A Bat Flinger from Way Back

baseball bat

baseball bat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Always curious Michelle asks today: Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.

I am not a sports fan per se. But I understand sports fandom. At various points in my life I have followed basketball—going to high school and university games to cheer my school on, and then attending the games my eldest son was involved in. He was on basketball teams for nine years and he coached basketball camp for many a summer. The thing about basketball is I sort of understand it—unlike many other games, in particular football. I do not understand football—you get the ball, you run, and people pile on top of you. Sometimes you throw the ball. This is my full and total understanding of football.

I have attended a few hockey games and on the whole I like the game, but am not too big on the violence—and no matter what you say there is violence in hockey. And football. And to a lesser extent basketball. Not a lot of violence in baseball unless you get hit in the head with the ball or a flung bat.

Truth be told, I like badminton. And today I explained why to my husband. If you get hit with the birdie, you do not get hurt. Getting hit with a ball generally hurts, getting hit by other people generally hurts, getting hit by a bat hurts (I know this because I flung my bat at my grade six teacher when I was eleven and he had trouble not crying out in pain. I did not mean to hit him—I was just so excited that I hit the ball I randomly {and with some velocity} threw my bat and ran to first base.)

I have watched baseball and to me it is a real yawner unless your kid is playing. It is still a yawner then but at least you have a focus. When I was in grade 10 my French teacher was a real Detroit Tiger’s baseball fan, so during the playoffs we listened to baseball instead of conjugating verbs. I liked not conjugating verbs, but to this day my French is sorely lacking. It really was not the fault of this teacher though, but I need someone to blame….

Okay, what was the original question? Am I sports fan and if not, why. Sports and I have had a spotty relationship—I am not really athletically inclined, though I always fall back on the fact that I never really tried either. To be good at sports you need to be focused. You need to practice. You need to know your left foot from your right. I only own one of those criteria and I will not tell you which one.

I have been in the stands with people who are pure fans and I love their enthusiasm as long as they keep the swearing, booing, and yelling directions under wraps. I love a cheerful fan. In fact cheerful fans make me want to belong to their numbers. There is community in being a fan—and I like that aspect—just don’t thrown me a football, bounce a  basketball at me, or ask me to punt………..

Published in: on July 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm  Comments (34)  
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M ~ Mighty Mouse

Mighty Mouse in Ralph Bakshi's adaptation

Mighty Mouse in Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided that since my sister wrote me in an email that my “M” posting confused her because she was trying to figure out how “M” actually figured into my post about James Bond–that I would do a real post about “M”. So here goes:

My eldest son’s nickname is Mouse. It was given to him when he played basketball in elementary school and followed him all the way to grade 12. He was on every basketball team there was at the schools he attended. Junior elementary. Senior elementary. Junior High School. Senior High School. (Get ready for some bragging: in High School he won Most Dedicated Player when he was on both the Junior and Senior Teams. One is sitting on my bookshelf above where I am writing this as we speak).

He was given the nickname Mouse I think because they thought he was quiet. This confused me. He was not quiet at home. He was not quiet in class, though never a real disruption. He just was not quiet as a mouse anywhere that I came into contact with him. Now he was exceedingly polite to his teachers and his coaches, but he was not quiet. (Have I made my point here–the boy was, and as a young man is not QUIET).

We have an apartment attached to our house which he uses for band practice and just general hanging around in when he is here. He calls it the Mousetrap. His band is called Rodents & Rebels. Now I ask you, how did sweet little (but not quiet) Mouse become a Rodent? I guess Mouse was just not scary enough to go with Rebels.

There you have – my real post starting with a real M for Mighty Mouse–my non-quiet son!

Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm  Comments (22)  
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Then and Now

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As many of you know, I occasionally include my newspaper column on this blog. It is the 14th anniversary of my column “On The Homefront….and Beyond”, so I thought I would share it with you. It appears on p. 5 of the Kingsville Reporter:

I have been writing this column for fourteen years now. It started out as a joint venture with another writer friend of mine, Liz Moore, but after about ten months she moved to London and this space became mine. A lot has changed in 14 years. I was a young (young being relative here) mother then, with a 7 year old and 12 year old. The topics I wrote about then were a bit different than the topics I write about now.

Then, I wrote about sending my kids back to the first day of class in September, and performing a ritual “happy dance” until my oldest asked me not to do it anymore because it made him feel like I wanted to get rid of him. I understood, and I stopped doing the happy dance. And I quit humming “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year” to boot. After a summer of wracking my brain to find things to do to keep my kids from being perpetually bored, I was probably ready to have them back at school, but I did not want them to know that. And if I were honest, they were pretty good at keeping themselves busy and happy.

Today, my kids are in their twenties. One is away at college and is a computer genius (which you have to realize that to me, anyone who knows the ins and outs of a computer is a computer genius— still, I think he is brilliant—but I am his mother after all.) I call my eldest son a Rock God, which he is not really comfortable with, but he is getting used to me referring to him as such. And he does play a mean lead guitar. His band is called Rodents & Rebels. Not a name a mother would choose, but hey, they like it.

Then, I would write about our adventures in the soccer field, at the baseball diamond, and on the basketball court. Today, my kids talk about being “buff”, which I think means there is a six-pack in their future, whether it be the liquid kind, or the “arrangement of six bulges in the human abdomen” kind (this definition thanks to all-knowing, all-seeing Wikipedia).

Vacations back then took the form of camping trips, which was and is not a favourite past-time of mine. But in retrospect, with the nostalgia factor kicking in, camping really was a great family time—even if you had to sleep on the ground and walk half a block to a washroom where the showers were always cold. I remember waking up in the morning to coffee and eggs and bacon being cooked over an open fire in order to get me to “stay just one more day mom” and of course I would acquiesce.

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, ,...

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, , Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, organized vacations take the guise of attending out-of-town weddings or celebrations together, and are not necessarily vacations, but as a mom, I will take any time together with my grown-up kids.

Fourteen years ago things were different. Fourteen years are admittedly a long time in a family’s life—we have all grown a little older—some us have to dye our hair now, some of us do not have as much hair as we did then, and some of us are not home all the time. Sometimes I would give my eye teeth to have that time back, but I also like things as they are now. We still have a long way to go on our journey, and I will continue to let you in on our lives as they change over time.