We were at soccer practice on Monday night and Sophia and Bella automatically started asking me to help them climb the tree. The girls all love the trees that line the fields. The trees are the perfect size for them to climb, they just need a boost up to the first branch.
I boost Sophia up and tell Bella that she can have her turn in five minutes. Meanwhile, I start chatting with the other soccer parents while simultaneously keeping my eye on Abigail in the field, Bella in her camp chair, and Phia in the tree.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a mom from the other field walking over in our team’s direction. She walks right up to me and says in an ever so nosy way, “Um, your kids aren’t supposed to climb the trees.”
“Oh, really, according to whom?” I reply with a “leave me a alone” tone. “Well, the soccer board members will get on to you if they see your kids in the tree. They have made me get my kids down before.” I reply again with a dual tone of you are really bugging combined with I am going to try and be nice, “Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate your concern. I will be sure to get a little more concerned when the soccer board is around.” I smiled at her and she got the message and finally walked away.
HONESTLY! Do people just need to get a life or what? The other people around me agreed that my small kids climbing these trees are not a big deal. They are not going to do any damage and I have no plans to sue if they fall.
Meanwhile, LG shows up after work and I tell him about the annoying conversation. He, of course, reacts totally obediently and says to me, “Alice, we probably shouldn’t let them climb. The soccer league probably has a contract with the school….blah blah blah…legal jargon, blah.” I cut him off, “LG, you and the soccer league are ridiculous. They are trees. They are kids and this is a park.” LG trails off with, “Well, they have to protect their liability….blah blah” I intentionally tune him out, go and get Sophia out of the tree and boost Bella up for her turn.
I got Bella down five minutes later and told LG that Sophia and I were going home to get dinner and a Family Home Evening lesson ready.
So, we get into the bath/dinner rush and then all sit down to eat. LG says ever so authoritarianish….”I have an announcement. Our family will no longer be climbing trees at the soccer field.” I start into my nagging about the tree/kid thing. LG cuts me off and says, “Alice, a soccer league board member came over after you left and said that THAT lady had called him. The board member announced to our whole team, ‘That lady (what he should have said is: THAT nosy mom) said that a woman was letting her two children climb the tree and that she DARED a board member to stop her. I am here to stop her.’
I started cracking up! I asked, “Did you tell Doug that it was me?” The board members all know us because we have coached for the past 3 years. LG sighed and said, “No, of course not. I am not taking the slack for you. In fact, at the next practice you need to thank all of the other parents, they didn’t say a word.”
I then said, “I can’t believe that Doug came down there to get a kid out of the tree. C’mon, LG, you know you agree, that lady and the board members need to get a life. You guys should have all told him it was me, and you should have handed him your phone to call me, or better yet, brought him to the house. I am not afraid of them. In fact, if we have to quit the soccer league so that I can just go to the park and let my kids climb the trees, we will.” Can you tell I am feisty? I then got even more fired up. “What is up with that lady. Seriously, she needs to get a life! What is she? Some wannabe hall monitor?”
LG nods towards the listening children and then repeats ever so calmly, “Like I said kids, our family will no longer be climbing the tree.” And yes, if they end up in jail someday, whose fault is it going to be? Mr. Obedient or Mrs. Rule Breaker?
But, really, they are trees and kids…I just don’t get people.