Thursday, February 9, 2012

To a T

I signed Sophie up for t-ball today. Its a league run through the county rec center, games start in April. When a friend from my moms' group first forwarded an email about it, I honestly didn't even really consider it.

Up until now, all of Sophie's activities have been uni-sex. Swim, tumbling, crafts, nature center; there was no question of their interest and appropriateness for both boys and girls. But we're getting to the age where I would like to get Sophie involved in team sports. She's a very physical, active kid and we think that organized sports will be a good outlet for her.

Despite that, when the idea was floated of t-ball, I almost dismissed it without a second thought. Unconsciously, I had separated it out into a "boy" activity. But I saved the email. And as other friends responded to the thread either affirming that they wanted to register their children or that they weren't interested, the idea germinated in my mind.

Sophie is very good at hitting a ball with a bat. She can reliably hit a pitched ball and can hit the stuffing out of a ball on a stand. We played baseball in the back yard with the neighbor boys for two summers, hitting and catching and running bases. And she loved it.

When I was just a little older than Sophie is now, I wanted to play in Little League. I think I was a lot like Sophie when I was a child, exuberantly athletic. At that time, in my small town, Little League was the only team sport available for kids my age. But it was only for boys, so I couldn't play. With the abundance of team sports available for both sexes now, it seems insane that just 30 years ago, things were so different, but they were.

I think of myself as a fairly progressive parent. While I do think there are areas where one or the other sex is stronger, I don't necessarily think that means that children of the opposite sex are barred from that activity. Which is why it surprises me that I dismissed t-ball at first. I'm a modern mama. But some things are rooted deep and perhaps that early experience with baseball tainted my views today.

But the more I thought about it, the more right it seemed. So I signed her up. She will likely be in the minority, but I know there will be at least a few other girls. But even if she is the only one, I know she is going to be an all star.


  1. T-ball is pretty big with the girls, too. She will likely have plenty of boys and girls in her team. Hope she likes it!

  2. The fact that Sophie can already make contact with the ball is HUGE! She's going to love it. I will warn you though that sometimes watching t-ball is cute and sometimes it is painful. Play ball!!

  3. When I was seven and eight, I played Little League. I was the only girl in the league. That was back in the first-wave feminist Free To Be You and Me era, when girls could do anything boys could do.

    I feel like we actually do MORE to separate the genders nowadays than back then. Which reminds me -- I still need to sign that permission slip from the school so my son can play netball (typically, a girls' sport in New Zealand).

  4. I think that's great! How is it going? Just last week, a friend of mine with two boys and then a toddler girl said she already does the "boy things" with her sons and hopes her daughter will want to do the "girl things" so she can get that daughter experience, so to speak. I can see where she's coming from, but some of us told her that if her daughter asked to take basketball, for example, we were sure she would sign her up!


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