When my nephew, who plays on Sloan’s t-ball team, was asked what his favorite part of opening weekend was, he didn’t hesitate.
And I don’t blame him. With this t-ball season marking Sloan’s first foray into organized sports, I have found myself increasingly nostalgic as I reminisce over some of my initial youth teams. As the memories danced through my head, I kept going back to the end-of-game treat. I thought a lot about the anticipation (Nutri-Grain bar or Fruit by the Foot? Sunny Delight or Squeeze-It?), the way the snack tasted in the open air, and also the level of responsibility that I felt when it was my turn to provide the snacks.
Let’s face it, the emphasis on snacks isn’t shared by just my nephew and the younger version of myself. Millions of young children most likely allow their parents to drag them out to ball fields and courts simply for the treat that awaits after the game.
With the hearts of so many kids fixated on what goodies will surface on the team bench after the game, it puts a lot of pressure on us parents to deliver something they will like. In an attempt to not let that pressure fester throughout the season, Sidney and I chose the second game of the season for snack duty. We went with what we thought was a solid choice: Goldfish pouches and Capri Suns. It was a thrill for me to pass them out after the game as Sloan and her teammates seemed to appreciate them.
But since then we have been upstaged. My sister followed with snack duty for the third game. She packaged fruit snacks, a granola bar, and a Capri Sun in sleek multi-colored patterned paper bags. The presentation was impressive and the bags were easy to pass out as she bypassed the dilemma of reaching into a snack box and a drink box to serve a swarm of kids.
However, my sister’s status as “Snack Queen” didn’t last long. Earlier this week, one of Sloan’s teammates passed out baseball-themed mini boxes filled with crackers, a pack of cookies, a drink, and a baseball keychain. It was the t-ball equivalent of a Happy Meal and it blew us out of the water.
At this rate, what can Sloan expect after tonight’s game? A catered meal from Ruth’s Chris? So much for orange slices and a Hi-C juice box.
Although post game snacks might be getting a little bougee, the same excitement still exists for a kid who spent the better part of two hours chasing butterflies in an overgrown ball field. After all, they are just there for the treats. Don’t Blink.