When we got to the field, the sun was shining, it was a beautiful day and the smell of baseball was in the air.
Tying their cleats and grabbing their gloves and bats, Preston and Lauren Elizabeth were ready. They played together last year, so they were excited to get back on the field.
Their coaches seemed to be nice. There were two men and one woman who we later found out were a brother/sister team.
I had talked with the head coach a couple of times over the phone and communicated with him through e.mail and texts. He was impressively connected and it was nice to finally get to meet him and get the season started.
All went well. There were a lot of players on the team but Lauren Elizabeth and Preston actually seemed to be a little smaller than most. There was only one other little girl besides Lauren in the group of boys, but even she seemed a little older.
Later that night, the phone rang. Looking at caller ID, my husband shot a worried look at me.
"It's their coach. What if he's calling to say they're too small or something?"
Handing the phone to me (thanks honey) I nervously answered.
"Yes? Hi Coach!"
"Hi. What happened today?
I could hear a little agitation in his voice. My stomach grew a pit and I was surprised, being that this was T-ball.
"Well Coach, I um..."
He continued, "We talked before and I knew you were out of town for the first practice, but what happened today?"
The pit became larger. Was he actually going to kick our kids off of the team? Can you DO that in T-ball?!
I was speechless. I gave a look towards my husband and had no idea what to do. The kids had so much fun and it was going to break their hearts.
"Well, when I talked with your sister and..."
He interrupted. "My sister?"
"Yes, your sister. I know we didn't get a chance to talk with you, but when we talked with her..."
"What do you mean my sister?"
I suddenly became confused. "Your sister. At practice?"
There was a short pause on the phone. The coach now less annoyed questioned, "Where were you?"
"We were at practice. On field B at 12:00."
"Bea, we weren't ON field B. WHO did you practice with?"
A wave of relief and embarrassment rushed over me. He was upset thinking that we skipped practice, when in reality, we just went to the wrong one.
I smiled and said, "Don't worry. We got all their goods. We scouted them out really well and we'll be ready to take 'em this year."
Busting out, he finally laughed in disbelief. "WHO let you guys practice with them for an entire HOUR without realizing that your kids weren't on their TEAM?!"
It was a good question. "I don't know who they were but they took them right in as their own. They were awesome actually but I don't even know if Preston and Lauren were at the right level to tell you the truth. Even my husband kept saying there seemed to be a lot of kids on the team."
The coach laughed again, "I'll bet there were! I only wonder how many of them belonged there?"
The next day, we told Preston and Lauren that they were going to play with a whole new group of coaches and friends at their next practice. This confused them long enough for them to go back to their Legos and Frozen dolls.
I've learned now that we should never assume we're at the right place or the right practice. Next time around, we'll try to meet the coach first, just to make sure everything's in check.
In the end, I know one thing as far as this year goes. It sure is going to be embarrassing when we see that other team on the field.
Such is life. Play ball!
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