I will love who you are

September 16, 2013 0 Comments

Highest Paid Public Employees in the USA

Photo source:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/05/12/american-decline/

 

The info-graphic above speaks a thousand words in three small titles: Football Coach, Basketball Coach, Hockey Coach.

Whether you agree with the claims in the article or not (it started a bit of a rant on my Facebook page) there is no denying the fact that we Americans idolize, and reward very handsomely, sports figures.

Honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. I wish wholeheartedly that we rewarded other professions in similar ways — education reformers, social justice activists, alternative fuel researchers. In general, there is little harm that comes from making sports figures — players and coaches alike — among the elite.

Where I do see potential harm is in the way the glorification of sport effects my thinking (and I know it effects other parents as well).

I have found myself guilty of allowing the values illustrated in the graphic above to color the way I view my own son.

I’ve watched my son, “playing” on the baseball field and soccer pitch during a game, not playing the sports but instead playing like a regular kid. Pretending he is battling ninjas. Imagining he is the dad pitching when he’s on 2nd base. Dancing in dust clouds he creates by shuffling his feet,. Searching for clover in the outfield. Watching jets stream across the sky above his head.

I watch my amazing boy, who I without a doubt believe is the most exceptional and truly beautiful boy in the world, and shake my head fearing that he will struggle because he isn’t “sporty”

When I share my worries with my friend she reminds me what I taught her — we can’t choose who our children are. We must celebrate and love who they were born to be.

I forget my own lesson and fall into the trap that our country certainly supports: boys should be athletic, love sports, join the team, be an All Star.

Don’t get me wrong. I think sports are wonderful. I played several sports growing up and still love to cheer on my college team. I hope both my kids enjoy everything that comes from playing on a team — hard work, cooperation, focus, goal setting, camaraderie, fitness.

I also hope that my children don’t see sports as the most important thing, and that they can see that, despite the direction in which the money flows, sports are not what should be revered in our country.

I hope that my son feels just as worthy of attention for his varied interests as his sportier peers.

I’m not sure who should be the highest paid public figures in our country. I’m confident that nothing is going to change on a national level any time soon. What can change is within me.

Cooper, loved for who he is.

I can see the beautiful and the good in my son, in individuals with unique talents, and not just where the fame and fortune fall.

Filed in: Blog, Parenting

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