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.