Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can't, Yell.

It is Tuesday night so I have been at high school soccer games - girl's soccer. Though soccer certainly does not generate the crowds that football does, the fans are every bit as enthusiastic and vocal. It seems that these few hours each week are a cheap version of therapy for some. All of their adult frustrations are released by yelling at referees and all of their unrealized childhood dreams somehow come true by yelling at players on the field.

As the girls' T-shirts say, "No helmets, No pads, No Timeouts - Soccer". Soccer is two 40 minute halves of non-stop running, pushing, kicking, sliding, and downright rough ball playing. It makes me laugh to hear the middle-aged, overweight fans yelling at the girls to "run faster!" Most of them could not run from one end of the field to the other much less do it for 40 minutes. And, the kids make scoring a goal look much easier than it really is. It would be interesting to see how many fans could score a goal from outside the 18 even with an unprotected goal, forget one that is being tended. Why do the fans think that it is acceptable to yell at the girls when they miss a shot, misdirect a ball or, God forbid, make a mistake? These players are human beings - most of them children. Maybe before each soccer season begins, the parents should have to play a game against the girls. Or, better yet, the parents against the parents from another school and the kids can sit in the stands and critique every move giving particular emphasis to mistakes. I bet that would change the atmosphere in the stands.

And what is it about some parents who think that because they didn't or couldn't do something when they were in high school that their kids are going to do it and they, as adults now are going to somehow be fulfilled?. And not only are they going to do "it", they are going to be the best at it.

I don't want to live vicariously through my children. I am not dead yet. I still have dreams of my own. And, believe it or not, I still have the means to accomplish them in my own life - not through the lives of my children. My girls also have dreams and aspirations. Granted these include tattoos and pick-up trucks, but it is their life. My job is to guide and support them as best I can. And, during soccer games it is my job to wash their uniforms and sit in the stands a cheer FOR them. And, be grateful that I am not the one running for 80 minutes or defending a goal from balls being fired at me like bullets on a battlefield.

We can not walk or live in someone else's shoes. The only comfortable shoes are your own. Find the best fit and go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Thank you Henry David!