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Baseball-Obsessed Kid: What's a Sports-Averse Mom to Do?

By AmyReiter |

baseball board

Shut out of your kid's sports obsession?

As one of those picked-last-for-kickball kids with no affinity for team sports, a longstanding aversion to gym teachers and a son who is a particularly avid baseball fan, I have the eerie feeling that Elana Sigall is describing me when she writes in the October issue of Parents:

I never liked sports growing up. My poor hand-eye coordination makes it a challenge to drive a car, let alone hit a ball with a bat. I don’t like watching sports on TV and I don’t even like sports metaphors. So I never imagined that I would have a kid who was so focused on baseball. It was alienating to watch my son drift farther away from me – toward anyone else he knew who could talk about plays and records and suicide squeezes. I was starting to feel a little desperate, reduced to begging for good-night kisses. I knew I had to find a path to baseball or I was going to lose out on a connection with Julian.

In the piece, Sigall (a writer-mom I now know socially after our sons bonded over their mutual baseball obsession) recounts how she found a way back into 6-year-old Julian’s world by baking him a baseball cake, learning about all his favorite players as she lovingly formed them out of fondant. Somewhere along the way, as she drew pinstripes on Yankees jerseys with a food-writer pen and carefully sculpted mitts and belts and shoes, she became a fan, invested in a game her son adored and able to speak with him about it.

It’s a wonderful story of hope for non-sporty moms of sporty sons. And it left me wondering how I might penetrate my own son’s sports sphere. I’m not much of a baker, but I’m a big Broadway fan. Maybe we can listen to “Damn Yankees” Original Broadway Cast recording together.

How about you? Has your kid had an obsession (sports or otherwise) that’s left you behind? How have you found your way back in? Or have you given up?

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About AmyReiter



Amy Reiter is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in print publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Marie Claire. On the web, along with Babble, Amy has contributed to The Daily Beast, AOL/Huffington Post,, and Salon. Catch up with the latest from Amy on her website

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0 thoughts on “Baseball-Obsessed Kid: What's a Sports-Averse Mom to Do?

  1. Ri-chan says:

    her son wa drifting away from her and denying her goodnight kisses just because she didn’t like baseball?

  2. NYCSingleMom says:

    Interesting topic, isnt this like anything else about getting close to someone you love. my father was sports nut and like most men, not a talker unless it was sports or politics. it was my father who taught me about sports and when I was young I loved it but outgrew it. I realized as a young adult, if I was going to talk to my dad, I better open with some sports story. It was a way to be close to my dad.

    I like that you are attempting. Good luck.

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