it’s bittersweet….

October 6, 2007 at 4:16 am (Uncategorized)

(yes, if you’re wondering, that’s the title to my favorite Big Head Todd & the Monsters song)

Since my husband can’t go on the Cub Scout trip to sleep on the USS Alabama, my dad has arranged for my hellion brother to teach his Sunday school class that week so he can take my little Wolf Cub.

When I converse with other parents–people I like, mind you–who drop scouting in favor of football, I am reminded of why we choose for our son to be a Cub Scout over other things. I know he gets ribbed and ragged on by some of the other boys who play football and baseball (baseball players apparently think they’re tough guys). But when it comes down to it, his dad and I have put our desire for his building good character above the desire for some kind of glory he might get for being a great athlete.

Truth be told, he is a good athlete. He can ride his bicycle on the hills in our neighborhood, and if you know our neighborhood then you know that’s no small feat. He can hike and swim and run. He can put up a tent and cook stuff over a fire (well, mostly he likes to burn it and feed it to the dog, but still). He can do basic first aid and knows the proper way to display, fold, unfold, present, and dispose of the American flag. He can sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

And he doesn’t pick on boys who can’t do those things, or boys who don’t wear Under Armour.

As a sports fan, I feel conflicted sometimes. People say, “you just have to balance it out with other stuff.” But I don’t see balance. I see boys in elementary school who have football four nights a week and don’t get in bed before nine or ten on school nights. In second grade is it really your kid’s desire to have football four nights a week so no one in his family can participate in anything else? Or is it the parents’ hope that something might become of that?

Of course, in this same vein, I am seriously contemplating pulling my youngest out of dance at this place we put her in this year. I can’t take it. They don’t even require their dancers to study ballet–the foundation of tap, jazz, hip hop, and theater dance–along with the other forms of dance. I really shudder at the thought of my little Monkeytoes being on a high school dance team some day when she could be on Broadway or dancing with a professional company.

In my own way I am a snob. I wonder why someone would choose contact sports for their kids in lieu of scouting, mountain biking, backpacking, and piano lessons. In lieu of having evenings at home, Saturdays where you make your own plans and someone doesn’t schedule them for you.

Don’t give me the whole “team sports help you learn to work as a team” line. Because I did enough group projects in elementary school to know you learn to work together because you have the desire to do so.

That said, the UK-Carolina game last night nearly made me sick. I am hoping for a better showing from Auburn this weekend. Just as long as my kid isn’t getting his head smashed in.



  1. kirby said,

    Make some room on the snob bench for me, baby. My son has the same interests as does yours, and I refuse to push him into team sports just because it’s expected of little kids. I figure when they grow up, our kids will be the adults out there backpacking, mountain biking, and doing other cool stuff as opposed to sitting on their asses for the rest of their lives watching sports on television and managing their fantasy teams.

  2. MissBossyPants said,

    my snob bench is ready for you, kirby! Even if we don’t have The bucket any more. Sniff.

  3. Shadowhelm said,

    Hi. New to your site!

    I was in scouts (I am an Eagle Scout) and played team sports. It was busy, but each experience had a large impact on my life.

    I didn’t play football though. I see them practicing at the park I take my daughter to and I can not imagine subjecting my child to yelling, humiliation, and down right anger I see these kids exposed to. Football programs around here are as bad as boot camp. No thanks…even if I had a boy!

    The USS Alabama trip is awesome by the way. Best place in the world to play Hide and Seek. Hope your cub has fun!

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