On Saturday my family was invited to a kids birthday party. Our good friends said to bring a bathing suite and stay after the event. (More on this later.) It was a birthday for a six year old girl and the theme was a tea party. It was a lovely afternoon with tables covered in pink linens and tea cakes on three tiered serving trays. I should mention, I have two girls. One six years old and one an infant. You would think this would lead to a wonderful calm day. WRONG! First of all, girls are LOUD! A squelching loud. Their voices can reach a decibel most uncomfortable to the married males ear. And, they all want to run around pulling each other in different directions at what they feel is the most fun thing to do at that moment! Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with the run around and play thing. By all means, go run, do, get tired. However, hostess mom wanted the girls kept on the lower level of the house and yard to make everything a bit easier. Great plan.
Now the part that was weird. Every Mom…Ok maybe not every mom, but most of them, just walked around the house and ‘hovered’ over their little balls of energy! They traveled like a pod of whales herding their young towards whatever event was happening next. What took me aback was how they sounded like little league Dads coaching from the stands. Coaching up what they felt the child should be doing, to have FUN! “Stand up! Pick up the wings. Dance! Listen! That’s yours! Not like that! Do it right!” Uhg. What happened to discovery? How do kids learn how to deal with failure? By instruction? I don’t get it. What does this have to do with football you ask? Well, later after the hellio-Moms lifted off. We stayed for a swim with another family who attended the after party. Wonderful family. Son and daughter 8 and 5 I think. During the wine drinking portion of the event, this very chill mom talked about how she would not want her son playing football or gymnastics. “Cause kids get hurt.” WHAT?! REALLY!? You can get hurt in a shower!
Even though Dad said the young buck ran a go-route at the park and the kid caught the ball in stride. She felt he would get hurt. And I get it. Even as we watched Derek Wolfe get carted off the field on a streacher all I could think about where the hover moms. You can get hurt or make a mistake doing almost anything. You will get hurt in life. You will fail in life! Learning to deal with these things is an important part of life, especially while one is young. Here in LA blowing an audition or failing at an audition, doesn’t really mean anything other then you don’t get the job. It’s how you approach the next one that’s really important. People have bad reads. All that happens is…you beat yourself up in the car on the ride back to your day job, then that it! You have to get over it and move on. Believe me I have made QUITE a few mistakes in these 40 odd years. (I’m sure grammer and spelling are the most recent.) But I think we are doing ourselves a disservice with this desire to make our kids safe. Safe from harm but also safe from mistakes and failures. I’m not saying put them in harms way. But maybe we should take a better look at the activities we are allowing our kids to attempt and give them room to fail. Or get hurt. So they can be a better rounded person for it.
Note: My child is going to Horse Camp today. I hope, I didn’t just write a blog check my butt will have to pony up later.