Ghostwriter for The Life of the Baseball Wife
Last night, the final night of the all star break, I walked into the bedroom of our in season apartment. On my phone I saw I missed a call from one of my best friends in this world. When I listened to her message it said,
“Hey Cassidy. I’m not sure if you’re at home, in your apartment or if you guys went away for the all star break and you’re not back yet. Heck, maybe you’ve headed on a road trip! Just wanted to catch up and see how things are going!”.
I laughed out loud and turned to Ray, “I love Jackie! She is so awesome”. I relayed her message to him.
“Only another baseball wife could ever leave that message and sound sincere!” he said.
And you know what, I knew he was right!
I first met Jackie about 7 years ago. It was the first year of Sheridan’s life. After all it had taken for us to get her here on earth, including her time in the NICU, I was a bit overprotective.
Ray had started the year in AAA. That worked out for me. I was breast feeding Miss Sheridan. I was co sleeping with her and loved spending every second with her. I didn’t want to miss a thing! Ray and I hadn’t even gone out to eat alone since she had come along.
Then Ray was called up. We were so excited for this!
Ray’s first day I had to find my way to the family room. There I was told I needed a family I.D. or else I wouldn’t be able to go downstairs to the family room. In the past this wasn’t a big deal as I would just wait for Ray in the hallway. Now I had a baby and so access to the room with the toys and the babysitters was paramount. This is what I was told.
The first month I’d go to the Family Room and drop off our stroller. We lived close enough to walk to the stadium and so I would let Ray drive early then enjoy the exercise and outdoor air as Sheridan and I would make our way to the field.
After dropping the stroller I’d grab my necessities for Sheridan and myself and head upstairs.
At least once a night someone would say, “Hey, you know they take babies downstairs!”.
I knew these women were trying to be helpful. I also knew they didn’t get it.
At the beginning of September we decided to have a “wives night” at the resturant at the stadium. We chose the time and venue so everyone could have babysitting. No kids allowed. This was a fun time for the moms and other wives to get out and enjoy each other’s company.
Well I was planning to go to dinner. I really was.
Ray and I had talked about this for days. He had even helped me “practice” leaving Sheridan. I would give her to him at the apartment, go over what she needed, when to call, etc. Then I would kiss her and walk out the apartment door and down to the pool area. I could do this!
Well then the night came.
The family room was pretty busy. Everyone was handing off their kids and giving instructions. I hung back.
As most everyone left I said, “I’ll be right up!”.
“We’ll be waiting for you!” the girls called out as they left.
I sat and held Sheridan. I cried. The babysitters were great. They were trying to help out by taking her and holding her and going over everything with me again and again.
When I finally stood up and started to the door I noticed one wife had waited for me. Her son was almost 2 and she left him there each night.
“I was just like this the first time I left Sean” she said.
“We can wait as long as you need. I’ll walk up with you when you’re ready”.
I can not explain how my heart filled with gratitude at that moment. I knew this wife, but not that well. She was also nice and smiling and offering kindness. It was her nature. But the fact she was willing to wait and to awknowledge what I was going through meant something to me I couldn’t explain.
“I’m ready!” I said.
Then, halfway down the hall, I stopped.
“Do you want to go back?” she asked.
“Yes” I answered a bit embarrassed.
“Then let’s go!” and she took my arm and turned around.
I think the babysitters were expecting me. They smiled and handed me a content little girl.
“Hey, I have an idea, why don’t we go up and order and then you can bring your food down here? Or tell me what you want and I’ll call you when the food gets to the table? That way it won’t take you away from this princess for too long!”.
Again, that kindness and understanding.
“I’ll go and order and bring my food back - is that ok?” I asked the babysitters.
“Of course Cassidy. If you decided to stay , that’s fine too!” they answered.
Off we went.
If I remember correctly I ended up packing my food up and heading back down, with my new friend.
That phone call last night, was from Jackie.
I’ve met many girls through out the years. Some have become good friends in the season we are in. Some I’ve kept in touch with here and there. Jackie, however, has become that friend that I dreamed of finding in Ray’s business.
In the past seven years our husbands have not played on the same team. The career paths of our husbands have been drastically different with her husband becoming a cornerstone piece in the big leagues and Ray being that 26th man his entire career. Yet through it all, we’ve turned to one another with our struggles, our celebrations and just on a day when only another woman in our situation could really say, “Ugh! I get it!”
I feel blessed to have Jackie in my life. A friend that this crazy life brought to me to bring me peace in the eye of the storm! To bring me perspective when mine is lost. To lend an ear and an open heart when I feel I am alone.
Women like Jackie are the greatest blessing that baseball has given me. To be surrounded by such incredible women, each makes me better!
Thanks for being incredible!
Thanks for reading!