Well, I was just talking with Pook about what to write about. We both agree that everyone likes the funny stories. As a general rule, people do not like to be lectured or saddened. But.....sometimes things just need to be said.
I can remember hurting at least as bad as my children during their lives as they discovered that every day was not fun and games. Kids are forced to learn at a very young age that bad things can happen. People will steal your belongings. They will lie to you and about you. And you know what ...they can often be downright mean! We all have to learn these lessons as we grow up. Thankfully, at the same time we do find that there are special people in the world who will stand by your side when the tears fall, and they will support you when the going gets rough. These are also the people that you laugh with until your sides hurt and can tell your biggest secrets to.
Teach your children how to figure out who those people are. - if you can. Unfortunately, the lessons do not stop when you become an adult. Once your children are adults they will need to face a whole new set of challenges. They will find out that Christian people do not always behave in a Christian manner. They will find out that adults seem to be able to lie, cheat and steal in bigger ways than children. And they will still find that people that they think are their friends will hurt them the deepest. Actually, and unfortunately I am still learning these same lessons.
I do apologize for this being so heavy today. Maybe it is the gloomy weather. There is a brighter side to this conversation. If you cannot figure out yourself how to identify the "bad guys", at least teach your children what they should hold and treasure close to their hearts. Teach them to be a little selfish about sharing themselves with the world. Don't be afraid to be a family that supports and loves one another. Knowing that you have that love to lean on when it is tough can help you get through it all. Laughing with people who truly love you can make an already joyful time more amazing than you can imagine.
I have spent many minutes and hours teaching my kids that everyone will not like you and you do not have to like everyone. If more of us can teach our children that people deserve kindness and courtesy, we might actually be able to make a difference in this world. Good and evil do exist. I have seen both, and they battle for us every day. Let's fight back and start by loving our kids! Always let them know that you are there to guide them and love them. God willing, we can make a difference one day at a time.
I have been attending sporting events for decades! Yes, I said decades. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a cheerleader. This fact horrifies my children, but way back then, there wasn’t much else for girls with respect to athletics. Interscholastic sports for girls was just taking off. But anyway, I attended every sporting event as a middle school and high school cheerleader. With my brother in sports, I watched as many of his events as I could.
With seven kids, one can only imagine how many events I attended. I never really counted them, and maybe that is a good thing. The gang participated in running sports, football, and basketball. Of course there were also dance recitals and choral concerts and plays and banquets.
I just may have the worst case of Bleacher Butt known to mankind. Needless to say, I have spent many hours in stadiums and gymnasiums. Some of the venues have been smaller than others, but all have been a decent size. Plenty of room to sit.
However, I am that guy (or girl as the case may be). I am the one that the crazy and/or obnoxious person always sits by. The kids all marvel at the magnetism that I have. I get to be next to the crazed father who screams at the referees every insult that he can think of. For being blind, deaf and dumb, I think they do a decent job. Does this man really think that these insults will actually win over the referee and make him sympathetic to our team?
Then there is the mom, whose son is an all-star athlete, and she cannot figure out why her darling is not the star of the team! This mom tends to focus her attention on her child’s coach and his or her staff. Clearly they are inept and inadequate at their job and she does not hesitate to tell them. Atta girl mom! That is sure to help. How about teaching a class in sportsmanship?
And then there are the fans who turn on their own team. They scream horrible things at their children and everyone else’s too. The young men and women competing are stupid, useless, worthless and untalented. Without these fans, the rest of us couldn’t figure out how badly our kids wanted to lose. I will admit to screaming at my daughter once, but only because she asked me too. She said it motivated her. So when she ran by me I told her that her grandmother could move faster than that. I then apologized and explained why I said that to everyone in earshot.
College sports can be worse. Alcohol is often involved. I remember sitting next to an extremely intoxicated woman at a college football game. She was the girlfriend of one of the players’ fathers. She complained about the lack of space between fans throughout the entire game! She loudly complained about the lady sitting near her who was overweight and shouting that she should have paid for two seats. She complained about people rubbing against her and that she was just the “rubber of the row”. My kids cannot believe I kept quiet, and neither can I. If anyone deserved to be put in her place it was her.
As the kids have progressed and most are now the fans watching “The Surprise” play collegiate football, they are now experiencing what I have lived through for years. They are shocked at what they see and hear. They are also shocked at how all of these people manage to sit next to me, even when the stadium is only half full.
And then they thank me…. For not being that parent. Enjoy your child’s foray into sports. Let them enjoy it too. They will learn lessons, but what kind can be up to you.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!