What a Boy’s Love of Baseball Taught His Sports-Averse Mother

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About Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge is a writer and mother living in the Midwest, where she tries to balance the writing life with single parenthood. She finds joy in singing off-beat and dancing off-key. She has been published previously at The Feminist Wire, Airplane Reading, and Brain, Child magazine's Brain, Mother blog.


  1. LOVE this. My sons taught me how to play hockey in much the same way. I too, am now good enough to play with adults but I’m still no superstar (and I don’t care). I cherish being a boy mom and wouldn’t want it any other way. I really feel like most moms are missing out when they don’t at least try to embrace “boy things.” We adults make too many things into “boy” or “girl” activities. Or we say we can’t do them unless we’re good at them.

  2. Lara Lillibridge says:

    Life seems to work out better for everyone if you are willing to meet your kids where they are, instead of trying to put them in your own box. They are too wiggly to stay in my box anyway!

  3. It’s funny that, having been raised with 3 brothers, I was totally expecting the thing you were dreading. I was ready to be a “baseball mom” and to watch football. Instead my middle child, the only boy, loves butterflies and fairies and fashion design. I think the Universe likes to keep us Moms on our toes. ;)

  4. If you’re having daily catches with your sons , bravo! Just remember to use proper form! Always step toward where you want to throw with your ‘off side’ leg (if you’re right handed this would be the left leg) and point with your off side elbow. Also , bring your throwing arm to an ‘L’ position behind you, with your shoulder to elbow part parallel to the ground (in other words, DON’T THROW LIKE A GIRL!) That was the ultimate ‘put down’ on the girls teams I coached! Seriously, 8 to 10 years old is the best time to teach mechanics. There strong enough to reach on a little league field (60 ‘ bases), but new enough to the game to have practically NO bad habits yet. The most important thing, even if they grow dissatisfied after a while , or they progress to the point where you can’t keep up, you have forged a bond with them that will last forever.

    • Lara Lillibridge says:

      Thanks for the tips, although I don’t think I have enough coordination to remember all that or execute it! Still, trying to learn the proper technique does teach our kids something valuable; that grown ups struggle, too, that many things that look effortless get that way through a lot of practice. Thanks!

      • Look, don’t fret about the form. When parents do the best they can, kids have a way of appreciating that and THAT’S what forms the bond I was talking about! A true story, when my son turned 9 the commissioner of the little league asked if I would take a team (up to that point I had assisted his coaches, mainly because I was coaching my Daughters travel team) Not really knowing anyone in the baseball dept of the program, no one stepped forward to assist me. I asked one of the moms to help out and coach(she was very active in fund raising and just the kind of mom who was totally involved with her boys) Well, we came in first, but more important, ALL the kids had a good time. So, today’s lesson is; NEVER sell yourself short (especially because of your gender!)

  5. I really like this piece alot! I like the influence he has had on you and brought back a former joy for you.
    Btw, my son also is crazed for baseball stats. He stares at MLB.com when the game is on and would be happy to tell me every pitch. He drives me nuts thought I love baseball and helped him get into it. So, I do enjoy seeing him so passionate.

    • Lara Lillibridge says:

      I have used stats to get him to calculate averages and graph them, slipping in a little math to the fandom, and we watched the movie, The Perfect Game, which taught a lot about poverty and being from a different culture. I think part of what we love about sports is the story of the underdog emerging victorious, and the way our hearts soar when our team wins. Any passion can be used to teach, and then they don’t even mind learning. It’s fair to say that I am seeing a lot of benefits to baseball.

  6. Go for it mom!You da man!

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