For years I attended hundred's of Charley's baseball games, from age 4-18, when he was a player. I'd yell for him and cheer him on, bring orange slices and drinks as snack mom, wash the nastiest smelly socks, go through 3 gallons of bleach a season, and put more miles on the car than a long haul trucker. I'd feel badly when they lost a game or championship, and be their number one fan when they won.
Now I could care less who wins the game, don't know the players, and sometimes I don't know the teams name. I'm the umpire's mom! Inside, my heart double beats when he comes on the field to have the plate meeting. My son is in charge of the game. His calls move the game along, elating some, and pissing off others. Charles is the team's best friend or worst enemy switching back and forth over and over throughout the game. The manager can puff up to get in his face, yell at him, tell him how horrible his call was, and my son, the umpire, lets him vent, tells him to go sit down, once, maybe twice or three times. The manager then turns around, kicks the dirt, marches back to the dugout and sits down. All because my son said so.
When things get hairy on the field, players smack each other, or the air gets hostile it's my son's job to turn things around to keep the ball crossing the plate. He never knows what the game will hold. How the team will play. Who will be the big hitter or the crummy one. Each game is new. Challenges abound. Thousands of fans could be on hand or a mere hundred. Thirsty Thursday usually ups the fan count and makes the comments from the crowd sort of slurry! "I'll have 14 beers!"
I am proud that my son realized his passion and followed it. At 25 he's living the life many men think they could from the recliner, where of course, they know all the rules and are the best umpire, coach, and player. Little do they know the training, intricacies, rules, changes, evaluations, networking, logistics, and deep knowledge needed to be an umpire because it all looks so easy.
I sit in the stands incognito, not a supporter of the team or a player, just a mom. The umpire's mom.