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Dad v. Parenting in the Elements

Posted by on October 18, 2012
Autism, Little League Football, Aspergers

Coaching over the fence.

Being the parent of a little league football player in October and November can be rough.  Oh, sure, it’s rough for the kids to be out there in the cold playing their hearts out…but we’re sitting on our butts in the cold and rain and wind.  Seriously, there are times it’s no fun at all, especially when your little guy usually only gets four plays per half.

And you’re watching them be bored on the sidelines.

Personally, I’m a wimp about it.  I don’t like to be cold.  I dress in seven layers or more when I hear it’s going to be cold…something about all those chills….gives me chills.

But I am routinely amazed at how well the boy does in the weather.

This last Saturday, we won the trifecta: Cold, Wind and Rain.

And the facilities were…lacking.  There was very limited seating in their old stands.  There was virtually no sidelines…and even though these kids rarely use them, the field goal posts were warped and bent.

So we had to bring our own chairs, along with our umbrellas and blankets and patience.

It was rough.

And then…the boys team trounced their opponents.  It wasn’t much of a game at all after the first half.

This is especially frustrating, because it would seem that that kind of game would be a perfect opportunity to get the kids that ride the end of the bench a ton of playing time, but that’s not really what happens.

And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.  The starting kids, they play a ton every game.  They don’t need the “extra” time…and when you’re up by more than twenty points, the chances of a team coming back are close to nil…even if they do, you can always put those starters back in if it does get close.

This is little league frickin’ football, for chrissakes!  This isn’t college football where you get credited for running the score up on anybody.  It’s not the NFL where each victory means millions for players and coaches.

It’s little league football.  Play the third string and the rest of the team for the whole half as long as you’re up by 14 or more.

Hey…sorry…went off on a tangent there…where was I?  The boy?  The elements?

YES!  OK, so it was windy and rainy and cold and the players had limited space and they’re “discouraged” from actually sitting on the bench, so there isn’t a whole lot for them to do but stand in the cold and watch the other kids play…

And the boy sucks it up and does it…pretty much all the time.  Rarely, does anybody have to get on him about pushing other kids or doing things that he shouldn’t.

And in that environment, when he isn’t getting the playing time or coaching that he should…and he’s wet and shaking and miserable (or at least I was) …is a downright miracle and makes me so proud of him.

Go Noah!

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