When Your Life Goes From Macro to Micro So Do Your Emotions

Pre children, back in the day where everything was micro. Small car, small house, small basket at the grocery store. I worked with a man who had 4 children. He was a client who rang each Monday morning to talk about staffing needs, we met at least once a month and became friends. He and his wife made the 3 hour drive to the country when G and I were married. We got on incredibly well, perhaps because our lives were so vastly different.
Every Monday under the guise of work, we’d compare weekends. I’d tell him about the drinks that began on Friday afternoon, the restaurant choice for dinner, the antics at the nightclub that followed, and the inevitable 3am cab ride home.
“What about you? How was your weekend?” Id ask.
“Well, very similar to yours really. The baby has reflux, so in between being thrown up on, my wife and I played a game of sleep tag. Isaac had to go to emergency to get a rolled up bit of paper removed from his nose, and on Saturday morning I drove roughly 230 kms taking the kids to sport.
“I reckon I walked that far in search of a kebab on Friday night” I’d giggle.
I loved his stories. I giggled uncontrollably when in fear of being in trouble, Isaac had told his father he couldn’t remember how the paper got stuck up his nose. He was sure he must have just fallen on the paper and sniffed at the same time. The game of sleep tag and the car full of sport uniforms was so foreign to me that I really couldn’t picture the logistics of how it all worked. That’s all it really was to me, logistics. I hadn’t considered the emotional side of parenting. How the simplest activity could put you and your child in the most compromising of emotions. How am I going to react? How am I meant to react? What’s the best thing to do right now? I never thought about that.
The third little traveller is having an awful time at baseball. After being hit by a stray pitch in the first week he is now terrified of the same thing happening again. The ball hit him hard enough that G was worried he may have broken his arm, moments after leaving the base he threw up. I was over watching the fourth little traveller when it happened. “It was a really strong pitch” G said as I questioned the vomit stains on our little guy’s shirt.
On Friday morning I sat in the carpark of the school, me with a water bottle and a set of keys in my hand, our third traveller in his baseball uniform making a heartfelt last minute plea.”Please don’t make me play Mum, please don’t make me go”. A tear was slowly making its way down his cheek.I wanted to drive straight home. “You have to go. It might not feel right to you now, but I know you’ll regret it later if you quit. You’re not a quitter.”

We held hands as we walked towards the field. “I really don’t want to play Mum”.

“I know, I’ll be right here, I promise I’ll stay right here.”

I’ve learnt enough now that I know I have to make him go. If he doesn’t play out the season he’ll be cross with himself. It’s a team sport and he needs to be part of the team. What I can’t fix is what’s going on in his head.

After the cuteness that is the 4th little travellers coach pitch, the third little traveller’s minor league takes on a whole different feel. Coach pitch is all about praying that they hit the ball, while giggling as your son does a handstand in the outfield. There’s a few great hits and the occasional miraculous catch, but it’s all about getting comfortable with the basics of the game. As you make your way from the open field of coach pitch into the gated minor league the voices are deeper, the hits stronger and the pitches more intense.
“Choke that bat, let’s hustle, good eye, good eye.” says a booming voice from the bunkers.
G and I sat in our deck chairs willing our little guy to take a swing. Praying for him not to get hit again.
 As we watched him jump back in fear, someone yelled “Relax! Relax!” from the bleachers. I gritted my teeth, thought good thoughts, and wished for it all to be over soon.
We asked others for advice. Talked to friends about similar experiences. Got ideas on what to do. He’ll be fine, we know he will, but in the meantime we front up each week with his fears in our hearts. Trying not to say too much, but remembering to say enough. Balancing along the beam of overprotective parents to uncaring observers. We have no idea what we’re doing.
In the meantime the second little traveller has hit her stride. She knocked the ball out past second base twice. Spent some time as catcher, grabbed the coveted first base and giggle the entire time with friends.  This is the easy part of parenting. The fourth traveller goes along each week and comes home with gossip from the outfield. He’s in her class, they come from this country, his brother plays in the Mets. The first traveller has the batting stance of a pro and a team of friends who giggle from innings to innings. A joy to watch, kids having fun in the sun while parents joke around on the sidelines.
My micro life somehow became macro.  Big house, big car, big shopping basket.
Big emotions for my little people.

 

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