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When Dad's Not Around For Little League

Last week, I called to inquire about the T-ball program in our town and that’s when I almost threw my cell phone through the wall.

I learned the fee for T-ball and the team shirt was $50. No, that’s not why I was ticked. I also learned the volunteer donation fee was $50. Still not really annoyed. I realize youth programs take time and money to run. But, I did question this volunteer donation fee. “So, how does that work?” I asked. “Well, we like the Dads to come out and volunteer.”

Wanted to throw cell phone through wall.

1. JD’s dad lives in Indiana and they’ve never met.

2. This was a sexist comment.

“Well-I’m-a-single-mom-and-the-father-is-not-involved-so-I’ll-volunteer. What-do-I-have-to-do?” I rattled off. 

Pause on the other end.

“Oh, well, what I meant is, anyone can volunteer and represent the child. Maybe an Uncle or neighbor,” she said.

Awesome, Uncle Brian played shortstop. His current roommate was also on his Little League team. My Dad was the coach (given). We are Yankee fans. There is no shortage of men to help out—but I can handle this.

Yes, I’m a woman. I work for magazines. I write about parenting, sex and style fashion photo shoots. But I also know how to play catch, kick a ball and kill a bug. Just last night I ran around the courtyard playing superhero tag and dodge ball with JD.

We don’t need his dad to volunteer (even though he’s quite the volunteer in Indiana). Mom’s got this. And Poppy and the Uncles will undoubtedly be cheering both of us on.

See single mom play ball. I might even buy cleats. I do love shoes.

So, on Saturday I took JD to the location to sign up. It happened to be a sporting goods store. After we paid $100, I asked what we needed. “A bat? Cleats? Glove?” I was told Cleats aren’t mandatory (he’s getting them), but that he definitely needs a glove. “OK, where are the gloves?” I asked. “Mooom, I want Uncle Bri to pick my glove out,” JD said. I wanted to be an icy feminist or turn this into a teaching moment.


“You got it,” I said to JD. “Wanna go get an ice cream, then hit the park?”

“Yes! With sprinkles!” he cheered.


I turned to the salesman: "He’ll be back with Uncle Bri."

Little boys need men in their lives. I get it. So does JD.

Moms, do you coach or volunteer on your child’s sports team? 

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