There comes a time in a sports mom’s life when she realizes how much she misses going to practices, games, finding gloves and doing the dreaded stinky dirty laundry. I will never again complain about getting white baseball pants clean.

Sports have been a major part of my life since I started coaching at the “I know everything” age of 16, and then going in a million different directions for my kids’ sports.

Diane Klaus

My favorite oldest son played soccer and football, which, in turn, made my favorite youngest son want to play sports since he was 4. We started in soccer and eventually moved to football and baseball. There was a summer he had a soccer, flag football and baseball games all on a Saturday, along with his older brother’s games.

I never missed a game of either boy if I could help it. I remember being happy to go to work, so I could relax from an exhausting weekend of sports. However, once Friday came around, I was furiously trying to scrub the seven layers of red clay from white baseball pants I had left soaking in whatever a fellow Mom had suggested that week.

I never found the true secret to getting them white other than buying a new pair of pants, until we found out you can power wash the dirt away.

I recently went to a Little League baseball game and watched my friend’s kids play a sport I have learned to love. I was also there to see my son and a friend he has played ball with since they were little volunteer as umpires.

My heart was full of excitement, joy and sadness as I helped in the dugout with an excited, playful group of young athletes. These young kids made me smile, as I was asked multiple times, “Is it my turn to bat yet?”

There was excitement in seeing my kid on the field with one of his baseball buddies, even though it was in a different capacity. Sadness because the time went by way too fast, and watching my boys play any competitive sport was what we did as a family.

Now family time is much different with the kids grown; it’s just not the same. I had the joy of watching other kids learn to love a game that means so much to my family.

My favorite youngest son now plays baseball in college, and I know it is a huge accomplishment. It doesn’t make it any easier for this mom to know he is growing up.

He played games I was not able to go attend. I still miss the days of the “Do you have your hat, glove and your water?” act. Truth be told, I still ask him over the phone, and get the usual, “YES MOM.” I am pretty sure he still rolls his eyes at me. There was a time I would have to buy extra hats, because they would mysteriously disappear.

I commented on a friend’s Facebook post about missing all the craziness. Games that feel like they are going to last forever, coming home sunburned — even though you used a bottle of sunblock — and still needing to make a healthy dinner. I received the best comment back, stating that hopefully they will be watching their kids playing ball in college, too. I almost cried.

I needed to hear that from a fellow sports mom. If I have any advice for a family who is running crazy getting the kids to practice, the games, washing the uniforms at midnight because they left their uniform in the other car and the parent meetings, it’s this: Remember, it does not last forever, and you will miss it. Play ball!

Diane Klaus, who grew up and lives in Valencia County, began working at the VCNB in 2018. She is able to assist you in placing classified and legal ads, and can help you subscribe to the News-Bulletin.