The boys on the teams

April 30, 2009

By Imelda Dulcich

The boys on the varsity teams are almost men. I have known some of the boys on the Liberty High School team since they were in grade school.

I smile as each one walks out to the field, remembering their little boy big ears, lopsided smiles and the way they all used to come up to bat and pull at their sleeves in a perfect imitation of Ichiro. I watch the boys on the opposing team, knowing their mothers remember the same things. 

The game did not go perfectly, one of the opposing team mothers loudly complained that their own coach made a “big mistake” when he replaced the boy on the mound. I hoped the boy had not heard. As the replacement pitcher, he took a while to settle in; I held my breath for him, willing him to do well, even if it meant betraying my son’s team for a moment. The bridge of motherhood extends over school boundaries. 

The game proceeded. Our boys were loud; the umpire made a call that was unpopular. That’s when I heard it. 

“They are known as trailer trash,” one of the other team’s moms proudly declared. 

My heart stopped. 

I looked over at the group of mothers who aside from slight variations in hair color and outfits appeared much the same as our own group — moms who had made it to an afternoon game to watch the kid who they adored play ball. Each of us has driven countless hours to and from practices over the years, waited with nervous anticipation to see if our son made a team. All of us sport wrinkles we’ve earned from loving so much and worrying so much about our boys. 

I didn’t see any boy who was trash. Some of them may live in trailers. I don’t know; it’s never been an important issue to me. What I saw were boys who were happy and excited to be playing ball. They just showed up to play a game. They are all treasures, the boys on both teams.

Reach Imelda Dulcich at newcastledaze@comcast.net.

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