Take me out to the (nonexistent) ballgame

If you’re the kind of guy who likes sports and you find yourself the father of three boy-children, you might be inclined to think you’ve hit some sort of sports jackpot.

Three boys! Just think of all the sports! Just think of all the sport-watching!

But that’s not necessarily true as the other Jason Johnson has found out. We have bikes sitting in the garage. Enough soccer balls to outfit a team. And a t-ball perch-looking thing that lives in a basement closet. All (mostly) unused.

At this stage of the game, it looks like the only jackpot we’ve been lucky to hit is the chaos one.

So when the boys show even a nano-inkling of interest in sports, the professor gets excited. A few days ago I found him sitting in front of the laptop with our oldest. He was supposed to be at a meeting and hadn’t left yet. ‘I thought you had to go,’ I asked. ‘I can’t leave yet, he said he wanted to watch baseball with me,’ Mr. Johnson senior replied as he nodded his head in our boy’s direction.

But ‘he’ only wanted to watch the ‘commercianals’. When the actual playing began, he disappeared. The dream deferred.

So when our oldest announced after school one day, ‘I want to play baseball’, and his brother agreed-mimicked ‘I wan play batheball’ we hustled to the nearest park. In fact, I was in such a hurry to get out the door before anyone changed their minds that I locked the keys. Inside the house.

‘Do you have the keys,’ I asked the professor after the door was already shut. And locked. ‘Um, no, do you?’

And so we walked to the park knowing we were going to have to break into our house when we returned. It seemed…inauspicious somehow.

I don’t know if it’s the age or the personality, but the Gort has zero interest in having anything explained to him. He doesn’t want to know where he should put his feet. He could care less where his hands should be placed on the bat. Much less how to swing said bat.

When he says ‘I want to play baseball’ it apparently means just give him the stuff and let him do what he wants to do for three minutes before he loses interest and wanders over to the playground. The Hen is slightly more amenable to instruction and demonstration. But has the attention span…..of a two and a half year old. And if his brother’s going to the playground, so is he.

We left the park a short while later. No better at ‘baseball’ than when we first began. Plus ‘we’ had to figure out a way to break into our home. The professor managed to pry open a door using a tiny garden shovel. I’m sure it’s a top secret technique. Our oldest was able to squeeze himself through the four inch wide space and unlocked the front door.

Perhaps he’d rather be a detective.

7 thoughts on “Take me out to the (nonexistent) ballgame

  1. Sports interest must skip generations. Jim and I are totally disinterested in sports, and our oldest CANNOT get enough of them. We just started our first t-ball season. Jim’s been Googling (see? geeks through and through) basic instructions on how to teach a kid to catch.

    Maybe it’s the cold shoulder we give sports that sparks our kid’s interest or maybe he’s picking up cues from his sports-loving grandma.

  2. The funny thing is, I don’t even care if they like sports. I mean, the thought of having to spend hot days outside sitting on bleachers squinting into the sun….well, call me weird but there are other things I’d rather do. But a little sport wouldn’t hurt anyone! (Adrienne, let me know if you figure out how to teach a kid to catch. Or hit a ball. Or ride a bike.)

  3. seriously, i’m this far behind already?! (yes, i’m editing again.)

    i love it when tommy says that he doesn’t need to learn how to (for instance) dribble anymore because he already knows how. The same with soccer, the same with t-ball. I’m glad to hear it’s not just him ;o)


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