Last weekend marked the final games in my children’s Spring sports leagues and, as has become common practice over the last few years, every child was presented with a trophy or a medal simply for participating. I know there are varying opinions on this practice but I, for one, am a supporter of it (at least while the kids are young) because it makes the kids really happy, and we all know that there are plenty of other things in their lives that will make them unhappy.
This season, some of the coaches decided (spontaneously?) to say a few words about each child as he/she received his/her trophy. I am so glad that this job did not fall to me. It must have been a lot of pressure to say something positive about each child in front of their parents, especially since we’re not talking about kids who will be going on to receive college scholarships for sports. Although I guess we should never say never.
Now, I know that the coaches did their best to be positive, but I couldn’t help but hear the overtones in what they were saying. Names have been changed in order to avoid hurt feelings, lawsuits and the like:
1. The first award goes to Connor! Connor, you hit a great ball in the 7th inning today. Not sure what you were doing for the rest of the season, though.
2. Second, to Shane! Shane, you’d never played baseball before this season…and you probably never will again.
3. Tommy…You weren’t very good. Not at all, actually. But your parents sure thought you were.
4. Jennifer…you tried hard. Really hard. But it still wasn’t enough. The ball doesn’t kick itself, sweetie.
5. Frankie…you didn’t get a hit today, but you did get one…this season. Keep at it.
6. Melissa…what can I say about Melissa? You showed up every week.
7. Nathaniel…your trophy is broken. I’m really sorry about that.
8. Eleanor…your parents brought the best snacks! I especially liked those mini-donuts with the chocolate frosting and the rainbow sprinkles. Oh, and the vanilla Oreos! Where can I get those? Costco? Shit. I don’t have a car. Oh, yeah…nice goal a few weeks ago. What? That wasn’t you?
9. To Amanda…you have a lot of “spirit.” I can say with certainty that no one on the team has as much spirit as you. I mean, seriously. Did you sit down for one minute this season? Have Mom and Dad talked to anyone about this? Anyway, I hope you bring that spirit back next season! I also hope that you get a different coach.
10. Jane…Jane, Jane, Jane. I saw you trying really hard out there today. And I want you to know that I’m totally ok with the fact that you missed three plays at first base that eventually caused us to lose 3-0. I’m totally over it. Although, now that we’re talking about it, it was three fairly easy plays. I mean, all you had to do was step off the bag, scoop up a slowly rolling ball, and then step back on the bag. I think I saw a chimp do that in a movie. Repeat after me: step, scoop, step. Step, scoop, step. There you go. It’s pretty straightforward, right?
11. And finally, Jessica…your dad is my boss, so…great work!
On another note, here are some sports-related and non-sports-related awards that some (completely fabricated) parents should receive:
1. To Julia…you cheered for your daughter louder than any other parent did for theirs. And in cheering for her, you constantly reminded us that your daughter was the best on the team. We get it…we don’t need you to hit us over the head with it. You win the awards for Most Embarrassing Parent and Most Arrogant Parent. Congratulations. You won two awards so you’re better than everyone else. I guess it runs in the family.
2. To Mark…your younger son that you brought to every game was really…not easy. But congratulations are owed to you because you managed to discipline him one whole time this season. I mean, seriously…I get it, kids don’t listen. But that kid of yours was a real whack job. You should try not to whine at him so much. Maybe he’s modeling your behavior? No, really, I’m sure he’ll turn out great. You win the award for Most Fucked.
3. To Claire…you didn’t even attempt to get your son to stop saying, repeatedly and loudly, that girls can’t play sports, while we were all sitting in the bleachers watching a girls soccer game. I was really flabbergasted by this sheer lack of interest in teaching him: (a) manners, (b) common sense, and (c) facts. You win the award for Most Likely to Raise a Son Who Expects His Wife to be Barefoot and Pregnant, Cooking Dinner For Him While He’s Out Entertaining Clients with “Exotic Dancers”.
4. To Emily…every day you remembered to pack a bathing suit, towel, swim cap, goggles and swim shoes for your son to take to camp. You even remembered that he likes the crust cut off his bread, a squeeze of lemon juice on his sliced apple, and chocolate chip (NOT blueberry) Little Bites. “They” were right when they said “A law degree opens a lot of doors.” I’m just not sure they were talking about the bathroom door, which you need to barge through every time your son goes to the bathroom because, if you’re not there to “aim” him, most of the pee lands on the floor. Sometimes the wall, even. You win the award for Duped into Getting a Law Degree.
5. To George…you finally “helped” your wife with the morning routine by making the kids breakfast while your wife packed their lunches for school. For future reference, the milk needs to be put away when you’re finished with it, and the dishes don’t do themselves. So, although your “help” actually make things slightly worse (i.e. curdled milk) you did try to help so you win the award for Most Improved Husband in the Apartment. To be clear, you had no competition in this category.
6. To Fran…you have four kids in New York City, live on the Upper East Side, have no help, don’t have a Birkin bag, are still breastfeeding and haven’t killed yourself. Yet. You win the award for Not a Primate of Park Avenue.
7. To Bernadette…I really thought I saw you try to smile this season while watching your daughter playing baseball but, alas, it didn’t come to fruition. Is it the Botox? The Juvedérm?* Or are you just a nasty, nasty bitch? My vote is all three. You win the award for Haven’t Smiled in Months, Possibly Years.
*Truthfully, I don’t even know what Juvedérm does, but their marketing department is obviously doing a good job because I know enough about it to mention it in my blog, thereby promoting it to all of you. And while I could just Google it, I am too lazy, and thus present myself with the award for Too Lazy to Google While Sitting in Front of a Computer.