Mitt

by Marinka on April 7, 2013

When it is all over, you won’t believe what a big deal it was. By Sunday night it’ll just be a story that you tell your friends and other parents and blog about and it’s a blip, an anecdote, an “you-don’t-say?”

But on Sunday morning, when you tell your son that his baseball bag is way too heavy and could he maybe take one of the bats out or a ball because he complains about it being heavy and there’s no way you’re carrying it, he looks inside it and says “where is my mitt?” And you point out the mitt in the bag and he says, “that’s my first base mitt” and you remember that your husband got him that last year as you made a “I didn’t realize every base had its own mitt” comment that everyone ignored.

On Sunday morning, four hours before your son is going to pitch in his team’s first game of the season, he can’t find his mitt and with fear and trembling you both realize that he must have left it at practice the day before. At practice in a NYC park.

You send an email to all the team parents asking if anyone has picked it up. You hear your son on the phone with his coach, being reassured that the coach will email the coaches who had the field after your team yesterday and surely someone took it.

You watch your son sigh and throw his head back, sinking into the chair.

This is bad.

You know, of course, that mitts are important, but they have other ones, right? Your entire knowledge of baseball flashes before your eyes, although because it’s your knowledge of baseball, it’s more of a GIF than a film, although there are quite a few scenes devoted to Bull Durham– Kevin Costner.

Your son is despondent and as you offer sympathy- it will turn up, the mitt doesn’t make the player, the player makes the mitt or some such nonsense- he tells you that his losing a mitt is like if you lost one of your kids and had to start over with a new one. Although you appreciate the work that goes into breaking a glove, you get out of sympathy mode and into stern mode and tell him to never, ever compare losing a possession, even a beloved one, to a loss of a person. He doesn’t say anything but when he speaks of the glove again, he sticks to the facts: He lost it. He has had it for three years. He’s never made a fielding error with it. And now it’s gone.

You leave your kid with some friends watching another team’s game-in-progress and against all odds, you head back to the field where yesterday’s practice took place. The practice field is in Chinatown, just across town from the game, and it is nestled right behind the criminal courthouse. There is a large police presence and after you circle the field and find it mitt-less, you approach an officer.

Excuse me, you say, and then you say everything else. Your son. His mitt. He nods sympathetically, his cell phone idling by his thigh and nearly forgotten mid-call. “5th Precinct Lost and Found,” he says, shaking his head. He doesn’t envy you; your kid even less.

You sit down on the steps just outside the park and for the first time since you’ve been out of college, since you’ve had kids, since you heeded the Surgeon General’s warnings, you want a cigarette. Because you’ve come a long way, baby. All across town. And the 5th Precinct is a hike from where you are.

But you take a smokeless breath and steady yourself. You Google the precinct and call them. You go through all sorts of phone menu machinations and then you finally speak to an officer and ask him about the Lost and Found. Is it open today, it’s Sunday, you are aware. It’s open, he says, but what did you lose, ma’am, he asks, a cell phone? A wallet, he suggests. No, you tell him. Your son lost his mitt in Columbus Park. A mitt he’s had for three years and with which he hasn’t made any errors.

“Oh…” the police officer breathes. And there’s a respectful silence.

“We don’t have it, I’m really sorry,” he says and you realize that your kid’s lost mitt has an effect on a NYPD officer.

Later your kid will play, and it’ll be fine, even with a borrowed glove.

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 8.48.21 PM

But you’re pretty sure the day marked you.

One year ago ...

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen April 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Oh no. My condolences to Young Ladrinka. And you, of course.

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Tracey April 7, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Ouch. As the mother of a baseball playing son about the same age as Ladrinka, this hurts. Connor’s experience was leaving a bat at the practice field. Sigh. It must be a rite of passage for baseball players–a painful surge forward into responsibility. I hope the mitt turns up!!! (We have found mitts before and it has taken a bit to track down the owner, so don’t lose all hope yet.)

Tracey

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Roshni April 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

Mothers!! Sheesh! 😛

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Stacy @bklynstacy
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

Simply beautiful. And oh, so not a happy series of events. xo

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Gdot April 8, 2013 at 8:09 am

Wow that’s a mitt full….
You’d better handle this with kid gloves

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Lisa Rae @ smacksy April 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

You are a great mother. Beautiful writing. xo

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Kizz April 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

That is a very long way for a kid to go to help you to understand the importance of baseball.

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Athena April 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

You are a great mom to go through all of that to try and find the mitt.

As someone who has played in hundreds of leagues, even through college, I understand how difficult it is to play with a mitt that is not yours. While I’ve never lost one, I have, at times, left them in a vehicle of a parent that wasn’t making it to that evening’s away game. It’s difficult to play with a mitt that hasn’t already been molded to your hand perfectly with time.

Bats are tough, mitts, however, take far longer to get over. Hopefully someone has it, and is trying to figure out how to find it’s rightful owner. *hugs*

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Lil
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Aw man, should I be feeling this sad… on the verge of tears. Serious bummer. Hang tough, kid.

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Dana April 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Beautifully told.

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tracy@sellabitmum April 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Oh hon. I’m so sorry. Seriously, these kids..right to the heart. xo

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dusty earth mother April 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I was gnawing my nails through that whole story. I needed a mitt to protect them.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm

damn, i really thought you were going to find it. It was going to be an NYC miracle! You are a good mama to try to track that mitt down.

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Fragrant Liar April 9, 2013 at 12:45 am

Boys and glove love, and it all starts on a baseball field.

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 9, 2013 at 7:24 am

Shakespearian drama. You are a hero.

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Becky
Twitter:
April 9, 2013 at 8:13 am

When I read the title, I thought you were going to be going all “politico” on me. As a mom of two boys in little league, I was very relieved to see it was about baseball. But not relieved to hear about the missing glove. Bummer.

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Lady Jennie April 9, 2013 at 8:55 am

Oh shoot, I was hoping to hear that it was found.

You’re a good mama, even if you can’t fathom comparing one’s kids to one’s possessions.

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Kjirsten April 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm

You are a good mom. I will be hoping, hoping, hoping for that glove to find its way home.

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Leigh Ann @ Genie in a Blog
Twitter:
April 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

I can empathize. Long time softball player, and there’s nothing like a glove that has practically molded into your hand. Poignancy mixed with humor is my favorite thing to read. Also this: “Your entire knowledge of baseball flashes before your eyes, although because it’s your knowledge of baseball, it’s more of a GIF than a film” So funny.

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