I watched a video the other day that made me very sad. It showed a young girl extremely upset about the outcome of the Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers National Football Conference Championship game, in which her beloved Bears were cheated out of a berth in this year’s NFL Super Bowl. Get a box of tissues and take a moment to view it:
Click here for video sadness ...
Being a Bears fan as well, I certainly agree with her sentiments (and, in fact, had a similar outburst after the game), but the reason the video brought me such sorrow was the complete dereliction of duty on the part of the "father" to instill rabid fanaticism in his child for the same sports franchises that he holds dear.
I know from whence I speak, for I too am blessed with a daughter. In sharp contrast to the “father” in the video, however, I realize that the primary responsibility of a parent is to imprint their beliefs and opinions onto a child, allowing no room for dissent or free thought. If you want to be questioned, ignored, shunned, and treated as if every word you say merits debate and discussion, if not outright ridicule and derision, you should get a dog.
As evidence I offer this photograph, showing The Live Acorn a number of years ago at a baseball game between my beloved World Series Champion (1948) Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners:
Above: Differences in team allegiance are overcome by disdain for dorky parents who insist on taking dorky pictures. Note the exuberance on their faces, and … hey, why does that kid have the back of his hand turned toward me?
Despite an impenetrable language barrier, the boy’s father and I seemed to appreciate each other’s understanding of the parental role in instilling in a child blind devotion to a team, even if it means breaking said child’s sense of independence and perhaps damning any hope of real autonomy to the waste can of what-ifs, to be dealt with during countless future therapy sessions.
The language barrier was due, by the way, at least from what I’ve since been told, not to the other dad's lack of English proficiency, but rather to the fact that it was in the later innings of a game at which beer was sold, and I couldn’t form a sentence to save my life.
So parents, take heed: Dress your kids up properly, get them the right color of facepaint, teach them the fight songs – you’ll have no shot at Parent Of The Year unless you’re willing to go all the way. Except if you’re a Yankees fan. Then I’m calling Social Services.
6 days ago