Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How Do You Spell Shellacing?

To answer avid reader Tod Bolsinger, this was a long weekend. On Saturday, my daughter Heather and I headed to Riverside for the 11 year old girls All Star State softball championships. The result of that game was less than splendid. There is a rule in girls softball that if a team is ahead by more than 10 runs in the 4th inning, the game is mercifully ended; hence the term "mercy", often used as a verb, as in, "we mercied them". We got mercied.

Last night was the second game in the (less than winners) bracket. Something interesting happened in this game. At the field at which we played, there is an interesting tradition of turning off the electronic scoreboard in center field if one team is ahead by what is determined to be "too many" runs. Long story short, the scoreboard was turned off, in the 5th inning - because of the less than stellar performance of the South Pasadena team. One problem for us; our best pitcher took off to Guatemala with her anthropologist professor parents to study monkeys. Good for her. Better exploring the jungles than pitching in 90 degree heat in Riverside.

Now, let me add here that my daughter is a completely happy girl, even after this loss. Perhaps that is because her parents were not so absorbed into this whole sports thing that it rules our lives. Life moves on, and now, at long last, after a month of summer school and thrice (or more) weekly practices, my 11 year old can be, imagine this if you can, a kid. A kid. Swimming in the pool, hanging with friends, even (gasp) watching some Disney Channel (right now, her favorite program is this).

This is a funny culture we live in, where half of a kid's summer is dominated by sports. I am not completely comfortable with it all, especially with an eye on Kingdom things, I wonder if this sports obsession we have is all that good. The way sports affects some families we know is probably not healthy. I have always thought that kids should be kids as long as is possible. The way that our media and culture bombard them to be little adults is frightening, and we need to let our kids grow up at a slower pace if that is at all possible.

Final and somewhat scary thought. Next year, Heather turns 12. At that age, the All Stars can end up in the National Little League Champships! Maybe we will go to Guatemala instead.
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