There are soccer moms and there are handball daddies, to which yours truly counts himself, with everything it entails – occasionally the strangest of things.
In the aftermath of yesterday’s match, which our 13-year-old girls lost with a considerable margin, I recoiled at the sight of another parent calling for a meeting with players and parents attending, in order to discuss certain girls’ tendency to focus more on their own looks than on the game (presumably not their own daughter).
Unwilling to stoop to a level where I start concerning myself with other parents’ daughters and their effort or lack thereof, or indeed to what extent they care about their own looks, I am, of course, reluctant to attend a meeting in which just that subject is up for discussion.
Nevertheless, since my own daughter may very well be debated, I am left with no other option but to attend in defence of her honour, with her by my side.
Yes, these things definitely need to be addressed – on a one-on-one basis, between coach and player, between each player and her parents, as opposed to a gathering of all your teammates and their parents, as it now turns out.
Considering what this kind of scrutiny does to a fragile girl, barely into her early teens, susceptible to criticism as they are (speaking for all of them), under harsh collective and “grown-up” critique, I look forward to tomorrow’s meeting with much dread, afraid the meeting forebodes the end of the team – in any event; the team spirit (my own daughter has already expressed a desire to quit as a result).
And to think that it’s all the parents’ doing, in times where bullying is so high up on the agenda … Or so they say.
Of course the need for this meeting is defended under the pretence that no individual girls are named, but the girls know, goddamit the parents know.
Pardon me for saying so, but this meeting stinks to high heaven. At any rate, to say that I’m deeply shaken wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration.
Photograph: Handball players (older girls – not daughter’s team). Blogger’s own photo.