Wish life would just slow down? Attend a T-ball game

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet? • LORI CLINCH
I don’t know that I’ve ever had the desire to make an hour seem like six days.


But if I did, I know just how I’d do it – I’d sit on a bench and take in a T-ball game.

Turns out, there is nothing that makes the passage of time slower than watching a little guy take several swings at a ball that’s sitting atop a rubber tube.

Then, just for fun, there’s the exhilarating moment when the little dear actually gets a hit and as two little 5-yearolds fight for possession of the ball that has rolled a total of 3 feet, and your child makes a dead run for none other than third base.

Good times, my friend, good times.

Yes sir, if I heard today that tomorrow would be my last day on the planet, and I wanted to make the time pass as slowly as humanly possible, Little League would be the hot ticket.

Take the summer of 1993, for instance, when my beloved spouse and I embarked upon our very first contest.

Sadly enough for us, ours was the second competition of the night, and we had arrived early enough to catch the end of the first game.

Seated on the top bench was a woman who was knitting a sweater. Although the body was complete and she was threefourths of the way through the second sleeve, she said she’d started it with the first batter and time passed after that.

Not quickly, mind you, but it had passed and she had squeezed an entire month’s worth of work into the evening.

Next to her was a woman who was sporting a pair of Spandex pants, slouch socks and hair large enough to rival a bird’s nest. It was quite obvious that she had been there long enough for her clothes to go out of style.

Bringing no extra cushioning and only enough water to last the week, my beloved spouse and I were ill prepared, to say the least. You can almost imagine our embarrassment as we realized that we were the only fans who had not brought clothing adequate for the passing of all four seasons.

Several minutes before the start of the game, the coach arrived. Full of vim and vigor, he unloaded a bag of bats and strutted into the dugout as if his whole life had led up to this moment.

Gathering his little team around him, he assembled them into a huddle, offered up a speech that put the Gettysburg Address to shame, and following an award-winning chant, he sent his little charges to the field.

They guarded their bases with sternness and sincerity as they took their positions. They would have you believe that runners

would not easily pass by —not on their watch. They had a duty and the duty was theirs.

With dignity, one little guy stood on first base. His cap was set, his uniform intact, and he manned his post with pride. Palace guards have taken their responsibilities less seriously, and he appeared to be the man for the job right up until he had to leave his post to potty.

Were it not for butterflies, jet airplanes and the fact that they were more interested in talking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with the short-stop than tagging a guy who was stealing third, they would have been awesome.

For years, I sat at those T-ball games and watched the sand move through the hourglass, one grain at a time.

Suddenly it was my last T-ball game, then it was my last coach-pitch, fast pitch and Lord love us all, the very last time I ever had to hear a coach announce at 9:45 that it’s not too late to, and I quote, "Enjoy another inning!"

While my T-ball time has passed slowly, it did in fact pass, and for the first summer since 1993, the Clinches aren’t at the baseball fields knitting sweaters and watching our clothing go out of style.

Just the other day, little Charlie stuck a Pop Tart in the toaster and stood watch over it for what seemed to him to be an eternity.

"This has been the longest minute of my life," he said as he peered impatiently into the toaster.

"Obviously," I replied, "you’ve never been to a T-ball game."

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book "Are We There Yet?" You can reach her at www.loriclinch.com.