T-Ball fun and peg-children

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

One of the highlights of my day last Saturday was the opportunity to watch children act like children. In Brantley, T-Ball players in bright colored jerseys rolled on the ground chasing a ball, ran towards third instead of first after getting a hit, and climbed fences in the dugout.

Watching a group of tiny-bodied Royals and Athletics tumble over one another, I thought. "what a mess of trouble."

A few seconds later, I thought, "what a mess of fun."

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Being the coach of a T-Ball team must be like trying to corral a tipped-over jar of marbles.

Once you get one child settled and behaving, then comes another. Jimmy's kicking up dirt. Sally's slapping all the boys. Andy's making faces at the other team. You can't control them on the field. At least not until the game starts, when there's at least some sort of organized play going on that catches their attention. But before play begins it's a free-for-all. House rules do not apply. Momma and Daddy blend in with all the other adults. Those adults also have children and those children may number between one, two, three, or more.

I think this is the point when they figure out they outnumber us. In the back of their minds they probably know they're going to 'get it when they get home,' but presently that urge to run, jump, hit, kick, climb, break and fall, just takes precedence.

And we really wouldn't have it any other way. If for no other reason than to remind them for the rest of their lives how much we suffered at their hands. Ha, ha.

While children go through life loving their parents, they also possess that innate vice called irresponsibility. Money. It's provided. Shelter. It's provided. Food. It's provided. Who's depending on them? No one really. Not until they leave home, find a husband or wife and have kids of their own. Then there's that 'A-Ha!' moment when the light comes on and they finally realize why their parents did what they did and who they did it for.

When I was younger, we used to play the game of Life. I'm sure you're familiar with this board game. You start out with a car and a blue or pink peg depending on your sex, which represents yourself driving that car. Everything's random and done by the spin of a wheel. At the path's start you may become a doctor, lawyer, or English sheep farmer (Of the latter, there's no such occupation in the game; I just couldn't' think of any others.) You may get married or may not.

Married pegs have the most fun by the way, but watch out for that sudden population explosion. I once had a car overflowing with blue and pink peg-children and was forced to stack them between the rest of the family. You can only imagine what kind of abuse they took.

Along the way you climb mountains, gain money, lose money, have kids, get fired, get hired, wreck the car and pay taxes. At the end of the game you can cash out or roll the dice and hopefully retire as a millionaire.

If you play Life after reading this column, take my advice: roll the dice and go for the big score. Remember, it's only a game.

After the winner is decided, box up the board, the cars, and the peg-wives and peg-husbands. Kiss your kids' smiling faces and know full well that before the week is through someone's going to run, jump, hit, kick, climb, break or fall.

And be thankful you just didn't kiss a blue or pink peg.

Real life is much more interesting and enjoyable than a game.

Kevin Pearcey is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at kevin.pearcey@ luvernejournal.com