Thursday Reflection May 3, 2018
Last weekend, I escaped upstate for a day and experienced life “in the far northern burbs” as a grandpa and observer of everyday USA reality. Can’t say it totally left me with a “warm fuzzy” feeling. So for many of these observations, I end up questioning now how you do it, but rather, why?
So let me just take one slice: a two hour immersion into cultural insanity yet cuteness known as my grandson’s first 9 – 10 yr. old little league game. Now I am NOT going to be one of those nasty caricature parent-fanatics who seem to need to live through the success of their progeny. OK, so my grandson tried to score from second on a four time kicked ground ball, and was out at the plate by a mere 45 feet. The umpire could have gotten that call wrong, but I’m not going to loudly comment at a volunteer high school kid – unlike some folks I overheard!
I do have a few other unsettling observations. Will someone explain to me where the “fun” of the game is to be found when the mom of one little guy, (trying to) pitch, who would pace back and forth in front of the bleachers like a caged lion grumbling: “…can’t enjoy myself whenever he pitches!” Silly me, I thought this was about little kids enjoying themselves and learning the game. Didn’t know that one’s own self esteem must be forever tied to little kids doing as little kids do: imperfectly and silly even when trying!
Will someone explain how you can enjoy a game when you’re on your cell phone for all but 4 minutes and 37 seconds of a two hour game – calling this associate, speaking to that underling (?), making changes, and apparently orally “rewriting” several key pieces of legislation that surely will impact western civilization as we know it? Sorry, you missed your son’s at bat – again! By the by, without even trying I now know more about this person’s work and personal life than I really need or want to. No one has to steal his privacy; he tossed it away!
Will someone explain the logic in signing up your various children to so many sporting and non-athletic activities per day that they are forever trapped in the cycle of car here unto car there – missing this practice to attend this activity – and not seeing that you cannot do everything – no one can. One cannot be in two separate places at the same time. One sometimes must make choices in terms of what one can or cannot do. Shouldn’t we be teaching our kids this?
Will someone explain why one mother, bringing her son to the game, has to be glared down and publically lied to by the child’s father (and latest girlfriend du jour) because he is avoiding child support, and he seems to need to have all the world know (and loudly) that “I’M the victim here”!
Or we can reflect upon why the need to stand in front up of everyone so that one can see better, block everyone else’s view (and give out more personal directives to one’s particular offspring – so that the little kid might be totally confused between what his coach is telling him and what dad/mom is telling him. (I also really loved this one guy who delegated his daughter and sent an older daughter to shout instructions at her diminutive sibling – seriously)?
Yeah, this was quite an afternoon for observations. So will someone explain to me where the “fun” of all this can be found? Is there anyone out there who agrees that we as a people really need to have a serious conversation about civility, about letting our children be “children” and having fun, or about building folks up and not looking to tear them down. Also the conversation might include respecting privacy (one’s own and that of others). And while we are at it, do not assume everyone wants to hug you or being hugged. Finally for goodness sake, give our children the space to be children and love them in and through their mistakes. There will be enough opportunities to experience the wrath of others when they become adults.