13 December 2012

The Sporting Life

The sporting life from what I can observe consists of schlepping children to and fro from their various athletic endeavors and watching sports on television sitting in an easy chair. Parents begin transporting their children to such things as t-ball and soccer pre-kindergarten. Soon these activities are transcended by soccer, softball, baseball, football, volleyball most or all of which may begin as early as kindergarten. These activities continue through high school with increased intensity as they evolve into school activities as opposed to a collection of parents self-organizing. The purpose of these activities is difficult to ascertain. Most of the urchins engaged in these activities are not athletes, give no indication of ever being athletes, and would be just as happy playing tag on the school grounds. The purpose of these child athletic engagements appears to be for the benefit of the parents. The parents are required to organize these activities, to transport their children to them, wait until finished, and deliver them up again home. It is the opportunity for you, as the parent, to meet other parents with which you have nothing in common and having nothing to talk about. It is also the chance to yell at the coach, grumble that your kid isn't getting enough playing time, complain about the referees, or the best scenario, to get in a fight with a parent of a kid from the other team. And, you take turns in the concession stand so that snacks are available and money is found to finance these activities. This latter is a real treat. By taking your turn in the concession stand the parent is unable to ignore anyone, child or adult, and must, at the minimum, show enthusiasm. Depending upon the parent's endurance, sporting activities for one's children can consume every evening of the week and both days of the weekend. For those who follow this path, their lives most be totally vacuous, without the hint of meaning or interest. Between the children's sporting activities and television sports, such parents live a nearly vicarious existence. It is difficult to know why anyone would want to be acquainted with such people let alone spend time with them. Children are inherently uninteresting and these parents spend a great deal of time successfully emulating their children. It is difficult to believe the children are in the least grateful. Comments of the children would seem to indicate they have some inalienable right to participate in these activities clothed and shoed as expensively as possible with the ever present water bottle at their disposable so they remain properly hydrated. If mediocrity is reached, parents are cajoled into summer camps for the improvement of technique. The expenses mount and vacations are foregone, but the children are happy.