Sometimes laughter is best medicine

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 22, 2015

When the bases are loaded, the winning run is on base and your son is paying more attention to the butterfly in the outfield than the ball headed his direction, what can you do?

Create a comedy club, of course.

As the 2015 T-ball season comes to a close, parents have become more and more creative in their reactions to the random, and humorous, action on the baseball field.

Email newsletter signup

T-ball games are notorious for their unpredictability. It is not uncommon to see many players playing with dirt, throwing grass, chasing grasshoppers and doing nearly everything but pay attention to the game. At any moment, a player could leave his position to have a conversation with a fellow player or even a  parent standing next to the outfield fence.

That is why the game is more frustrating for the parents than it is for the young players on the field.

As much as the boys and girls are learning the basics on the baseball diamond, the hardest lessons are being learned on the sidelines.

Parents are learning to let go and learning that their sons and daughters are forming interests and opinions of their own.

Sitting in the stands is hard when you have been by your child’s side guiding him in the right directions and making decisions for him.

When your child is just inches away from tagging a player out and, oblivious to the opportunity, turns to overthrow the ball to a base the runner has already reached, there is little you can do, except laugh.

I have been there many times this season. Laughter makes the losses sting less and the wins so much better.

Of course, there is a small contingent of parents who choose not to laugh and instead yell. Those parents soon find out that yelling serves to raise their blood pressure more than it changes their children’s behavior.

Thankfully, the sidelines have sounded more like a comedy zone this year.

Parents have turned to humor to cope with the unpredictability of the game and the arbitrary action of the players.

As the season progressed, parents started getting imaginative with their comments, realizing the futility of their pleas from the stands.

“Stop being a bulldozer,” one grandparent said to their grandchild pushing dirt in the infield.

“Stop spelling your name in the dirt and pay attention,” one mother called out to left field.

The comment drew a few laughs from other parents. At one point in the same game, it sounded as if the parents were trying to one-up each other with creative comments to their children.

“Don’t be a dirt dauber,” a dad yelled to his son throwing up handfuls of dirt into the air.

The best comment of the night, and the one that drew the biggest reaction from the stands, came from a mother who stood up with her hands in the air after the ball rolled past her son who was sitting on the edge of the outfield scooping up small piles of dirt.

“I will buy you a mound of dirt if you just stand up and catch the ball,” she said.

I can’t remember if her comment registered with the young T-baller, but it sure made the crowd laugh.

When your team is down 20-7, laughing is the best you can do.

Ben Hillyer is the design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by email at