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the empty bleachers

The Green Machine Girls are 2-0 and the win was doubly satisfying - the opposing coach is my co-worker and I can gloat to him all day tomorrow.

It's sad to see empty stands at a kids basketball game. Every week it's the same parents and siblings who sit there and cheer. The other parents drop the kids off and make a quick run to the gym or the video store. The games last 45 minutes, tops. You can't make the effort to stay and watch your daughter play? Even my ex - if he shows up to watch Natalie at all, he stays for fifteen minutes or so before ducking out the side door.

I can see it in the faces of the girls when the mother says she's just going to run a few errands and she'll be back to pick her up, or when the father says he's got to run home and make a few phone calls. The kids look dejected, but they never say a word.

Some day these parents will be wishing they took the time to stay at the games. 45 minutes is not a whole lot to ask.


Since you were talking about music the other day I thought Harry Chapin said it best:

I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

You know, Keith - the song is very apropo here, but I'm going to have to kill you for getting it stuck in my head.

Maybe you should print out the story about that 13 year old boy that was murdered, and give it out to them. I bet those parents would have given anything to see one more ball game.

Kudos to you for coaching your daughter. You will really see the benefits in the relationship you have with her in the future.

Coaching your child during the hormone years can be quite a challenge, but it's really worth it.

I coached my son in soccer, and was an assistant scoutmaster when he was in the Boy Scouts. He's 27 now, and he's not just my son, he's also my friend.

How sad - that was the way my parents were. I usually had to find my own way to practices and games while my parents did everything in their power to get to my sibling's events.

For some kids, that makes them stronger (I am certainly self reliant to the max). Unfortunately, for most kids that makes them feel unloved (and no one can blame them for feeling that way!).

I tried to never miss a game, which often meant 4 nights a week in the gym while I was in law school. Which is probably why my grades weren't great, studying during half-time & time outs isn't terribly effective, but it was worth it. My kids appreciated it then and now...their dad couldn't be bothered. And Keith's right, now they frequently tell him they're busy with other plans & can't spend time with him.

I always felt sorry for the kids whose parents never came. Some of them would tell my kids how lucky they were that I cared enough to show up.

It blows my mind when parents don't go to games. Maybe it is a small town, but me and most of my friends even stay through the entire practices. The others don't know what they are missing. Not only does my daughter appreciate it (well really at this point she expects it), it is pretty cheap entertainment.

Don't laugh, but at one t-ball game this summer, my daughter had TEN family members there to watch. Us, her sister, four grandparents, two great grandparents and an aunt. I am not sad she has so much support, but it is too bad some have so little.

We just switched Cub Scout Packs because the parental involvement in the pack was so poor that my son wasn't really getting much of a scouting experience. Most of the parents didn't even bother to walk their kids into the church for the meeting, they just dumped them at the door and split before they got volunteered to help do something.

Gawd, I miss my dad. I wasn't very good, but i played at least one sport in every season through high school. I cannot remember him missing a single game, home or away. 'Course I'm totally F/U, so maybe he did wrong?

Kids all grown up. 100, 1000, and 1500 miles away. I'd give $10,000 for one more swim meet or dance recital.

My mom NEVER missed a softball game, a dance class, a swim meet, a horse show, a soccer game...nothing! And she still cries when she watches A League of Their Own cause she misses going to my games. I dont know how parents cannot sit there & just support their kids.