guy until I could find out more the next morning, but, as usual, the kid who's stone deaf when I tell him to pick up his socks had overheard my conversation with the coach.
"Why were you guys talking about baseball?" he asked. "Is it about my assessment?"
This is not going to be pretty, I thought as I took a deep breath. "The assessment was today, babes. I'm going to call youth sports tomorrow and see if I can fix this."
"WHAT?!," he shouted, and for once I didn't call him out on his nuclear reaction. There are times when intense emotion is understandable.
"Yes, the assessment was today. I didn't know, and I am so sorry. I will do my best to figure this out and see if there's still a chance."
Later that night, I saw the words "voice mail" flashing across the phone. Youth sports had called while Boots and I were biking to tell me that the assessment would go on that day. As I often do, I'd neglected to check for messages when we got home for the ride.
"Babes, this is totally my fault," I told Big Guy the next morning. "I screwed up, and I screwed up on something very important to you. I hate that more than anything, and I can't apologize enough. I will do what I can to try to fix it."
As it turned out, it was easy to fix. When I talked to youth sports Tuesday morning, the director said Big Guy could practice with the older kids for a few weeks and he would decide from there. I couldn't wait until Big Guy got home that day to tell him he'd still have his chance.
"The sports director is a good and kind man," I told Big Guy. "He could have easily said, 'no, assessments are over, too bad.' But he's going to let you try even though I goofed up."
"Great!" Big Guy cheered.
Now, in the grand scheme of the universe it's not going to matter 50 years from now whether Big Guy starts playing Little League in 2012 or 2013 or never. But in the scheme of what matters right now, this is huge for him.
I think it's also pretty significant that he's seen me goof, seen me regret it and seen someone else let go of slavish adherence to the rules and let him try out anyway.
He's still not definitely on the team, but he has his chance. And that's a very good outcome to something that started out Very Bad.
Copyright 2012 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.