So I know I disappeared for a few days. Saturday was spent running from one basketball game to another with some minor injuries to my girls. The younger one got her ankle pretty badly sprained during the second quarter of her second game and had to sit the rest of the game out. The older one suffered more dramatic injuries – as in, things didn’t go her way and so therefore there was drama. Now, don’t get me wrong, she did get knocked down and turned her ankle, but she was still able to play. However, the opposing team – both players and fans – left such a bad taste in my mouth that it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t write anything about it that day. More on that to follow….
After the games on Saturday, we came back home so that the oldest one could get ready to go to a sleepover. She showered and dressed and stomped and huffed around until her friend came and got her, and then I took the other four and we did some quick grocery shopping, and then my 5 year old’s father came and got him for the rest of the weekend.
Sunday morning we got up and I got the remaining older two ready to go to church with their father. They left and then it was just me and my youngest for the rest of the day. I made the executive decision not to go to church ourselves, as I just wasn’t feeling quite right. I worked on cleaning and laundry (don’t I always?) and just puttered around the house. I believe the only time we went outside was to run some stuff that the kids had forgotten across town to the ex’s truck so that he wouldn’t have to come back for it.
I put a batch of chili in the crockpot earlier in the day and once that was done I had a bowl of that and watched a bit of football and tried to relax. I put the littlest munchkin to bed and then I laid down to read for a while. I fell asleep and then woke up at 2:00am with that Oh Crap Something Is Wrong Feeling. I sprinted for the bathroom, and sure enough, something was wrong. After I felt as though things were done, I went back to bed. Not even 5 minutes later, I was up again. I was up probably every 15-20 minutes until morning. Thank goodness I only had my youngest at home with me. He got up that morning, put a movie in, and sat and watched a movie while I continued to lay on my futon, trying to decide if the bug that had invaded my body wanted to start using two exits or stick with just the one. The human body amazes me – nothing can go into it for a 24 hour period, yet more keeps coming out of it. Oy.
By this time, I pretty much decided that it was something that I ate. All in all, despite the nuclear explosions coming from my backside, I didn’t feel *that* bad. So I managed to eat some oyster crackers and drink a little bit of water, but I didn’t push my luck. My 5 year old came home from his father’s that morning just in time to get on the bus to go to preschool, so luckily I only had the youngest one for the majority of the ordeal. I had to pick the 5 year old up from preschool in order to complete a “home visit” with his teacher so we did that quickly and then we ran back to the store on a quest for ginger ale and then we went home.
So, as I started to say at the beginning of this…..the basketball game. Yeah. OK.
The league that my girls play on is a city league. The teams are split up by grade levels. Originally the 4th graders had enough girls for two teams, and the schedule was set up that way. Then a couple of girls moved away and they were left with exactly 10 girls. If they stuck with two teams, all of the girls would have to play start to finish in every game, and if one girl was gone, then the team would have to forfeit the game. So they opted to combine the girls into one big team and attempt to play both games every Saturday, as long as it is physically possible for the parents to get them back and forth. For the most part, it’s worked out, although there are a couple of Saturdays coming up where they are only playing one game because both games were scheduled at the same time in two different towns. My 5th grader plays a regular schedule. So generally we have three games in three different towns on Saturdays.
This past Saturday was easy. Both of the 4th grade games were at home, so not only were they in the same town, they were in the same gym in the same building. Perfect. My daughter got injured during the second game, but the girls played well and it was a good atmosphere.
The 5th grade girls were scheduled to play an away game a little bit later. So we loaded up and headed to that game after running home to get an ace bandage and some ibuprofen for my wounded warrior. When we got to the school where that game was to be played, there was a totally different atmosphere. There was a woman sitting a few seats down the row from me who was very obviously a mother of one of the girls on the opposing team. Her daughter was easy to spot from the embarrassed look on her face every time this woman opened her mouth.
This woman who was sitting near me….how can I say this nicely? She was very….vocal. Like I said, it was easy to tell who her daughter was, because every time this little girl did something wrong, this woman SCREAMED at her from the bleachers. “What are you doing??” “What are you thinking?” “Get on her!!” “How could you have missed that shot?!?!” At one point, the little girl (and I keep saying “little” because she was tiny!) got knocked down HARD. She definitely got the wind knocked out of her and she was crying. This woman went stomping down the bleachers, stormed across the floor, and proceeded to tell her daughter to get up and start playing again. I sat there in shock, stunned that a mother could treat her daughter that way. She never said anything positive to her daughter or to any of her teammates. She didn’t cheer when they did something right – she only pointed out the mistakes.
While this was going on, there was a student fan behind me from the other team. She was just about as bad as the mother. She was sitting with a couple of her friends, and I could hear her talking about the players on our team. She wasn’t yelling, but she wasn’t trying to stay quiet either. Granted, our team was not putting on their most stellar performance, and my daughter was having issues and was getting emotional out on the floor – but this little girl sitting behind me was mouthing off about every player on our team, especially my daughter. I sat and watched the game, cheering on ALL of our girls when they did something right – not pointing out when they did something wrong. Silly me, but I think that’s the coaches’ job, not mine.
How can we expect our youth to learn respect when the adults don’t show it? This was just a snippet of life – one basketball game with one rabid mother and one obnoxious student fan who probably didn’t even know each other – but still, if this is the way that adults act, what else are the kids going to learn? We as parents sit around and whine about the youth of today and how they are disrespectful irresponsible little brats, but what are we teaching them? Respect is not something that can only be taught – it has to be modeled. Kids have to observe it in order to understand it. Respect is not something that should come and go, depending on the situation – it is something that should always be there, regardless of where you are or what you are doing.
I’m not saying that I’m perfect in this area – in fact, I am far from it. But at the same time, this incident at this game has really made me think, and it really opened my eyes to some things. Maybe by watching this rabid mother and listening to this disrespectful pre-teen for an hour, I have been somewhat enlightened. Maybe I can make a conscious effort to change a few things in the ways that my kids and I interact. Maybe it will give someone else food for thought. I don’t know.
I didn’t really mean to get this deep – but that’s part of the fun of writing this. I never know what I’m going to write when I sit down and start typing. I just let it happen. So if you’ve made it this far in this post, I congratulate you for having an attention span greater than mine – because I honestly have to go back and read what I just typed because I have no idea how I even started this!