Emotions run high. Kids out on the field playing hard. One kid does something. Another kid is hurt. And then the parents start misbehaving.
It it happened this weekend. And I was one of the parents. Under 10 girls soccer. My little girl, almost nine years old, was involved in a collision shortly before halftime. The other girl fell hard on her head.
Here’s where the first issue occurred. My daughter started trying to stop the game. The other girl fell on the ball and both teams were trying to get it. My daughter was yelling at them to stop. There was no ref whistle. Coaches were yelling to play on.
The ref then blew the whistle in a timid fashion. My daughter’ coach didn’t hear it and was yelling to play on. I yelled at coach the whistle blew. Coach yelled out for the call on the field. Meanwhile, the injured girl’s dad was running to help her and yelled, “jackass!”
A couple couple of minutes later they leave for the other side of the field. I notice my daughter in tears and just not playing. Halftime whistle blew about a minute later. “That dad called me a ‘donkey.'”
Nobody calls les my daughter a “donkey.” Except me. But only lovingly. Of course, I also knew that the dad had called her COACH a jackass. May I add, rightfully so. Perhaps he didn’t have to say it, but I get it.
During half, the dad came to our side of the field to return an icy washcloth we had given his daughter. I asked how she is doing and he said he noticed the other girl crying. I told him, “she thinks you called her a jackass. I explained it. And she is scared that she hurt your girl.”
This dad did the unthinkable. He ran over to my daughter and explained that he shouldn’t have used that word but it wasn’t directed at her and how glad he was that she stopped everything to help. Then he told her that his daughter was fine and told her to go out and play hard. She ended up scoring two goals in the second half
I wish I had gotten his name. I chased him down after the game to shake his hand.
When parents keep track of what is important, sporting events become that much more enjoyable. I have mad props to that dad.
And bigger props to my little girl. At the age of eight she taught me a lot about compassion and respect. She was the best of us.