Last month we spent the evening at a Lancaster Barnstormers game. We had tickets that allowed us to sit on the bank behind left field.(for $0.00) We settled down with some of our friends, right next to a couple of Amish families with several 8-12 year old boys.
Anyway, we had a good time, there were activities for the kids, and there was going to be fireworks after the game. Anyway, the game kept getting longer and longer, and the Amish kids next to us kept getting noisier and noisier.
The jumbotron would flash a phrase like: Cheer and Go Wild. And those Amish pre-adolescent boys would do just that. They would roll down the hill, YELL and cheer and shake their bowl haircuts like I have never seen before.
To me, it seemed like everybody on the bank was watching these families out of the corners of their eyes, while we cheered in a more mannerly fashion. The game drug on, and the neighboring Amish boys got even louder. Their parents seemed oblivious to how raucously their sons were behaving. I even noticed one of the Amish moms was cheering along, almost as loudly as the “boo – vah”.
Yeah, it got a bit annoying, I had been looking forward to a relaxing evening with the family, but I ended up getting annoyed at my neighbors. I was also a little bit embarrassed for them. Like this is your chance, the one evening that you are off the farm, time to break down the stereotypes about backwards Amish people and yet, you re-enforce them when your kids act like a bunch of wild mongooses. (Do I know how mongooses act? No I don’t)
So on the way home Gene and I were talking about these families. I was questioning whether or not the parents realized how uncivilized their kids appeared. Then Gene per usual, made me realize another side to the story.
He said, “I wonder what I’m going to do when my kids are that age and totally embarrass me in public”.
It really wasn’t a question of whether or not they will embarrass us. If history is any indicator we have a plethora of embarrassments coming our way. Gene is a strong person in that when his kids do something inappropriate and out of place, he owns them. As in, he OWNS his kids. He doesn’t get embarrassed and then try to save face. He never chastises them in public. He hates when parents berate their kids in front of other people.
And no, I never saw any of those Amish parents try to rein-in their kids all evening long. That is what I see myself doing, if I at all feel like I’m being judged. I do want to become more like that Amish mom and cheer wildly with my kids even if some stuffy up-tight people think they’re too cool to do the same. Good grief, it was just a ball game.
8 thoughts on “At the Ball Park”
i love this and you and gene and your kids.. just for being you guys. your always so good at it – it never seems like a show. just for real. i know i haven’t seen you in awhile but i believe this truth will remain the same. i would have been the same as you. annoyed with a capitol A. i get it all the way.
Do you know how much this makes me want to come sit in your comfortable kitchen at the farm table with Christy and Rachel to drink iced coffee and talk and talk and talk about parenting. But I don’t want any deadlines or anything this time.
there is something about always OWNING your kids in public. It is def the right thing to do, but not always the easiest. 🙂
You know what would be me? Sitting there prim and judgmental…and definitely getting after my hyper pre-adolescents if they did anything I thought would stereotype us as backwards Mennonites. Forgetting that “Good grief, it was just a ball game.”Your Gene sounds like a good man. I like that…OWNING our kids even when they embarrass us.
Learning – you did it well. So many things happen like this everyday. If we stop being irritated we all could learn from it. 🙂
Really really good! I wonder what I’ll be like… and I think I’ll remember this post when that time comes, and remember, “Good grief, it was just a ball game.” Because so much of life is like that – just really not a big deal, and we make it a much bigger deal than it is… I love when you post. 🙂
Andrea! is this you from tue cooking class?! like, i meet you for the first time in our lives & lo ‘n behold…i stumble across you here! 🙂 nice to see your family! 🙂 Esther from tue cooking class! 🙂
@thisisabother – Yes it’s me. Thanks for the comment!