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Suburban Island

Sunday, May. 04, 2003, 2:40 p.m.

Question: Why can't a mom just have some fun?

What I Learned: Hot dogs and beer do taste better at the ballpark.

It’s hard for a mom to have fun. For instance, Friday night we went to a baseball game. Someone gave me the tickets including a parking pass and I did the rush hour driving. The whole family went and everyone headed out on the expedition with a slightly different level of expectation and personal preparedness. My son brought a car magazine so he was cool for the trip. Have car magazine, will travel as some might say. My daughter brought her CD player, CD case, headphones, and a good case of Friday afternoon exhaustion. Have headphones and a need for sleep, and smooth sailing ahead as others may say. All was well so far.

My husband came with a wristwatch and an overwhelming dread of hitting rush hour traffic – at rush hour. His fears were quickly realized. It was a long drive and as you might surmise – the traffic was well – jammed. And it stayed jammed for the majority of our drive. Was I surprised – no. All right – it was so heavy that it was hard to tell if you were moving at all sometimes but think BALLGAME. That’s what I was thinking – that, and hot dogs and beer. Hey, we’ve got ourselves a radio and a CD player and a couple cans of diet coke. Rush hour can work for us.

Well, I thought so anyway. Do you know how annoying it is when someone looks at their watch every 2 – 3 minutes of a 2-hour drive? The watch – give it to me. Open window – there it goes. What a lovely dream.

At the baseball park I figured that finally I could kick back and have some fun. What was I thinking?

In the parking lot, my husband was suddenly astounded by the idea that I was bringing my purse into the ballpark. Why have everything you need at your fingertips when you can spend all night asking your husband to extract it from the backpack under his chair? I had to ditch the purse in the trunk with a level of stealth akin to a special ops mission. Once in the park, things got tougher. My daughter told me I couldn’t wear my baseball cap backwards even though it would have been more comfortable. She shook her head at me as if to say - why do mothers make these major fashion faux pas? Every time I wanted some cash for the concession stand - remind me to bring my purse next time no matter what anyone says - I had to ask my husband. He shook his head at me as if to say – what’s with the hot dogs and beer at a ballpark? When I cheered for the team, my son told me he would rather me not do that. He shook his head at me and said something about how I was embarrassing him. Later, I was chastised for yelling with everyone else in the stands when the mascot came to our section of the bleachers and starting a cheering contest. And when everyone in the whole stadium stood up and sang – Take Me Out to the Ball Game – my family seemed surprised that I did too. They sat down after a bit and I think they might have been pretending that they didn’t know me.

It’s hard to have fun when you are a mom. It doesn’t seem to be as hard for everyone else though.

Amazingly, at that very same game, my daughter thought it was really cool that the boys on the other side of the stadium stood up and waved their shirts over their heads through every inning. My son thought it was great when they showed people in the stands on the big screen showing crazy team spirit. I don’t know what my husband thought but he had to buy a big inflatable bat for my son so I figure we’re even.

He had to drive home too. He’s lucky that I didn’t ask to borrow his watch.

Details: Coffee: White Chocolate Mocha + Music: Birdsong + Weather: Sunny, Breezy, 64

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