Sunday, July 01, 2012

Parenting and Softball

If I am being too judgmental here, please lecture me. Let me know I'm off base. I'm open to your thoughts. But I honestly have to write this entry and get this off of my chest.

Last week we headed out to Western Pennsylvania. My niece is on a softball team and they had two playoff games. Well, the first playoff game would have given them a day off from the second one, if they won it.

They didn't win.

It was a hard game. The other team was mostly bigger girls, older girls, and they were skilled. Hardcore. Tough. So they lost.

During the game there were two moms on the other side of the field who were dressed ridiculously, in hot pink, the team color, and they were screaming loudly... not really routing for the girls but ... screaming. They also were smoking right on the fence, which in and of itself made me rather angry because for chrissake "ladies," do you need to smoke RIGHT at the teams, your team and the other team? Take it 50 feet away, wouldya?

Anyway, the other team won game one, and after the girls shook hands at home plate, one of the moms took to the field with a sign and a mask on her face, and rounded the bases, shaking her ass at each base. 

I took a picture of her moving from second base to third. My sister in law thinks she gave me the finger at one point.

I did not take a picture of her shaking her ass AT US on third base, shaking her ass AT my niece's team at home plate.

The girls on my niece's team stood and watched her incredulously. And I felt horrible for them. And then I felt really horrible for whoever this woman's daughter is. It isn't enough that her team won. No. She has to make it about her, and her shenanigans. And I was deeply disturbed that someone would go to this length.

Just let the moment belong to your kid. It's her win. Not your opportunity to taunt a bunch of 9-13 year olds with your pink and black tutu. Stop it.

In the meantime, the little girl on my niece's team who was up last and struck out felt like she lost the game.

She didn't lose the game. There were plenty of opportunities for the game to be won. Her strike out with a score of 9-7 wasn't the reason the game was lost. But... when you feel that way, you feel that way.

And I watched her daddy and her mom comfort her. And I was so touched by the love and support that I snuck this picture of the moment. I normally wouldn't take a picture of someone in grief like this, but ... I had to balance out the visuals.

Where is the better parenting here? I think you know.

I pondered these things for the better part of the day. Geoff and I talked about it, he was disappointed that his cousin's team lost, and he said that the woman who booty-shook the bases in her victory lap was "on crack." I promised him that I love him, I will cheer for him, appropriately, and I would never in a million years embarrass him. I asked if that woman's behavior was embarrassing to her daughter and he said absolutely. And he knew I would never do that because I'm not "on crack."  Then I asked him if I did embarrass him when I'm at games and I'm cheering and taking pictures and he said no. I asked if he'd tell me if I ever did, and he said he would.

In the meantime, I'm exceptionally proud of my niece and her team. They had to play a second game after losing, and they won that one keeping their playoff hopes alive.

And none of the parents on the other team taunted or wore tutus. Thank God.

Here's a picture or two of the lovely niecey bringing the heat.

The rest of our trip was great. We went to Ohio, we went to the Rogers Sale. We got license plates. We saw Doug's grandma and it made her day. We went on the cemetery tour of eastern Ohio to see the graves of Doug's father's family. And we had a wonderful campfire poolside at my sister in law's house.

It was a very good trip. Pictures are in Flickr. Enjoy.


  1. Sports certainly provides a child with skills and attitudes that will help in the long run.

  2. I'm so with you. She was making that moment about her, because she's an attention whore type, my least favorite type of person. It's thoughtless in every way. Yuck.