Thrills and Agony

Yesterday we drove across the border to watch Angus's team play two games at SUNY Canton. He's had a great year academically, but the team has really struggled and his last outing as pitcher was dismal. He's doing better at shaking it off than in the past, and things will reset in the fall, and it's not the end of the world, but he's exhausted and ready to be home and we're ready for that too. We were there for support rather than entertainment or enjoyment (Angus was likely not going to play at all until the next day), and for the prospect of seeing him for five minutes between games and an hour afterwards.

Things went as expected for the first few hours. It was cold. Really cold. Really fucking cold. We sat huddled in our chairs in winter coats with sleeping bags over us and the wind froze our faces. The other team was mean. We're used to loud, good-natured heckling, but this was something else. Later one, one of our players said that he was so pissed because they had been saying rude things about his sisters - it's a thing, apparently, to look at the other team's players' Instagram accounts and chirp about their families. Did you know this was a thing? I feel simultaneously naive and outraged. There's unsportsmanlike and there's next-level assholery. Two of their coaches got tossed, so there's that at least.

We lost the first game 5-3, which is fine. The first game was seven innings, the second was nine, and about halfway through the second I went to the car to warm up for a bit. We hadn't expected Angus to pitch, and then suddenly Matt texted me that Angus was warming up and we were up by one. For a cowardly moment I almost stayed in the car. It's bad enough when he pitches at the beginning of the game and things go badly - this seemed like an unbearable amount of pressure, and watching him at times like this doesn't feel like I'm watching anything related to how hard he's worked at this, or statistics, or physics - it feels like we're in the grip of capricious forces that just want to fuck with us. Part of me just wanted to wait and be told what happened once it was over. (I've heard that extreme circumstances bring out the best in some people. It would seem that I am not one of those people.)

So I trudged my frozen butt out out from the parking lot and up the hill overlooking the diamond. I paced around like an expectant father in a hospital waiting room in the fifties. I swore a lot.

The rest of this story is triumphant and anticlimactic all at once. He pitched the last inning, went three up three down. We won the game (I'm not even sure what the score was). He got the save. We were dazed and jubilant. The other parents were sweet and gracious (especially the ones whose sons were pitchers). We went back to the hotel and I made giant Caesar salads in immense metal trays for dinner just like a real team mom.

On the way home, Eve texted me that she'd made some really great avocado toast, after screwing it up badly (too much salt, not enough lime, something, I don't know) the last couple times, so she was really excited. Nice that it was a banner day for our family all around.


Collette said…
That Instagram thing is horribly disturbing. I hate knowing this and that is a thing.
Lynn said…
God, the up and down of being a sports mom. I know being in a sport is so, so good for kids, but I am grateful I do not have to live through that kind of second-hand-stress. So glad this story had a happy ending, and that he'll be home soon!
StephLove said…
I'm sorry the other team was so boorish and idiotic.

Hooray for the win and Angus's performance!
I can't even watch when R is watching the Patriots play, because things get so worked up around here. I can't imagine if my kid was in a game, particularly in a high-pressure situation. But yay, Angus! That's awesome. Also awesome, seeing you blog! xo
Sorry it was all so stressful, but GO Angus!

Also, GO Eve! The perfect avocado toast is a triumph, indeed. :D

It made me happy to see a fresh post. I felt you should know.

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