Since there’re no hotdogs, let games begin!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Well, the bats, the balls and the cleats are in the trunk.

For me – and many other local parents – the scheduling crazy we call “ball season” is here.

Last year, running back and forth across the state line shuttling three girls, each playing on separate teams, was enough to make me buy a house in Andalusia.

I tell people now when they ask me why I moved, that I felt like we spent all of our time in the car. And we did – quite literally, with me leaving Andalusia at 5:15 p.m. or so to make it to a 6 p.m. game in Paxton, Fla. We wouldn’t get home some nights until 9 or 10 p.m.

So, when people ask, I tell them that God and I made a deal – if He helped me survive that season, He’d never have to worry about me doing something like that again. Thus far, we’ve both held up our end of the bargain – which is why I’m so excited the girls will be playing at the new Johnson Park fields.

For months now, crews have been working day and night to ready the space. The paving is done; the fencing and bleachers are in, and that place is lit up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Since the girls are older now, I wasn’t sure if they were going to continue playing ball. A recent trip to the eye doctor revealed major vision problems for the youngest – including the lack of depth perception. The doctor said that while she may have been very good at t-ball, we might have some problems when the ball is actually traveling quite fast towards her. Apparently, one must have depth perception to know when to swing at the ball. So, we’ll see…or in her case, she won’t, and it will be a long season. Miracle Field, we may be among your first players.

On the flip side, her sister is on the same team. This is the child who sticks her tongue out at me through the fence, dances to home plate and imitates Babe Ruth, pointing the bat at the sky. We actually hit it a couple of times, too. It’s never dull with Miss Mia around.

Then, there’s the oldest. She’s left-handed, and in years past, has toted a many a bruise because pitchers find it difficult to put the ball across the plate and not in direct contact with her thigh or shoulder. She’s the runner of the three. Get her on base, and she’s like the wind.

It should be an interesting season, at least.

While I’m very, very excited to be playing on a field that is five minutes from my house – not 45-mintues – from my work, I’m more excited about not having to work in the concession stand.

In our previous ball league, parents were tasked with an assortment of fundraisers to help pay for the referees, team costs and assorted items. Teams were also assigned certain days to work the concession stand – a task, most dreaded and feared by yours truly. I finally had to tell them that I majored in English, not math, and if they wanted to make a profit, they need not put me in charge of making change unless they were arming me with a calculator. I even offered to make a donation to keep from serving hotdogs.

When I signed my children up for city ball a few weeks ago, the top question on my list was the concession stand thing. Much to my delight, there is no required hotdog duty for parents. Thank goodness. Let the games begin!