It’s Little League playoff season. The end is near. Thank God. For weeks now, we have rushed to the fields for 6:00 p.m. games, with our folding chairs, Gatorades, and surly siblings in tow. I love America’s pastime as much as the next Mom. But suffice it to say, we are all getting a little weary.

Nobody eats well on baseball nights. At the last game, one Mom and I had a serious discussion about whether mustard counts as a food group. Her kid had a granola bar for dinner that night, trumping the soft pretzel I served. Our kids were the lucky ones. I swear I overheard a conversation between two parents that went something like: “No, I thought you fed them.”

The “playoffs” are double elimination. Two losses and you’re done. Home free. Noah’s team fell early. Chase’s team has one loss – one more to go. And if you listen carefully at these games you can actually hear that little voice inside every parent’s head that is quietly pleading with the little league Gods to please let our kids lose. Of course these sentiments are never expressed out loud. Well, maybe they are. But only at a very low decibel level no louder than a sideways mutter to the Mom or Dad sitting directly next to you. You know there is a whole lotta mutterin’ going on.

But hey — here is one sentiment I may not share with others: I prefer to be on the losing team. Not just for playoffs — but all season long.

Why? Because it’s just tons more exciting to be part of a losing team. When your kid is on the team that always wins, the victories are less meaningful. But when the team hasn’t won all season, every game is a new opportunity to capture that single triumph. And when your kid strikes out a lot, every time he hits, your heart just soars. Even a walk or getting hit with the ball and taking the base is cause for celebration. I’d rather have the opportunity to come from behind than always be far ahead. And, frankly, losing teaches kids more. It’s a cake walk to be a gracious winner; but the kid who learns how to be a gracious loser trumps them all.

Sadly, Chase and White Sox won tonight so its back to the field tomorrow night. I think I’ll try Cheddar Chex Mix for dinner – for the dairy.

You know what they say. You can’t win ‘em all.

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