At 9am this morning, I found myself looking out over a self-contained quad of baseball diamonds on a green plot of land in clear view of the Burj Khalifa.
There were hundreds of kids, all trying out for the upcoming baseball season. My two were giving it a go for the first time – all part of our mission to get the boys playing sports. (To date this has included dabbling with karate, diving, golf, football, ski-ing and boxing. I say dabbling – because it seems that as soon as you’ve bought all the kit/equipment, and signed up for at least AED1,000-worth of lessons, they go off the whole idea.)
Anyway, what I really wanted to say is: if you’re American, and don’t already know about Dubai Little League, you really should check it out. I’m seriously impressed by the dedicated group of parents and volunteer coaches who enable more than 450 players ages 4-17 to enjoy baseball and softball in Dubai. It’s strangely comforting to hear so many American accents and positively uplifting to be surrounded by the ‘can do’ attitude I came to love while living in the States. The hot dogs are great too.
I came to the realisation, though, that I have a lot to learn before I can even think of qualifying as a baseball mom.
With temperatures in the high 30s and not even a hint of a breeze coming off the neighbouring manmade lake, it was incredibly hot. I got talking to a veteran mom, wearing – very sensibly – a wide-brimmed hat so her face looked as fresh as a flower on a dewy morning. She pointed out her boys’ baseball shoes while a trickle of sweat made a slow, tingly descent down my back. I wiped my brow with a sweaty hand and I’m sure she told me they had baseball socks too.
I’m making a mental note of where to get all this kit from, while trying to watch out for my boys, melting on the other side of the field, and wondering how the game works.
The sun was beating down relentlessly as the coach raised his arm and threw the ball towards Raptor. He connected: thwock! And I inwardly cheered. He’s hit the ball! He’ll want to come again.
DH’s practice session the day before was paying off.
And so I allowed myself to feel a little bit pleased – mostly that I’d got them there on time, because 9am on a weekend did feel rather early. Well, let’s just say, I quickly had the satisfaction wiped off my face.
The second lady I spoke to told me she’d been at the baseball fields all morning the day before too, with her older son. “And we were at hockey at six this morning,” she said.
“Six!” I replied, in awe, “this morning?”
“Yes, before the ice rink opened.”
I’m pretty sure she told me they had a third activity that day too – but by then the heat had done something funny to my hearing.