Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Rain delay: God 1, Storm 0

Rain has caused our poor little team of coach-pitch Bad News Bears to be put off for the past week from our post-season baseball tournament. We were supposed to play May 29, then it was rained out and rescheduled for the 30th, then the 31st and then June 2. Well, it was finally rescheduled for tonight and we were thinking that it was going to happen for real this time.

So, we get out there and we have made it to the second inning. Our little team is batting and we're up 8-6 with runners on first and third and no outs (if I remember correctly). Then, we saw a flash of lightning. Play was suspended briefly. We spoke with the commissioner and he said another 10 minutes sans lightning and we'll resume.

Ok, so the kids and some of the parents are taking shelter in the dugout. I'm out roaming the field looking around and telling other parents what is going on when it starts to sprinkle. Wearing glasses, I sought shelter in the dugout and called for Pickle to bring in his chair and get out of the rain before it gets bad.

Then, the clouds opened up. It was pouring. So, we're huddling all the kids in the dugout with some stray parents in there, too. I'm gathering all the gloves and hats and equipment and trying to keep them as sheltered as possible, moving the team photos (that were being handed out this evening) and trying to get my camera out of the rain, too. Just about that time, the rain started coming in sideways. We start huddling together (like a scene from March of the Penguins when the daddy penguins are huddling to protect the eggs from the cold and wind). Next, the hail starts coming in. It was coming in so hard that as it bounced off the concrete floor of the dugout and onto my legs, it stung. I was briefly freaked out realizing that I wasn't sure where Stinkerbelle was. Fortunately, the dugout mom and her husband had my baby between them with their 2-year-old grandbaby. They were huddled around her and had her in close. Then, I worried where Hot Rod was. Another mom had him with her son. Both boys were wearing their batting helmets. Not a bad idea. All the while, I'm still being pelted with hail on my legs and rain all down my back. About this time, I think to look up to see where Pickle is. He has found a corner of the dugout that seems to have him pretty sheltered, but he has no adults nearby, so I call him down and put him between me and the other parents that are all huddled around the children. He's shivering because the rain is pretty cold. Right about now, the kids in front of me start praying The Lord's Prayer. I have to admit, it was all pretty scary at the time.

Finally, the pea-sized hail stops pelting our legs and we relax momentarily. Then, the wind, rain and hail (sounds like a 70s band, doesn't it? Wait, that was Earth, Wind and Fire) turn and come from the opposite direction. The parents opposite of me are now hunched over their charges to keep the hail from pelting the children in the head. With the movement, I can now hear my daughter crying. The mom who had her said the hail was hitting Stinkerbelle. I think this is when Army of Dad got her. I fetched her a few minutes later, once all the hail died down. I think the last time I looked over my shoulder, it looked about nickel-sized. Before the storm was over, it had switched directions at least three times coming in the dugout from different directions.

By the time it all ended - I have no idea how long it lasted because it felt like forever - we were all soaked. I was soaked completely to my skin. My socks and shoes were sloshing, too. Pickle and I wound up going to get the minivan and getting as close to the fields as possible to pick up the other three in the family. We get home and strip down in the garage and the kids went in to shower and bathe and warm up.

What was completely amazing to me about all of this was the wonderful way our parents just stepped up and cared for whatever child was nearest to them. It was not every man for himself, but a real sense of caring for each other. As I called for my kids when I realized they weren't with my husband, it was like a roll call as moms or dads told me that they had my babies. They didn't hand them over and cling to their own, they held my children in their loving arms as they were holding their own. As I was getting pelted with the hail to protect children, I was ready to cry because it was really stinging and hurting. The parents closest to me knew I was about to lose it and as we wrapped our arms around each other to protect the children's heads, I felt one mom wrap her arm around me and ask me if I was ok. Her husband then put his hand on mine and gave me a reassuring grip. It was amazing how much better that made me feel.

Once the biggest part of the storm had past, we were all smiling a bit at how wet we were and wondering how we were going to get back to our vehicles. The other assistant coach was teasing me as I was trying to step around the giant puddle in the middle of the dugout. He pointed out that I was already drenched and it was sort of useless to tiptoe around the lake. He was right and I had to smile. Then, he asked the one boy whose parents weren't in there where they were parked and made sure that child got to his car. The boy's mom had two babies with her and probably bolted as soon as she could to cover. The rest of us were just glad to be ok and for the storm to have passed. The boys tried to be little men and act like they were cool, but they were pretty afraid, too, until it passed.

I'm just absolutely amazed at how these parents all came together. No one said a word, it was just instinctual. It was love. It really was. Few times have I really felt God's love so incredibly. I felt His arms around me as we all embraced one another and secured our children. I really am indebted to these people for loving my babies so willingly. I am blessed. Tonight was one reason why I love this community so much. The people here are so amazing.

Tomorrow night, we'll try to finish this game. Regardless of what happens, I know I'll feel blessed to have met each and everyone of these parents.


  • At 8:12 PM, June 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I got hailed on one time and it left all these funny little round bruises all over me. That stuff hurts!!

  • At 9:18 AM, June 07, 2007, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    I didn't look till after you said that ... but I have little bruises all over the backs of both of my legs. How crazy is that? I wouldn't have thought that would happen (even as badly as it hurt) until I read what you wrote!!!


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