Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There went my mouth

I am not at all the kind of person who has these moments. I usually think carefully before telling someone how bothered I am out of fear of confrontation. Unfortunately, this past Saturday, my mouth thought that it would be okay to override my brain.

I've mentioned my aversion to loud, competitive parents who scream at their children until they are blue in the face...and, in turn, their children cry and are then screamed at for crying. Ugh. All for missing a ball.

I'm still trying to figure out if parents are like this because they are living vicariously through their children, or if it's an ego thing? Maybe the two just go hand-in-hand?In any case, for the first time in four seasons, I did something I told myself I would never do. I snapped.

It was our turn to bring snacks, so after the game I stood close to the team during their huddle up. It did not go well. My child came out of it crying...something that had to have been embarrassing for him as he is a typical boy. Doesn't like crying in front of other people. Although I was fuming, I held my tongue as the coach came to me and expressed his distaste for the teams loss. "My top players are killing me!". I wanted to say a million things, but I couldn't say anything in response to this statement. All I was able to do was look at him with a blank stare (and, as it turned out. I didn't have to say or do anything. My husband responded first. "They're just children." The coach then gave him a blank stare before walking away). The seconds seemed like hours, as we handed out the last bit of snacks. I forced a smile on my face, and told each child that he/she played great. But, I knew that if I didn't get out of there quickly, I was going to blow. One of the moms (and this particular mother had screamed irately at her child throughout the entire game), made a remark about her child and his inability to play well...right in front of him. She then apologized to the coach for his poor skills. That sent me over the top.

I wish I could take the whole scene back. The words simply poured out of my mouth, as I asked her, "Why would you apologize for the way your child played? He is a great player! I believe that he did the best that he could! If you encouraged him instead of screaming at him all the time, you may be more pleased with him!" Because the coach "stepped" in, my mouth decided to let him have it, too. Like my son, I was quite embarrassed because the tears flowed just as quickly as the words did. I love those kids. I can't stand to see any of them being put down...especially by the people who matter the most to them. I'm so scared that those kids are going to give up on something that they love, due to the fact that they are unable to please their parents and their coaches no matter how hard they try.

I have to "say", though, that I do love this coach. As a person, he is wonderful. Very loving and kind, usually. On the field, however, he is extremely competitive, completely depleting the game of any ounce of fun that could and should be had. Don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with winning a game, or competing...until it means bad sportsmanship amongst coaches, players, and parents in a SUPER small town where all of these kids go to school together. They take baseball to school. It's effecting relationships at churches in and around town. It's just a mess out here.

I should not have said anything to the mother who was going on about her son. It was none of my business, and I feel the need to make amends with her. I just wish that apologizing wasn't so hard.

On a good note, the coach and I ended our conversation well. He agreed that changes needed to be made, and he stated (believe it or not) that he was also discouraged with parents screaming at their children during the game and would call a meeting with all parents this week to discuss that (see Parent Code of Conduct below #11. We had to sign this at the beginning of the season.).

My son loves baseball. I mean he really LOVES baseball. I so want this to be a positive experience for him (He knows nothing of the conversation (or the snappage) that took place that day. Praise God!).

Look at that ketchup faced dimply cutie pie (For the record, hub's took him to have his ball pictures made. The ketchup was a complete surprise to me, but I love it anyway!). This picture is just so typical of my son. I love it. I refuse to look at this picture, in the future, and think of any mishaps.

3 more games! I shall not snap! I shall not snap! :0)

Relishing in His goodness...


Parsley said...

I don't know...I think I would have snapped too. I cry when I'm angry. I'd be a blubbering idiot but I wouldn't be able to stop myself.

Ma Teakettle said...

Ok, first of all...huggggggggggs and lots of them. I have BTDT so many times with the boys over the years I can't tell you. You did what came naturally to you, sweetie, you stood up for the rights of your kid and those of the other parents who either couldn't or wouldn't stand up for them, that being said, being a mom is a 24 hour/7 day proposition and as such, you can no more turn off your mom button, than teach a snake to play the trumpet, it is impossible because our inner mom becomes a part of our DNA as soon as we hear that first cry....and the saddest thing in the world is seeing a happy kiddo reduced to tears by something that we have little control over....now that being said, these are life lessons....they teach our kids that life is not always fair and that just because someone is in charge, they are still human. Our kids will run across many situations like this throughout their lives and the only thing that we can do is remain their soft place to fall and their conduit to God's strength to see them through.
Never stop being a Mom, or a human being...you showed your son that you have his back, that you are his advocate and that he can always depend on you to remain in his court thru life's ups and downs...and most important, that you too are human with all of our emotions.
Sorry to be so long winded...Love you kiddo and sending hugs.

Rightthinker-Andrea said...

Yeah..what the heck is wrong with people?

I'm NOT one for thinking that competition is evil..you know, that "everyone deserves a trophy-even those who didn't care"...I think we've REALLY diminished drive and determination in our kids...particularly boys' who often are competitive by nature.

However, with THAT said...there is a good way to coach, encourage and support self-determination, and there are many bad ways! Perhaps if parents are this driven for success in sports, they'd be better served by playing on a league for themselves!

Let kids be kids, and learn and have fun. We have baseball boys, too. It's the only sport they are involved in, and we've had a good run thus far. However, I do remember when my brother played when we were younger..the screaming parents..sometimes obscenity...geez, people. Grow up and be an example.

Take it easy on yourself. You were in protection mode. I know we are best to keep our tongues, but sometimes things just need to be said.

Love you and your blog. Hugs to your family! To bad we all can't be adults, and have fun with these blessings! Play ball!

Cassy said...


The simple act of you stepping up may go a long way toward turning a toxic environment into an encouraging one. Sometimes someone just needs to step up and call things for what they are. Remember there is Someone we both know who did that same thing. Those boys need encouragement to grow and there is nothing wrong with saying so. It sounds like change is a comin' sister.

Good for you for saying something Mama. And good for the coach for seeing the need too.