Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In Defense of Soccer Moms

I have something that I would like to say to those who sneer at so called Soccer Moms and Coach Dads, and who imply that encouraging and supporting our kids in these pursuits is nothing more than a means of achieving personal glory by forcing our kids to fulfill the dreams of our own disappointing youth.

Fuck You.

Yep. You heard me.

The only reason I can think of for a person to villify parents who take an active role in their kids' sports activities, or any activity for that matter is to justify their own disinterest in doing so.

As the Mom of boys, I get involved in baseball because it's their "thing", and because there is no hope they they will ever be interested in retail therapy or anything that involves setting foot inside a beauty salon. There are some non-sporting activities that we enjoy together, and I cherish them. But libraries and museums simply don't hold as much appeal for them as a freshly dragged and chalked baseball diamond. Whether I like it or not, baseball is where it's at right now.

If I want to spend time with my boys, I have to take an interest in boy stuff. It's really that simple. And I learned that when my boys were young and I tried valiantly to provide them with gender balanced playthings. The EZ Bake Oven sat unused until my son realized that you can melt crayons and plastic soldiers in it. The gender neutral (read: not pink) kitchen set was upended and used as a citadel. The disturbingly asexual "friends" that I bought for them often ended up as prisoners of war, and were treated accordingly. And play-doh, more often than not, was launched, shot, or catapulted from various makeshift weaponry. The vacuum was a hit for a while, until the motor broke. Silent, it was nothing more than a glorified broom, and therefore, exceedingly uninteresting. I tried. But nature clearly outweighs nurture in the case of my boys, regardless of how desperately consistently the nurturing was applied.

Now, if someone can explain to me how encouraging, supporting, and becoming involved with an activity that gets my kids outdoors, away from television and video games, and which has been shown to reduce the risk of substance abuse and criminal activity is a BAD thing...I'm all ears. But if you're just going to spout a bunch of ignorant drivel about misspent youth and glory unrealized, you'll have to pardon me if I put my fingers in my ears and sing "Kiss Off" at the top of my lungs.

But you know, it doesn't have to be sports. It could be anything. Find your kid's passion and then help them live it, breathe it, dream it. And let them know that whatever that dream is, you will be there to help him or her achieve it. Make them think you believe with all your heart and soul that they could be the next Mumenshantz. Let them know you give a shit about the finer points of competitive soap carving or interpretive clog dancing.

I want my kids to look back one day and realize that I was at every game. Every match. Every whatever. That I sold hotdogs in the rain and washed cars in 40 degree weather so their team/troupe/band could go the playoffs or whatever it is that represents the pinnacle of achievement and prowess for their activity of choice. It matters. And if you think it doesn't, you're fooling yourself.

That is all.

12 Comments:

  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Personally, I can't wait until I can cheer on my daughter in any sport she decides to participate in. Even if its soccer, and I hate soccer. What fun is having a kid if you can't yell and scream when they score their first goal or hit their first double? What I don't like is the thought of being grouped together into one large, faceless demographic to further along the candidacy of some politician whose cause I don't support.

    If I could, I'd be right along side ya with both birds flying.

     
  • At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Kristen said…

    I'm not sure it's the literal soccer moms that people loathe moreso than the image that they have come to represent - the reckless SUV driving mom who looks like she could play the sport herself, lugging her kids around everywhere... blablabla.

    I really hate labels and never use them and if my daughter played sports, perhaps even SOCCER, I'd be there cheering her on.

    I'm an artsy gal, myself, so I'm hoping for more of an "applauding after her piano concert" kind of thing - but you never know...

     
  • At 11:29 PM, Blogger MommaK said…

    Brilliant and true.

     
  • At 6:25 AM, Blogger Kirdy said…

    This is my first season as a baseball mom. It's also a parenting first; I get the privilege of ruining my child intentionally. Gotta love it! /sarcasm off

    I was an actual soccer mom last year but it wasn't a fit for either of us. I guess by definition that makes me the antithesis of "soccer mom", since I allowed him to quit. The shame. Do I need to turn in the keys to my SUV and my Sam's Club pass now, too?

    I'll give you the keys, but you'll have to pry the card out of my cold, dead fingers.

     
  • At 8:06 AM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    Kiss off indeed! I personally hate soccer so I have no unfulfilled fantasies to live through my son but he loves soccer and I love being there for him. So here this - I am a soccer mom and lovin it.

    Great post!

     
  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger Applesass said…

    Good for you! You sound like a very supportive and attentive Mom. It seems easy these days for people to be derisive about all sorts of things, a bit knee-jerky (emphasis on the jerky).

    My brother is a referee for basketball, baseball and soccer. Sports have been so very important to him through his life. I know my Mom went to every single one of his games and has even gone to see him referee various times. She was there to see his successes as well as the spectacular failures that happen when you do sports. I think they have a good and interesting relationship because of her interest in his passions.

    The people my brother complains about are the super, overzealous parents. He has given technical fouls and had to kick parents out of games many, many times. He has had to deal with parents physically trying to intimidate him into changing a call. He was even shoved around a bit by a parent once after a game was over. Neat, eh? These are not infrequent events, unfortunately. Things are happening often enough for there to be new legislation to protect referees from spectators. These are the parents that I think are living through their children. Or, if not living vicariously, they at least have some other issues that they should address so that they can be happier and the people around them would have better role models...

     
  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Izzy said…

    Soccer moms, mommy bloggers, NASCAR dads...stupid, stupid, stupid labels that mean almost nothing unless you're a fan of stereotypes. Since the names are obviously not going away, wouldn't it be nice if people at least realized that they encompass a wide variety of people?

    As for being interested in supporting your kids in sports or other pursuits...I think it rocks! And I will be there cheering my kids on no matter what they're doing.

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger MrsFortune said…

    I second what Izzy said. But, I understand how some overly competetive, beat the crap out of the other team dad, parents get a bad name. Even though they're in the very small minority, they're the ones that get the news coverage.

    Would that be the Violent Femmes "Kiss Off" you'd be singing? That song rawks.

     
  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Mrs. Fortune: Why yes, yes it is. A better song was never writ. :?)

    To all: I concede that there are some insane parents out there who treat kiddy sports like pro-sporting events. They are out there, and we all have to live with them. But we can't let them color our judgement of "sports" parents in general, or scare us away from ballfields, ballet recitals and the like.

    After doing this for quite some time, Mr. B.A. and I have realized that a simple statement such as "You are out of line. If you can't be constructive, please remove yourself until you've calmed down." delivered in a calm voice usually shuts them right up. I used to be timid about this, but ever since my young son was charged on the field by an irate coach for not running on a pop fly (he had recently learned about the infield fly rule)I do not hesitate.

    Kirdy m'dear: I know better than to open up that can of worms. ;?)

     
  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Kirdy said…

    Which can? Sam's Club? SUVs? Or the ruining the kids one?

    Never mind...fully rhetorical. ;)

    And, as an aside...Check out the version of "Kiss Off" on Viva Wisconsin. That CD is the best Femmes' recording ever. Non rhetorically speaking.

     
  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger Suburban Turmoil said…

    This post was very well written. Real-life "soccer moms" (and baseball moms and football moms, etc) know that many of the parents on the field come from vastly different walks of life- They're united by one thing... Their kids.

     
  • At 1:51 PM, Blogger chichimama said…

    I am anxiously looking forward to my days as a soccer mom. Although it is looking like I will be a swimming and gymnastics mom, but whatever.

    great post!

     

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