Yes, I will finally have my place in the history books, ladies and gentlemen! I have gone 42 years of my life without doing anything worthy of notoriety, but I have finally done something to make me (in)famous – at least at Eilis’ school.
So, I get an email the other day, informing me that I am one of the coaches of Eilis’ t-ball team. Now, you must have a crucial piece of background information before you can truly understand my story. I don’t no nuthin’ ’bout coachin’ no t-ball, Miz Scah-let! Apparently, in the eyes of a Catholic school with no budget for properly trained t-ball professionals, any old mom will do, so they took me.
Reading further into the email, I find that my daughter needs to have a glove and spikes. Well, now, I did have a father, and I do have a stepbrother, and I do have 4 nephews and two sorta nephews (my friend’s two boys). I’m not totally clueless when it comes to the world of sports, and I figure a glove is either the thing they use when they’re batting – you know, the regular glove kind of glove – OR she needs a glove that they use to catch the ball, but not a catchers’ mitt. I’m good with the glove, once I find out which kind it is that she needs.
Here’s another little piece of background information you’ll have to have. My oldest daughter, Brighid, was a champion Irish step dancer, prior to a hip injury in September of 2005. In order to compete as a step dancer, you have to have ringlet curls. In order to get ringlet curls, your mother has to sit up the night before a competition and curl your hair until her fingers are cracked and bloody with these cute little foam things called….wait for it….. SPIKES.
So, I immediately get on the phone with the other coach, and leave a message asking him why they need to have their hair curled to play t-ball. It’s important that you know that I left a message for him, because you will know that he then felt an obligation to play it for just about everyone in the civilized world.
But it doesn’t end there folks. Oh no. Because when I couldn’t reach the other t-ball coach, I called down to Baseball World, the place where I would go to get her gloves and Spikes. And yes, my fellow Americans, I DID ask them why they would need their hair curled to play t-ball. And yes, I did have to explain to the guy what I thought spikes were. And oh yes, when I arrived at the store later that day, no less than four – count ’em, 4 F O U R – employees of Baseball World came up to me at various times during my shopping excursion to say, “You’re the mom with the SPIKES, aren’t you?”
I did eventually find someone at Baseball World who stopped laughing long enough to tell me that Spikes, at least in terms of baseball, are actually cleats. I knew what cleats were, so I’m not a complete moron. At least I hope that’s how the history books will tell my story.