Friday, December 19, 2008


Soooooooooooo. When you are dealing with cancer, you get to direct your anger in a lot of directions that you might otherwise rationally tolerate or problem solve. Today had the makings of a long day from the go. The kids had their school program and then we had to go to clinic for Lily's bloodwork and dressing change, then Phillip had baseball which was followed by the parent meeting to discuss the coaches expectations of players and parents. So the memo I get is addressed to "Dirtbag" parents. The rumor was that the coach wanted to call the team the Dirtbags. Well Phil switched his schedule around so that we could go see the program-so he wouldn't be able to make the parent meeting. He did make it to the program with Bella. Lily was refusing to take her meds so I missed out. It happens. I miss our rendezvous at school as well. Phil hangs with the kids and agrees to drop them at the hospital on his way into work. I make my way in to clinic with Lily and she is munchin doritos and requesting doughnuts. Her counts are dropping and she is not neutopenic, yet. We expect her to hit bottom Mondayish. But her neutrophil count went from 6000 to 1100 in 2 days- so we are well on our way there. She will still get the GJ tube, but the parts are on order and we will have to wait for her counts to get back up. We will have to wait to do the next cycle of chemo until she heals from the tube placement which should only be a couple of days.

SOooooooo. I make it to baseball for the meeting. The meeting is delayed because half the parents are not there- remember we are on Hawaii time. Only one or two parents actually show up after that, and I should say moms- not a dad in the bunch. Dads coach, moms organize potluck and fundraisers and transport rugrats. Moms are welcome to "help" on the field though. SO the meeting gets under way. The kids are expected to make it to all practices unless there is a death in the family or a parent is deployed. What about if their sister is in chemo? I ask. I think it's relative as I sit there with said cancer patient on my lap, who is still in nothing but her robe. One of the siblings from last year looked at her when we got there and remarked" she got her hair cut- it looks funny." Well there you have it. Coach says " well does HE have to be there for it?" and there you have THAT. Like I said before- if Phillip didn't LOVE baseball- I wouldn't put up with this. BUUUUUUUUUUUT since we are across the railroad tracks on an ISLAND, we don't have a lot of options. It's Pony or Little League and I hear the problems are worse in little league. Last year Phillip missed half of the season due to his pancreatic trauma- they invited him to play in the post season saying they could really use him and then sat him on the bench for 4 out of 5 innings. I won't get into the politics of it now, let's just say I was not pleased. It wasn't because he was the weakest player- he was still in the top 5. Like I said, politics.

We continue on the meeting- you miss one practice you are out half a game. 2 or more practices- you don't play. Practice 5 days a week, 2 hours. We're preparing them for high school, we have to get them ready. Exsqueeze me bakin pooder? They are 9 and 10 year olds. I would like to get through the year- can we talk high school in say....3 or 4 years? We definitely won't be the Yankees again- coach is tired of the yankees. Well what would you like to call them-you aren't seriously considering Dirtbags? Yes. No, you can't be serious? There's a team...yeah yeah yeah..rags to riches team in Long Beach short on talent but worked hard- nicknamed you know what it means? NO. Really- it's kinda like a step above the N word. You do not want parents standing on the sidelines yelling "Go Dirtbags". You are not going to put it on the Jerseys...seriously? Yes. It's the name I've chosen, if you don't like it, your son does not have to be on my team. Really? Yes. Seriously? yes. Allright- Phillip get your stuff we're going home.

I realize this has little to do with Lily, yet everything to do with it. Children are precious. They are not dirtbags. Team names should confer strength, unity, teamwork. Not a drugged up incestuous redneck who hasn't bathed since the 80's. So I promise Phillip I will find him a team to play on, because let's face it- I just shot the kid's puppy right in front of him. And he understands- at least that's what I keep telling myself as I hug him every 5 minutes and tell him I am so sorry- but I will not allow him to be treated that way. We talked, he looked up the definition of dirtbag in the dictionary and groans. Is there anything positive or teamworthy or cool in any of the definitions? No. He understands why, but he's 9- he just wants to fit in- in a place where his looks already set him apart from the locals. I guess my dramatic exit produced results- the team name is now "shockers". The kids picked it. Better. But is this the kinda team I want my son on when I can't be there to watch over him? As much as I don't want to break his heart- I can't let THEM break his spirit.


  1. Good call -- can't believe that coach and wanting to call the team "dirtbags"! Glad you stuck to your guns on that one and walked out. Had to laugh, though, at the new name the team came up with. That coach sounds like a piece of work.

  2. AMEN SISTER! I know he probably hates it now, but this will be a story he will be telling in adulthood about how his mother stood up for him.

  3. I think dirtbag (singular) has merit. It makes a pretty good coach nickname. For the kids .......not so much.
    What can we do to make it up to Phil. Maybe he needs some Phillies stuff..... gotta like the name.

    Love ya

  4. Jen - Way to go. The coach is abusing his authority with you, the team and probably everyone else. You don't need people like hime in your life right now, or ever for that matter. Now, everything happens for a reason, which we may never know the reason for many things. But I am certain a great team will be there for Phillip. Maybe it will find you. Hang tough. Love - Mom


Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)