I knew that it was going to be a good day when the boys were asking to go outside and play before 9 AM.
After a quick breakfast, they were out the door. Before long, a bunch of kids who are staying in cabins across the way came out as well, bring along with them a football. All of the kids–from two families, probably close to ten of them in all and ranging in varying ages–were playing so nicely together. The Golfer read the paper while I read yet another book on parenting (Parenting with Fire) and sipped on my morning coffee from the Canyon Market. I call it bliss.
Over an hour went by without incident. Even though the kids were playing football, everyone seemed to be playing nicely. The Cheese was staying close to one of the older girls, a pretty girl probably seven years or so his senior. We did notice that he was always trying to tackle her, even though they were playing touch. But it wasn’t anything rough, and he certainly wasn’t doing anything any normal, smitten boys wouldn’t be doing.
Then one of the fathers got involved. Here were a bunch of kids playing together just fine and this dad suddenly had to jump in upsetting the entire balance, telling all of the kids what to do and how to play, an apparent authority on football. I hate parents like that.
I heard this father tell the Cheese not to hit, but I didn’t ever see him do it. And then all of the sudden this father tells my child to go to Time-out.
Now, I have no problem with another adult correcting my child if he is doing something wrong, but I don’t believe that it was this father’s place to actually discipline my child. The Cheese wasn’t doing anything to be mean. No one was hurt, no one was crying, there was no blood on the field. They were playing football and my child, who was having a ball and in his excitement getting a little too rough, simply needed to be told that hitting is never okay even when playing football with friends, unless of course everyone’s covered in pads and helmets. Then anything goes.
If this father wanted to play football, I’d be happy to show him how we play back home in Oklahoma where we take guys like him who act like jerks and knock them on their ass.
My child, who just moments before was laughing with absolute abandon, was now crying. Not because he was sorry for what he had done, but because he had no clue what he had done. This father, who doesn’t know my child at all, had told him to go to Time-out without explanation. All my son knew was that he was having fun one minute and was in trouble the next. And might I add, all of the kids, including his, were playing hard and being rough. THEY WERE PLAYING FOOTBALL FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Hitting is going to happen.
Even so, we managed to have a wonderful day. The whole episode was more of a lesson for the Golfer and I than anyone else. It helped us to realize that the older our children get, the more they are going to come into contact with adults that have a different viewpoint on life than we do. The Cheese learned from the situation and so did we.
I still want to kick the guy’s ass.
We did have a really good time playing the the creek. They both ended up being sopping wet from the waist down, which was followed by getting covered in dirt from our short hike up to see the organic garden, to only get sticky from the Push-Up Pops that we got afterwards at the Canyon Market.