Tag Archives: ball

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (But Leave Your Bad Attitude at Home)

19 Apr

Chip’s first experience playing a team sport was practically ideal.  One of his best pals was on the team.  That kid’s dad—an affable guy named David—was a truly talented and caring coach.  Plus the games took less than an hour, followed by snacks, and Chip’s Kindergarten teacher came to watch.  It doesn’t get much better for my 6-year-old.

I loved it, too.  Watching Chip interact with his teammates, take direction from his coach and grow as a player proved a constant source of delight.  The only thing preventing the experience from being an all-around winner was Madame BS as in Bad Sport.

Her son was one of the better players on the team—not the top talent but close.  She clearly knew the rules of the games; I could tell as she screamed from the sidelines practically non-stop.  To her credit, she only yelled at her kid.  (Only cheered for him, too, while the rest of us moms rooted for everyone on the team.)  But here’s the kicker: Whenever one of our players made a mistake, Madame BS would put her head in her hands and groan.

Shame on you, Madame BS.

A couple weeks back, one of our less gifted players was struggling as goalie.  (Coach David plays all of the kids in every position—it’s about learning and fun, he says.)  In the third period, this particular boy let four goals score.  He didn’t seem all that shaken up by this unfortunate turn of events—until, that is, he caught sight of Madame BS.  With her beet-red face, she looked like someone had socked her in the gut.  (A tempting idea, I admit.)

Who cares if a team of 5- and 6-year-olds win or lose?  Why send such a negative message?  What are you teaching your kid in the end?

We’ll play soccer again.  We’ll try to win, too.  And we’ll keep our chins up and eyes on the ball, not caring whether or not someone is making sour faces by the sidelines.

Temple Grandin – Belle of the Ball

21 Sep

Temple Grandin

On September 11, I had the rare black-tie night out.  I attended the Pegasus Ball benefitting the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas as a guest of HBO, which co-sponsored the event.  Held at the Fairmont Hotel in the Dallas Arts District, the ballroom was gorgeous.  Fluffy white hydrangea—the size of volleyballs—decorated tables.  The women in their va-va-voom gowns sparkled every bit as brightly as their bling.  The food was sublime!  (I tormented my husband—who was home with the kids—by texting snapshots of the various courses to him.  Evil am I.)

None of that packed the emotional punch of Temple Grandin, Robert Duvall (in a taped message from Argentina) and the other speakers.  Straight off rocking the Emmy’s, Temple Grandin (arguably the most famous person in America on the Autism Spectrum) told the crowd of 600 about her experiences growing up.  How her mother and the rest of her family fought for her when professionals in every discipline recommended institutionalization.  How music helps her stay calm and centered to this day.  How we as a nation must address the needs of the post-secondary disabled population, from work programs to specialized nursing homes.  Grandin has the flat voice of many of those with the diagnosis, but she conveys her passion.  The standing ovation lasted five minutes if not more!

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