Today, we did something we never do — we played softball. To be accurate, Dan played softball, and Liam, Benjamin and I watched. Some coworkers of Dan’s put a game together and, in the interest of being social and making new friends, we went.
I don’t know what it is about me, but absolutely anytime I attempt to be a spectator at anything, I end up getting drafted into some sort of duty role. I don’t know if I look responsible, or I just look like a sucker, but it never fails. I’ll end up collecting tickets, selling concessions, taking pictures, serving beverages or some sort of other useful task. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me that much: I’m more of a doer than a watcher, anyway, but I wish I understood why this happens to me, simply so I could turn it off when I prefer to sit back and relax.
Inevitably, within the first three batters of the first inning, I was asked to help with scoring. I can barely keep up with baseball when it’s on tv and being narrated for me — this was an impossible task, made more challenging by the fact that apparently softball rules are different than baseball rules, and we had team captains from Australia and (I think) Ireland, and team members from all over the world, so even amongst the players there was some discussion about the rules and scoring. Add to that the fact that I have a 2 year old and an infant to look after: I was hopeless. I managed to keep track of the runs, at least, and the batting order, but after about an inning and a half, I was relieved of my scoring duties.
Which really was a good thing, because I also ended up playing child wrangler for the day. Two of the other players had brought their preschoolers (both younger than Benjamin but older than Liam) and since they were both playing, and I was playing with Benjamin, I ended up playing with (and supervising the play of) the kids for part of the day. In this case, the responsibility fell to me because I can’t help myself. I’m not likely to let Benjamin run off and play with two kids younger than he is in a place I don’t know surrounded by people I don’t know, so, of course, I was with him the entire time. It makes that I would become the de facto referee of the children, since I was around. (I am also fighting, with myself, a sometimes losing battle against being a “helicopter parent”, which doesn’t help matters, either.) All in all, Benjamin had a really good time playing and making new friends, so it was energy well spent. Also, I got to know the other kids a little which was nice (especially because they’re likely to become regular playmates of Benjamin’s).
It was a good day. I got to meet some people and speak in English all afternoon. Benjamin made some new friends, got to throw the ball around with Dan for a bit, ran the bases, and got a medal at the end for being so well behaved. Liam was adored by all and was thoroughly photographed by several attendees. Dan turns out to be surprisingly good at softball (and I think his team won). It wasn’t quite the restful afternoon at the ball field I had envisioned. But, I have to admit, it may be, just a little, because I really like things better that way.