Last Sunday, Young Ladrinka’s Little League team lost a grueling Championship game, throwing them out of the tournament. And unfortunately, Young Ladrinka got the last out of the game.
Now usually he is very stoic about losses and sort of doesn’t understand why some other players cry at the end, but he definitely knew why on Sunday. And as a mom, I knew that the disappointment he was feeling was normal and that it would be weird if he said “ah, a loss! All part of life, let’s keep calm and carry on” but it hurt to see him so upset. It’s almost like this parenting thing isn’t simple.
As were walking home and I reminded him of an earlier game that his team won. “Remember yesterday’s game that you won? How do you think the guy who got the out on the losing team felt?” And he looked at me and said “he felt awful, mom. Just like I feel now.” And then I asked him if there was anything that I could do to make him feel better and he said that if I stopped talking to him it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
When we got home, he took a shower and changed and took to his bed with a sigh and an announcement “I guess I’ll just have to live as a failure now,” and for a moment I thought he’d ask me to order him a cross-stitch pattern with Woe is Me on it so he could have something to work on, but he just stayed in his room for a few hours, and when he came out he felt better.
His dad took him to see the Mets beat the Phillies on Tuesday night and then last night, on Fourth of July, as we were walking over from dinner to Chelsea to see the fireworks, Young Ladrinka spotted someone he recognized.
“Hey, you look like Shane Victorino!” he said and the man turned around and one of the men Shane was with, Jimmy Rollins, said “that is Shane.” And then my friend Susan yelled, “hey, Shane!” And he turned around and she snapped a picture of Shane with Young Ladrinka.
It made his night. Young Ladrinka’s, I mean. He told Shane that he was a Mets fan and Shane took the news well, and then Young Ladrinka
told either Juan Pierre or Jimmy Rollins “wow, you’re the fastest runner in the MLB” but reassured Shane that he meant “no offense.”
He was beaming all night that he got to meet rweal-live MLB players and that they were so cool to him. And he told me that on Tuesday’s game, Shane Victorino got the last out.
“Just like you!” I told him, hoping that he’d beam at the comparison.
“Not even close,” Young Ladrinka told me. “Shane got the last out in a regular game. I got the last out in the Championship game.”
That Shane. He doesn’t know how easy he has it.