Globe Life Park

Farewell Jeter: Thank You from a New Baseball Mom

I’m not a treasure trove of baseball trivia, but I’m a big fan of the game. I watched the entire 2004 series featuring an epic and excruciating battle between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. I was hugely pregnant with my first child (due in November 2004), so vegging out on the sofa watching other people’s awesomeness was all I could muster.

I especially loved the Yankees that year (Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, A-Rod — yes, A-Rod) and, in stark contrast, I detested the Red Sox. Maybe it was because Big Papi couldn’t stop crushing home runs or because Manny Ramirez owned one of the most disgusting batting helmets ever in the history of helmets. Jeter was, of course, my favorite player. There was just something everything special about his uniform him. He was a legit superstar. And the fact that he was humble made him a hero.

Today I have two young boys and one of them plays baseball. He just graduated from tee ball into coach pitch, but this is Texas, so sports are very competitive, even at a ridiculously young age. It’s like real baseball, people. He has a mini athletic cup, little cleats, custom bats, batting gloves, practice every week, scrimmages and we travel to play weekend tournaments. It’s a family affair. More importantly, baseball gives us endless opportunities to teach him about building character.

Forget the athleticism and the physical development – capabilities at the age of six are impressive, but rather silly to worry about. What he gets to experience and learn first-hand is how to be a supportive teammate, a positive thinker, a person who perseveres and a good listener. He grows and improves daily, which is great, but he’s also learning to take the knocks and the tough calls in stride, which is necessary. As a mom, I need my arsenal of “perfect athlete” pep talks in the pipeline and ready to go. Enter Derek Jeter.

Me: “Everyone strikes out. Even Derek Jeter.”

Me: “Don’t worry about dropping that fly ball. Even Derek Jeter drops a ball once in a while.” Okay, that is a lie.

Me: “I’m sure Derek Jeter has spilled red Gatorade on his pants too. We can wash that out later…”

Derek Jeter has held up his end of the bargain by remaining hero-worthy. Jeter gives us the chance to teach our children how to be athletes by example. What a novel idea, right? Based on the news clips flooding ESPN right now, it seems as though our heroes are falling from grace daily. Unlike those clowns, Jeter understands that the term is aspirational, not ass-pirational. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to agree that Jeter has been steadfast to the end. He is retiring with the stardom he earned. He is retiring with grace. He is retiring with dignity.

On behalf of new baseball moms everywhere who are desperately trying to raise respectable young men, thank you Derek Jeter…

Our trip to Globe Life Park in Arlington this summer to see Jeter’s farewell tour:

Jeter Farewell Tour, Cathy Hale
Globe Life Park is my favorite! It is just beautiful. Yes, I’m all alone in my Yankee attire. You can take the boys out of Texas, but you can’t…wait, we were in Texas…never mind.
Derek Jeter, Arlington Park
Jeter crushed it and can you believe I captured the ball flying through the air? No way. Yes way. There it is. Boom.
Cathy Hale, baseball selfie
I’m not big on selfies, but if you know me, you know why this one is special… 🙂
Derek Jeter Jersey
This is what makes Rangers fans cool. They can “peace out” for Jeter. 😉
Baseball park food
Forget carb-loading, we were fat-loading…


Raising Boys: That’s Not a Hug, That’s a Headlock

Last week, my oldest son (almost six) had his little brother (almost three) in a headlock. When I walked back into the room, he spotted me and quickly pretended it was a hug. He even added, “Awwwwe, you’re so sweet,” to the fake brotherly love fest to prove his innocence.

Yesterday during my trip to the grocery store, I was grabbing a few Luna Bars when I spotted four small fists punching at each other and swinging around wildly in the aisle.  There was kicking, pinching and yes, another headlock. It was like a cage match without the cage. I stared for a minute with a look of dismay on my face. Maybe someone else will claim them? No such luck. I stepped in and physically separated them.

My boys are entering the “you-annoy-me-and-take-my-toys-so-I’m-gonna-hit-you-until-you-stop-or-until-mom-walks-in-the-room” phase. I have to give them both credit, because they are equally good at provoking each other and most of the time they are both guilty when things reach a boiling point.

I guess we all went through it. I remember when my younger sister and I could hardly stand to be in the same room together. Of course that happened when we were teenagers, so it doesn’t really count. I did shove her once and she fell backwards down the stairs. She still likes to bring up that story today. What she fails to mention is we lived in a tri-level house, so the flight if stairs consisted of six steps. Needless to say, messing up her ponytail was the extent of her injuries.

At the end of the day, my boys still kiss and hug each other goodnight. 75% of the time, they play very well together and genuinely enjoy being pals. The other 25%…well, it’s not a warm & fuzzy. I try to be fair and keep things civil between, but sometimes I just have to let it play out a bit. I have a sneaking suspicion brotherly love is a bit more painful than sisterly love. Not sure. Just guessing.

One Day My Babies Will Be Men

Earlier this week I had lunch with a dear friend, who happens to be 20 years older than I am. She has a son who is 22-years-old. (My boys are 4-years-old and 1-year-old.) She is completely beside herself because her son wants to drop out of college with one year left to go. Her son is dating a girl that might not be right for him and he’s working as a waiter and……

My mind wandered. Holy crap! I can’t even imagine a life without diapers. How in the world will I manage as a mom of two GROWN MEN? (Heart rate increasing. Stress surging through body.) They will have to look both ways before crossing the street without me there to remind them. They will have to decipher when it’s okay to speak to a stranger and when it’s not. They will have to learn how to take care of themselves and make sure they don’t walk around reeking of BO. They will have to figure out how to date women and live with a broken heart. (Feeling dizzy. Scanning room for wine or chocolate.)

I’m not ready! Which begs the question, will I ever be ready? My stress revolves around who needs a snack, who took a nap, who needs bigger pajamas and who hasn’t pooped yet today. It’s baby stuff in a baby life.

Adult stuff in an adult life seems way too scary to handle. I’m stressed out with babies. Will I simply go insane as they get older? Should I just plan on committing myself to a padded room when they turn 17? I like to think of myself as a cool mom who freaks out when necessary, but never resorts to micro-parenting. Will I most certainly lose my cool and become that overbearing worried mom that my boys will roll their eyes at when I try to “have a moment” with them? Or beg for a hug. Wow, begging for affection. Will my world of constant little hugs, baby tooth smiles, mouse noses, and “I wuv you, mommy” come crashing down?

Never mind. I’m pretty sure I know the answer. Tell MommyQ what you think.