I love coaching my daughter in all her sports. I have coached her in t-ball and soccer for a couple years now. I signed up to coach because no one else would. I sign up to help in her dance classes for room moms during the recital performances. I am constantly around because she wants me there. I know one day she won’t so why not enjoy it now right?

I signed up for spring soccer through a city park board. We have played sports through this city for years and I had never had issues. So I was excited. Then soccer started. I emailed all the parents and let them know of where and the time of practice. I was so excited. Mind you I know next to nothing of soccer. What I know is things that I have picked up from other people but hey it is kindergarten soccer so its mostly supposed to be fun.

I held one practice. I had a list of things to cover and I was ok with all the parents ignoring their kids while I taught them the basics. It was nothing new to me to watch parents play on their cell phones or have conversations about so and so while totally ignoring the kids practicing. So I talked to the parents. I won’t lie this is the worst part about being a coach. I hate hate hate talking to the parents. They are always above anything you say. They all want to sign up for snacks though so hey there is always that. It seems like parents feel guilty they don’t pay attention so they compete for best snack at the game award.

So I talked to the parents told them what I expected, let them know how long practices would be (its never long enough) and handed out the sheet for snack person as well as a schedule. I am always prepared because I never want to stumble when talking to the parents. That just gives them a chance to talk back and that never ends well because they all know better than the person who actually deals with their children. So practice of course is not long enough. Why it can’t be longer. Why can’t we practice on the fields we will play at. Question after question that I had previously answered. It is almost like they look for you to stumble so they can strike.

There was one mom that tried to tell me I gave out the wrong game schedule. I looked at her and said no we are the kindergarten team 2. She said oh I thought we were the 4 year old group. I really wanted to say seriously your kid is almost 6 why would they be with 4 year olds. Ok no I am never wrong ma’am I try very hard to ensure that I am always right when dealing with you all. Thank you practice is over I am leaving.

Of course they didn’t like me. I didn’t bow to their ways. So after the third mother asked the same question I sent a mass email answering the question in more detail then needed. The day of the game two moms asked if it was their day for snack. I didn’t sign the sheet, how do you not know what day you sign up for. So I figure I don’t really care if they bring snacks or not to the game so I ignore the first message. Then some how it always becomes about winning. Are our kids going to win. Well I couldn’t tell you because this is a recreational league and it is for fun. We don’t keep score. Well they won a lot last time so we expect to win this year too. No ma’am I don’t coach for kindergarten children to win. They all get some dumb ribbon so what does it matter.

It was at the first game I took the equipment to the director told him I quit and walked away. He asked why. I said well the parents are all about win win win. I am not a babysitter and I don’t get disrespected. He then walked over to the parents and asked if any of them wanted to be the coach. The comments that I overheard made me want to scream. These parents are rude. I told my daughter that after t-ball I am done in that city. The director actually apologized to me because of the things that the parents said.

I am a competitive mom. We have done pageants and sports and next up is competitive cheerleading. With that being said just because I am competitive doesn’t mean I want my daughter to be all about winning. We have won and we have lost gracefully. She is 5 and its all about fun. In 10 years, you better believe if she plays a sport it better be because she wants to be the best. For now, it is to gain the skills and the knowledge to know what she wants to really excel at.

Dine with shamu

Sea world has been controversial since the movie blackfish has come to light. Sea world in my opinion is all about family fun for me. I used to love going to Sea World San Diego and watching the manatees swim lazily in the enclosure. They were there because they needed care and at the time it was authorized. Today, Sea world is more of an amusement park, an expensive one, but still fun. I have brought my kids up to respect wildlife. Living in the Midwest, we have very cold winters and very hot summers. It is not every day that they can go outside and see ocean creatures. Sea world has given us that opportunity to see things that we would never get the chance to see. I have tried whale tours before but they bore my kids to tears as they are usually a few hours and after about 10 minutes they are over the boat ride. Don’t even get me started if there are no whales at that time.

