Little League season is officially over and it ended with an ice cream social at The Ice Cream Station. And when I say “social,” I mean a bunch of 5-year-old boys ran around and ate ice cream while us parents said, “You’re too close to the road, don’t go in the parking lot, stop it, sit down” on repeat.
JD loves baseball and had a great season. His coach *Joe is aware of our single parent family and was extra awesome to JD. Something JD picked up on 3 games in: Where is Joe’s wife and *John’s (Joe’s kid) mom?
As the official Bench Mom, I was pretty on top of the juice box and snack emails. I rotated the batting order and made friends with the parents, but I too never met John’s mom. But, it also didn’t phase me, because, hey, maybe Coach Joe is a single parent like me.
JD’s curiosity grew and grew with each game, but he was always too shy to ask his teammate about his mom. We talked about it at home and I said, “How do you feel when kids ask about your dad?” He didn’t answer me and promptly asked to go outside with his water gun. I took this as a cue to kill the conversation. I always let JD lead me when it comes to father-stuff. And, exhale.
I’ll never forget the game where JD whispered to me, “Mommy, I think John is like us. He only has a dad and I only have a mom!” He was excited for this connection—though it was not a proven theory. I just said, “Maybe dude, go play ball!” Luckily when you’re 5, these sporadic proclamations are easily diffused by batting, the ice pop line—or a cloud that looks like a fish eating a giant pork chop.
I never asked Coach Joe about his marital status. I did know he had an older son who would often come to the games. I don’t exactly love discussing my relationship status with people I don’t know that well, so didn’t feel like putting the coach in my shoes—our shoes? People have asked me if I have a husband. Awesome.
This all remained a mystery. JD stopped wondering. I mean, the games and practices did cease and we stopped seeing Joe and John. Until the ice cream social.
JD and I got there first and sat at a little white table. Next a mom, carrying a baby, about 9-months-old, rounded the corner. John and his brother came trailing after her.
John and JD ran off to a giant wall mural of ice cream. Every childs’ dream! A giant ice cream cone.
“Are you John’s mom?” I said smiling and extending my finger to the baby.
We talked while the teammates threw a ball against the wall. She told me her husband, Coach Joe was running late from work.
JD came running over, asking for orange sorbet in a cone.
“Bud, this is John’s mommy,” I said.
“John has a mommy?” JD said. “Cool, hi!”
I told her JD’s theory and how I even wondered. She called JD so sweet for his swift observation. I then realized she was home with the baby, cooking dinner or taking her older son to his games while her husband was with John.
Coach Joe arrived and signed his name to balls for all the kids. His wife and I told him the story and he told me my son was a great kid.
Just goes to show … things are not always as they seem.
So was JD disappointed? It was never discussed. I let him lead me.
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