Friday, March 11, 2011
Meanwhile, Rick James...
(Nicky in his Nagys uniform during a tee ball game, June 2010)
So, tee ball sign-ups are this month, and I am in a bit of a philosophical pickle.
Nicky played tee ball last summer on the Nagys, and he loved the team and his coach, Mike. I was a little unhappy with the way the team practiced, but I eventually warmed up to the idea that these were just four, five, and six year olds who were just learning the basics of the fine art of baseball. They weren't learning to be the next A-Rod or Grady Sizemore. They were learning to hit a ball off a tee and run to first base and not third. I was more than psyched for this season, especially since I was keeping him on the Nagys and with Coach Mike. Mike really had a way with the kids. They loved him and they listened, and us parents loved him because he was patient and made practice fun.
All was well until February 10th. Mike died suddenly of pneumonia. It caught us all completely off guard. He was only 30, and he didn't seem sickly or weak. Nicky had never really been exposed to death before, and I was a little unsure as to how to tell him. My mom and I sat him down and explained that Coach Mike had been very very sick and that he had died...I told him that he was coaching all the little angel kids in heaven. He seemed to get it, and even now he's like "Mommy, Coach Mike is in heaven. He died." I was honestly surprised that a five year old could grasp the finality of death. Part of me is still waiting for him to ask me where Mike is when the season starts.
The inevitable question of who is going to take over the coaching postition quickly takes the forefront. Zach, Mike's nephew of indeterminable age (I think he's like 20 or 21, tops.) and even more indeterminable maturity offers to take Mike's place. Zach was the one the kids would play with when they were supposed to be listening to Mike. He was also completely useless when it came to getting the kids to calm down. None of the kids took him seriously. I thought he was a big goofball, very immature and nerdy, but not in the cool nerdy way. He was more of the obnoxious and dumb nerdy way. He got on my nerves. I thought he was pretty harmless...Until he got all weird via Facebook messages when I was laid up in bed with severe tonsillitis last Thanksgiving. He went from being concerned about me being unable to swallow to being a bit of a creeper that kept messaging me and getting weirder with each message. I blocked him because I didn't need a puppy dog kind of kid hanging around me with a crush. I know that sounds mean, and maybe it was, but I didn't want him to get the wrong message. He was the assistant assistant coach of my son's tee ball team, not to mention he was kind of like a big kid himself. No sir.
Honestly, I don't want Zach coaching my son. He is not going to be able to control all those kids, and Nicky goes up to softball next summer (2012). He needs to learn the basics from someone who is serious about being a coach. I also, however, don't want to look like a gigantic bitch, especially since this kid took on the mantle of coach in lieu of his dead uncle. I think I am going to transfer him to another team. Nicky is okay with it--one of the perks, I guess, of being six and being resilliant. Why the hell do I feel so bad about it when he's just like whatever? I need to suck it up and be more like Nick.