On Spring, Softball and Swamp Ass Season...

by Beth Williams:

March! Can you believe it? Where did January and February go? I’m lamenting that spring is a mere three weeks away, for it opens the dreaded season of Spring – or around my house, it’s called Swamp Ass Season. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that terrible condition where you sweat in the humid air and it has nowhere to travel except down. When people snicker at you at the post office and your kid asks you in front of those fifty people in line if you peed yourself – because you’re wearing green camouflage pants and swamp ass shows… oh, how it shows… I’m a little bitter at the beginning of spring because I want it to remain cool. I long for longer days and the blooms are so pretty but it means the heat is just around the corner. 
Yes, I’m babbling about the weather again. Didn’t I do that before? Spring brings about so much rebirth, and not just in the physical change of seasons. My Mom used to say, “The sap’s rising.” This meant that soon, we’d all end up in the Emergency Room because of sprained ankles, twisted knees, busted heads, and stitches to various body parts. Yes, we got out and played. Most of the time, we spent our springs at the ballpark while my sister played softball. I did not play softball. When I was assigned to a team, they created an extra outfield position just for me, so I could stand there in the sun for hours digging “I love Simon LeBon” in the dirt with my toe. I was quite good at it, thank you.
I didn’t last long out there, mind you. I was more interested in walking barefoot around the fields, picking up bottle caps, random pieces of glass and wood… mostly in my feet. (I spent a lot of time in the ER.)

My sister was/is the softball girl. She has played t-ball since she was five years old and up until about a year or so ago when she had, what we call, German Engineering put in her foot. She had to have major foot surgery and has had to sit out a few seasons. She spent most of her springs and falls crouched down behind home plate. 

This year, my daughter wanted to try softball. So far, she’s having a great time, but it’s hard. And I say it’s hard because I see my 7-year-old loving it, and I see her writing her name in the dirt with her toe. I’m seeing her popped in the face with softballs. Part of me cringes because I want her to enjoy this. I hated playing it. She also just looks so small compared to the other girls on her team. They’re all so confident – they’ve had a few more years practice than she has. I try to tell myself she’ll learn, but still... she’s my baby girl and I suppose I’m having a hard time letting her just be herself. I’m nervous the other kids will make fun of her… as they did me… But… she’s not me. And she has to learn how to be herself and take instructions from other people. She has to make friends and enemies and have fun and exert herself and gods forbid, let the sap rise. I suppose I’ll start saving up copays, just in case.

Has anyone else had a difficult time watching kids try new things and see them struggle?


  1. I love spring! Mind you, I'm a warm weather kind of girl. Give me long, hot summer days where I can sit outside and sip on an iced cocktail and read a good book, watch the hubby BBQ up our dinner and see the kids mess about in the garden. Yup, spring is perfect for that. Yet something tells me North Carolina summers are going to be long and hot, too hot. We moved her toward the end of last summer. The day we moved it, our air con bust. And it was a heat wave! Oh, so not good. 110f + Talk about sweaty!

    As for watching kids have difficult time with things, I think any good parent would feel that way.
    My daughter took ballet classes when we lived in Oz. She loved it, but she really wasn't as, well, co-ordinated as the other girls. Did she care? Heck no! It hurt me more than it did her. hehe

  2. Hey JoAnne!
    Spring IS perfect for that kind of weather, I agree. I love bbq's and hanging out. One of my favorite places to write is at my patio table.

    Not sure of where you are in NC, but I was in Western NC for a few years and spring and summer were hot, but I don't remember them being too terribly painful! Perhaps you'll get lucky? lol

    And girl took ballet when she was younger too.. it was the same thing. She loved it! She had so much fun and danced with wild abandon, even if it wasn't to the music or what her teacher wanted her to do. Kids are so awesome that way. :D

    Thanks for replying!

  3. I am probably going to learn about swamp ass when we move. But at some point heat is the same, humid or not. I'm used to 110 to 116 (sometimes 121) for 6 to 8 months out of the year at an elevation of almost 5,000. Once you hit a certain degree, hot is just hot. And walk in freezers should be in every home. ;)
    As to kiddos and such, with the oldest it's hard because he Doesn't want to get involved. He's not a sports kinda kid, period. I was very active as a kid. Volleyball, soccer, ballet, basketball, tennis, cheerleading... I did it all and stuck to several of them for many many years. The only thing he does like to do is swim, but more in the fun way, less in the organized way. Who knows what I'm going to deal with when the other two grow up more.

  4. I don't know which is worse - the horrible winters we get full of snow up to our eyeballs or the "swamp ass" weather you get. ;)

    I think your daughter is going be a fine softball player! ;D


  5. PS - I was the same as your oldest when I was growing up. I would have rather stayed inside or hanging out with my friends. Sports/activities just weren't my thing. I think I turned out ok.. :snicker:
    And yeah,I'm not sure I could function at 112 degrees, humid or not. Our summers are pretty gross as it is.

    JoJo, wouldn't it be nice to have a happy medium of some snow, some hot? I think I was designed to live somewhere in the middle of all the ick, cold or hot. lol
    And thanks, I think she's going to be great ball player myself... but I could be biased ;)

    Thanks for responding!


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