Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today Should Have Been A Fun Day, But...

The weather was beautiful, Zack was finally able to play soccer for the first, real time in 2 months because of an ankle injury. The icing on the cake was that we didn't have any other conflicting commitments, so the whole family was able to go and our best friend's daughter, K., had agreed to join us to keep Abby and Mackenzie company. We took two cars because in between his two games, the girls had plans to go see the Hannah Montana movie (which by the way is GREAT!)...

I was so looking forward to today... I LOVE soccer and it is so much fun to watch at this level of competition...and I have really missed watching Zack play.

So it really should have been a fun day, but... there were parents there today. You know, I'll be the first to admit that I have said things before that I shouldn't have. I'm still ashamed of how I behaved at a game a couple of years ago...

The refereeing gave new meaning to pathetic, every body was up in arms. I didn't say anything horribly ugly, but my voice was among the many picking on one of the referees. At one point, when things got really bad, this other mom that I loved being around, got up and walked away. That stopped me in my tracks...

The next day I went to her and apologized for my behavior and acknowledged her wisdom in moving away from the crowd... she very wisely looked at me and said, "I was angry too, and I just know in those situations how easy it is to get caught up in the mob mentality." Ouch...'mob mentality...' that's EXACTLY like we had behaved. And how would I have felt if that had been Zack refereeing that game? I would have been a mama bear! Regardless of how that kid was calling the game, he didn't deserve what he got that one does.

So back today... my intent in writing this post is not to judge or even maliciously criticize... my heart is finally in the right place after a nice long walk with Chris Tomlin blaring on my IPOD...

But, my intent is hopefully to challenge anyone who is reading this post to think... It's a game... Nothing of any value is at stake... It won't affect their future in any way... Their college or professional careers (even if they're that talented) are not on the line... It's JUST a game...

But today, it was so much more than least from the way the parents behaved... One mom yelled at me for having my chair 3 feet over the midfield line on their side of the field. I heard curse words...BS, the 'F' word and other choice words... a dad, in another game, threw his cup of coffee at the field... and a parent applauded a player for getting a yellow card for going into a tackle with cleats incredibly dangerous and illegal move...and one dad, for the other team, looked at ME and threatened to kick one of our dad's 'a'... I hadn't said a word, I was just standing there taking pictures!

How sad is it that you can't take young children to the soccer field without having to be concerned about the language they will hear?

Funny, my cousin asked me just yesterday if soccer parents were any better than baseball parents... S., if you're reading this... I change what I told you...the answer is a resounding 'NO!"

At first I was really angry about the whole thing... Why can't we all just behave like adults and cheer our children or well or not? Why do we have to behave like there's something significant at stake? News Flash...there is absolutely NOTHING at stake.

Yes, I love it when they's fun...but when the whistle blows, it doesn't mean a thing about those boys...just that one team lost and one team won. But how they behave on the field, says EVERYTHING about their character...and that does matter in the long run.

Not surprisingly, the kids weren't much better than the parents... Zack complained because it seemed that wherever he was on the field, the ball was played to the other side. The coach put him on the left, and the other team played the ball to the right side...the coach moved him to the right side...and the other team played it to the left. I just smiled and said a little prayer of "thank you." As nasty as it was on the field, maybe God was just looking after him! Clearly though, the kids were just acting out what had been modeled for them... How sad..

So, I'm not really mad any more, just sad... From the overflow of the heart, come the words of the mouth... What today really did was allow me a glimpse into some hearts... What I saw was anger and bitterness... A world that seriously has it's priorities all mixed up.

If you have kids in sports, remember, no matter what level of play it is, it is just a game... No one's life is at stake... But what our children see reflected in OUR character, is what we'll see reflected back in theirs.


The Ferrill's said...

Amen and amen!
I've always said of myself that I feel like when I pull into the parking lot of the field, there is a sign that says..."Leave your religion here and you can pick it back up on your way out!" God has grown me a lot through all the baseball and soccer games! Thank the Lord He does not leave us where we are!
As always, coming to your blog challenges and encourages me, Sharla! You are a blessing! I love reading about your attachment progress with Abby. Older child adoption paints such a beautiful picture of our own salvation doesn't it? Way cool!

April Isaacs said...


It's like the book How to Behave so Your Children Do To... Basically, the whole book is saying that your children are going to behave the way you do.

Now, we all know that that's not always the case.... as kids get older they have choices that they are responsible for making......

I HATE games when the parents are arguing and yelling and getting in fights and using bad language. Have you ever see the police called? Ridiculous!! Apparently, these people are living for nothing else. They gotta find something bigger to get involved in!

Big Hugs,