Friday, June 22, 2012


There should be a rule book for mothers of sons in sports. We eventually learn them but a crash course would help. Just this week in the news a hockey mom was on the ice scolding the ref for not stopping the kids from fighting.  Mixed reviews on that one.

Kent was about 7 when I watched him hoist the bat and walk to the batter's box. No more T ball! This was the big time as my son faced a wild pitcher on the mound. What he lacked in control, he made up for in speed.

That kid's pitching hard. Kent's gonna get hit by a wild ball. Lord, help me not to scream or run to the field if he does get hurt. At least I knew that rule.

Ball one.

Ball two.

Strike one!

Ball. . .to Kent's rib cage, knocking him to the ground! I gasped and stood but silently froze in place in the bleachers. Coach checked him then said, "Take your base!" Kent limped to first.

After the game Doug and I rounded up the girls then met Kent at the car to head home. "Hon, just before you got hit I was thinking the ball might get you."

"Me too, Mom! And you know what I was thinking?"

"What, Kent?"

"I was jus' thinking about where the worst place was to get hit by a ball."

Doug raised his manly eyebrows and gave me a side glance.

"A-aaand where's that, Kent?" I asked, wondering if the girls were listening.

Emphasizing every word, he declared, "The very worst place to get hit by a ball is. . .in the back of batter's box. So I stepped to the side, as far from it as I could." Doug sighed and smiled.

"Good plan, Honey. Maybe it'll work next time."

From that day on, "batter's box" held a double meaning in the Henderson household.

Another mother rule I learned the hard way was mothers should never pitch to sons!
That's a dad's job. But one day in our back yard I was the designated pitcher for our practicing hitter. Using a glove was always awkward for me but I had it on when I pitched to Kent. He connected with the ball and I saw it coming straight for my face! I held out my glove. It passed my glove and kept coming straight for my face! I turned my head just enough to spare my teeth but not my right cheek.

This time I was the one knocked to the ground. Explaining a swollen, bruised face can be doubly painful.

Last year our firstborn grandson, J.D., was in his second season of football. He rode with a friend to his game. His mother, Kimberly, later drove with the younger siblings to watch him play.

Snacks, kids, purse, sunglasses all rallied around her as she climbed the bleachers. She spotted her handsome son in his blue and white uniform, his chest ablaze with 36.

He was playing better than ever. "Goooooo, J. D!" she cheered louder than other mothers. He ran faster and hit harder. So she kept yelling, "Way to go, Jade! Woo-hoo!" The crowd in the bleacher rose and cheered with her as he ran.

I had no idea he was so good. I'm so proud of him. He's never run 53 yards before! He's probably hearing me up here and is encouraged.

So she hollered into the first quarter until the team came to the sidelines. She watched J.D. pull off his helmet, then saw his head of sweaty, blonde curls. . . Blonde? J.D. has brown hair! The Nordic kid was probably wondering about the crazy lady cheerleader in the stands.

THEN she realized

-right school
-right ball park
-right color uniform
-right number


Gathering up her snacks, kids, purse, sunglasses and shreds of dignity, she clamored down the steps and over to her son's field and his game. She still cheered him on through the last three quarters of his game.

After the game, he said, "Wondered where you were, Mom."

We're just encouragers, my daughter and me! To everyone! Maybe we should be the ones to write that rule book for mothers.

Dads just handle the whole bleacher scene far better than moms. Kent, now a father of four, even made TV showing us how to do it! Someone asked his wife (beside him), "Mary, why weren't you standing up to cheer like Kent?"

"I was. He's over 6 '5" and has his arms raised, ya know!"

That's how ya do, it, Kent! No lessons or books required. Men are just naturals!


  1. So cute! I've had to learn (as a Mimi) not to be so vocal at basketball games. It's hard to see your kid get punched and knocked to the floor without a helmet or any other protection. Watching kids play sports is definitely not for wimps!

  2. Bev Welch to me:
    7:38 PM (44 minutes ago)

    Great pictures! Hard to believe we have grand kids this old, huh?? :)