They make leashes for children, so why not muzzles for parents? No, this is not the brainchild of a teenager who is clearly appalled by either parent even breathing within a mile of them. It is a thought that I entertained the other night while at football practice with my ten year old. I was sitting in the bleachers, feverishly working on my school schedule for my students and muttering obscenities under my breath as I erased for the fourteenth time, when I was jolted back to reality.
“KILL HIM! YEAH!” I whipped around to see a salivating mother in her tennis attire, with her requisite blue tooth tucked behind her ear and an extra grande non-fat something in her well manicured fingers bellowing at her 8 year old. When the beet red color finally drained from her face, she turned to me and smiled demurely,shrugging off her Dr. Jekyll behavior as simply cheering on her little cherub. The same little cherub that chopblocked the wind out of his team mate in a practice game and strutted away from him without a second glance back. The mom went back to her bluetooth conversation (I can’t imagine how the person on the other end wasn’t deaf or dead from her sonic outburst) and went on and on about how agressive her boy was and how proud she was at how he pounded the other kids, often making them cry!
When did the fun leave youth sports??? When did the parents lose common sense and sportsmanship??? I turned to talk to another parent in the stands who has five children. His youngest is trying out football after playing other sports over the years. He shrugged at the rabid woman seated next to me and said, “I am not going to get all loud and crazy at these games. He wants to be here and I am happy to watch him and support him. It’s all in fun.” Wow-a parent with a moderate outlook. What a novel idea! There were no aspirations of the NFL from birth, no urging of his child to hurt others in order to be the star, just quiet support and appreciation for his son on the field. I think I will plan on sitting next to this family at our games this season, but I may check out ebay for that parental muzzle. Do you think Vera Bradley makes one? hmmmmm…