All-Star players and All-Star fans

By JASON PATTERSON,

Here’s a scene that paints a picture of a typical day in the life of my family:

Jamie and I are eating breakfast at the Waffle House in Brookhaven with our three kids before our daughter Elsie’s softball tournament.

Our oldest son James, 10, leaves the table to use the restroom. He’s gone for what seems like an unusually long time, but no one is worried. We’re enjoying our meal and talking about the upcoming game.

James returns to the table and he’s soaking wet. There is water all over his shirt.

No one says anything, and everyone continues eating.

Jamie and I aren’t asking questions for two reasons:

1. This kind of thing happens all the time with our kids. As long as there are no injuries there is no cause for concern.

2. We know that the story is forthcoming, and we want the unfiltered version.

James takes a couple of bites of his waffle and simply says, “Man, that sink went crazy.”

I gave him a nod that assured him that I understand that sinks can go crazy on you from time to time while I noticed Jamie trying to suppress a smile, and we finished our breakfast without any additional incidents.

Our family has enjoyed many adventures over the years, but last weekend was our first experience with the all-star softball tournament world. Our daughter loves the game, and we love watching her play. This was a whole new level for all of us.

The first thing we noticed is that most of the fans also stepped their game up to all-star level.

I was proud that I was able to locate a couple of chairs from my stash of camping supplies. Grabbing those chairs and making sure we had some cash for the concession stand was pretty much the extent of our preparation.

When we arrived at the fields in Monticello, we noticed that many people had their own tents. Those tents came in handy for hours spent in the hot sun. We even saw a couple of groups with generators they were using to run fans to keep them cool under their tents.

Fortunately for us, Yazoo fans had extra room under their tents, and they didn’t mind sharing.

Once the action began I discovered that 6 and 7-year-old softball tournaments are a lot more intense than I expected. Our girls came from behind to defeat Natchez 7-6 in the first game and almost gave me a heart attack.

On the second day Jamie and I found that we were just as poorly prepared for rain as we were for the sun. It poured on us during game two.

We got soaked, and of course we didn’t consider a midday wardrobe change when we packed our clothes. We actually had to buy some clothes for Jase on the last morning.

Everyone else seemed to have it together while we were winging it, but no one had any more fun than we did. We were proud to see our team representing Yazoo so well and earning the Sportsmanship Award.

The most important thing to us was that Elsie had fun. I can say for sure that she did because when we finally got home she wanted to practice in the backyard in the pouring rain.

She also fell asleep with her medals still around her neck and a smile on her face that suggested she was dreaming of the next game. I hope she’s still that excited when the next season rolls around.

I’m already working on improving my game as a spectator.