From one Sports Mom to another….

An Open Letter to the Sports Mom  Who Teased My Daughter

You know who you are, a Dublin, Ohio Sports Mom. Last Saturday you sat four seats down from me, flanked by your kids and your “mom posse.” I sat with the fathers of two of my daughter’s teammates. I heard you talking about my daughter, mocking her, shunning her, degrading her.

She is ten.
First you mocked her size.
Then you were offended by her socks.
Oh, and you didn’t stop there, let’s not forget how much you hated her hair.
Heaven forbid my child be different. How dare she attempt to stand out.
I sat there for half of the game listening to you insult my daughter to your children and to the other parents near you. I just cheered for my child and her team. Then you caught my eye and said something negative directly to me. Were you embarrassed because you realized it was MY daughter you were talking about AND that I heard you? Were you trying to cover your shame? I can’t be sure. I do know that you only succeeded in showing your kids that it is okay for adults to behave in such a manner. You made it okay for them to be bullies in their own right, that it is appropriate to shun that which is different.

Shame on you.

Let me tell you about that child you could not tolerate having on the court. She is one of the younger girls out there as she won’t turn eleven until the end of May. Yes, she’s a tall girl but as you should be well aware, she has no control over her height. Damn those pesky genetics! How dare she favor her 6’4″ father!
She chose to wear tall socks that say “Back Off” because she thinks they are funny. Do you know why? Because she’s a kid and they show a little attitude in a sea of green and white uniforms. She also takes a beating every week because she’s tall and apparently that means all of the shorter girls can do as they please to her.
Do you know why she wears her hair in two buns on top of her head (we call them poofs)?? Because she is tired of girls pulling her hair when they “guard” her on the court. The style keeps her hair out of her face, is fun and spunky, and generally is quite functional for basketball.
But more than that, my daughter is kind and considerate. She is aggressive when it comes to sports because, well, that’s what sports are about. Off the court (or field), my daughter helps out with the younger kids at school. She takes gifted courses and participates in Girl Scouts. She helps me out around the house and looks out for her younger brother who can be a little forgetful. She loves zombies (especially The Walking Dead) and reads classics like Animal Farm and To Kill A Mockingbird. She is learning to knit and sew. She likes to write stories. She likes cosplay.
This is the child you degraded on Saturday. My child. And then you tried to make me feel bad for calling you on it. What kind of parent degrades a child in such a manner?
I am not proud of myself for responding to you, my daughter probably would not have. She may have looked you square in the eye and smiled. She might have said something witty but not rude because that is who she is. But…she would have handled it with grace that you clearly lack. What saddens me is that you are not the only one she has encountered and you certainly will not be the last.