A few months ago my husband and I were shuttling my five-year-old to flag football games and t-ball practices with our two-year-old in tow. I loved the camaraderie he experienced with his football team and had so much fun watching him realize his love for baseball. But part of my heart missed the days when my son was three and my daughter was a newborn. Our pressing to-do list consisted of preschool twice a week, and optional play dates and library storytimes. When we were first quarantined I somewhat welcomed a pause in our busy lives, but as the weeks press on, I’m now starting to miss the spring sports season we just started.
My son had a slow start to flag football. But he loved his teammates so we signed up for a second season and enjoyed watching him make some progress. Win or lose, it’s fun to watch your child play sports. When football was over we were able to concentrate on baseball which he loved right away. He enjoyed practicing, not only with his team also with the neighborhood kids. My parents couldn’t wait to make the hour drive to watch a game. My daughter couldn’t wait to hit the concession stand while her older brother played. My husband and I were looking forward to watching our son learn and grow. But after multiple practices and only two games, the season was suspended.
We have tried so hard to get my son to practice. But due to social distancing, we can’t practice with our friends and neighbors, and practicing with mom and dad isn’t as fun. We’ve talked about what’s going on, and I think he understands as much as a five (now six) year old can, but he still misses his baseball season. I still feel sad when I see game day times on our family calendar. Our date to bring after game snacks has come and gone, just like many other planned activities during this time.
As sad as this is for our family, I feel worse for families of high school kids. While my son is missing his baseball season, there are older kids missing out on much more. Kids who need sports for scholarship opportunities, and seniors who are missing their last games before graduation. And my heart hurts the worst for kids who rely on sports to escape what’s going on at home and find family and friendship through their coaches and team.
I’m optimistic that we will get back to normal someday. Our kids won’t always take virtual gymnastics and dance classes forever. And they won’t always play catch with just their family members. Before I know it I’ll be running around, shuttling two kids to various practices, games, and activities. Until then I will try to treasure this extra time with my family (except the times when the kids are fighting and I can’t get a moment alone) because I know one day I’ll miss this crazy, but slow time in our lives.