Sea world had a chance years ago to get in front of blackfish. They decided that their reputation was above propaganda. They guessed wrong. Between blackfish and the rising cost of entry fees that all amusement parks seem to have, it has really affected the ability of regular people going to see these animals. Sea world complains that they don’t get enough of an audience and yet every time I have gone (regardless of the season) the place is full. Even when it is rainy or chilly people go to see these amazing sea animals and watch the theatrics at the shows.

My favorite show used to be the Shamu show, I loved watching the trainers get into the water and swim with these massive creatures. It wasn’t until a trainer was killed in 2010. Was it the whales fault, the trainers fault or the spotters fault. I won’t ever know and I won’t ever speculate. Was it tragic? Absolutely. Not only did we lose an amazing trainer but a shadow was further cast over a wild animal that was in captivity. My favorite show has been for the last few years the Sea Lion and Otter show. It is amazing how they have these sleek animals perform. From the crew that comes out to entertain the audience 15 minutes before show time to the last group dance they leave you laughing and having a great time.

Let’s talk captivity. Am I for it? I don’t really know. I mean to an extent I guess I am. Places like zoo’s all over the world have helped bring endangered species back to threatened or even fully thriving. Do I feel like I belong in the category of free willy? Not at all. I am old enough I remember Keiko. I remember the process of trying to train this whale held in a Mexico hell to be self sustaining. Millions of dollars were spent to get this one whale ready to go back into the wild. There were just a few issues with this concept. The first, this whale had spent a long time learning that people bring food. That is not an easy habit to break and we can see from all the times Keiko came close to humans even in the wild that he never lost that bad habit. Whales in captivity have round the clock veterinarian care. Take the super filtered water they swim in daily and you are seriously setting any whale up for failure. Water filtering. Well there are a lot of nasty bacteria in the oceans. All you have to do is ask anyone and you will see its a dirty place. Think of all the rivers or garbage that is in the ocean. Keiko died of a lung infection. He wasn’t able to associate with a pod because no pod ever accepted him. It is a sad way to die. If they had kept him in captivity he may have had many more years on his life. Instead, we learned the hard way that it is difficult to keep any animal in captivity for years and release them without a lot of set backs.

Sea world does a lot of good. The number of animals rescued and rehabilitated by sea world is amazing. I love going up to La Jolla when I am in Southern California and watching the Sea lions sunning themselves in the cove or at children’s beach. To think that sea world works hard to save the ones stuck in fishing line or that are too sick to eat its amazing. Sea world helps a lot of animals. They give a home to babies that are too young to be taken back to the wild. The best success story is of JJ the whale. So is sea world the best place on earth, no that’s Disneyland. Sea world does a lot of good. So I would say support sea world for the good that they do and will continue to do.

So yesterday, it occurred to me that in this life we have seriously become too busy.  As I was driving, daily errands, a funeral procession turned in front of me while I waited at a red light.  No big deal except I grew up watching my parents pull over and stop the car while the procession passed.  Ok well I was already stopped and they were not going around me so this was a different situation.  I was in the opposite lane as the procession and after a few blocks of staying at a safe distance behind (mind you I am slowing traffic now in both lanes) the procession begins another turn away from me.  So I drove on.  The second the other lane opened up the guy who was behind me, who was seriously annoyed that I had gone so slow (maybe 5-10 under the speed limit), drove off in a huff glaring at me as he passed.  So I took it to my facebook page to ask what others would do.  I have encountered funeral processions in San Diego on the highway and I have given my distance.  Mind you I am human and really needed to exit so I actually cut one off to exit.  It was the longest funeral procession I have ever seen to date and well I am human.  I wonder if paying respects to the dead or grieving families has simply gone out the window in our busy society or if we simply don’t care about others like we used to so many years ago.  I could only imagine how I would feel if someone was in such a rush that they sped past.  As if those few minutes really made that much of a difference.  Makes me wonder what my daughter is learning from me.  Will she learn to respect a funeral procession.  And what if she does, will she be one of a few adults in her time that pays respect.  I know every state is different and every county and all that have different laws.  I know down south in some places people stop and exit the vehicle.  In the Midwest you are supposed to slow or come to a stop until the procession passes.  I guess times are changing but some things should remain unchanged.

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