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(Don’t) Take Me Out to the Ballgame

By Hildie Westenhaver

I feel kind of bad saying this, but I really hate going to my son’s baseball games.  I go occasionally, but most times it’s my husband, the baseball lover, who takes him.  I’m the one who does the ballet and music classes for the other children.  It seems to be a good division.  Sometimes if we’re busy I’ll send the kids to their lessons or games with a neighbor.

I thought this was the way most parents do things until I talked to one of my friends.  She explained how either she or her husband has been to every single practice, lesson, game and concert that her children have ever participated in. With a high-schooler and two middle-schoolers that’s a lot of stuff she’s been going to.

Compare this to my parents.  Sometimes they’d come to a chorus concert, but athletic events?  Never.  We were responsible for getting ourselves to all clubs and practices.  Like most weird things in people’s childhoods, this seemed normal to my siblings and me until we grew up and realized that it was a little too hands-off.

I seem to be caught somewhere in the middle.  I think it’s important to show my children that I love and support them, but it’s not my entire existence.  I blew off my daughter’s piano recital last month to meet up with an old friend who was in town for one day only.  I don’t know if that makes me selfish.  I guess it does, but I don’t think that’s always a bad thing.  (Besides, it’s not like I haven’t heard my daughter play those two songs a million times already.)

Shouldn’t my kids know that my husband and I have a life too?  I don’t want my children to feel neglected and that I don’t care about their interests.  But I also don’t want to be a helicopter parent, hovering and suffocating my children’s independence.  Is it wise to make my children the center of the universe, or is that how things should be?  At what point is there too much involvement or too little?

About Hildie Westenhaver

(Blog Team) was born and raised in Detroit, but is happy to call Austin, TX home now. She majored in Art History and Geography at BYU and graduated a week before having her first baby. There have been five more babies since then. Hildie is an avid baker and tries to fatten up the people she loves.

41 thoughts on “(Don’t) Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

  1. I don't think there is a definitive answer to this. Because each child is unique, each child will have different needs. One will probably care less if you are there, one will probably be hurt if you aren't there. I think it is a conversation that needs to be had with each child or during a weekly family planning meeting when all the events are scheduled and it is determined who will be going where.
    Children just want to know that they have a safe place to fall. They need to feel secure in their family.

  2. I never did anything my parents ought to have come to, so I don't have any comparison there, but if supporting my kids means that I HAVE to be at every practice, then I need to check them out of everything. I often drop them off and run errands or edit a book while I wait. There is just so much that needs to be done in a day; am I truly supposed to put those things off for a practice that happens every week (or twice a week)? My kids are not the center of my universe but they are the largest planets that orbit around me. Most of my day is devoted to them in one way or another, but I feel they need to develop their own independence as well. Maybe I'm justifying, and maybe one day I'll look back with regret, but so far they know I support them, they know I make sacrifices to do so, and they don't seem to mind that I'm not hovering too much. They also don't seem to feel 'entitled' to all my time and attention–which I think is a good thing. I guess I'll just have to wait for their psychotherapy to decide if I chose right.

  3. One time I missed a band concert that my son was in. I had pneumonia. Give me a break. He has since reminded me that I went to more orchestra concerts for my daughter than I did his band concerts.

    I refuse to take the guilt trip.

  4. Ditto, Josi.
    Except I did alot of things that involved parental attendance. At least one parent usually made it to a performance or game, but rarely both, and even more rare– the whole family. (There were 8 of us kids! That's a HUGE time committment if you're puting your kids in classes, clubs and sports…) And my parents NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stayed at a practice. It was always drop and run. {That's one of the few things from my childhood I am NOT scarred from. 😉 }

    I also agree with Erin.
    Different children have different needs and those need to be considered when planning what activities you (and they) will be involved in.

  5. I agree with Erin–I don't think there is a definitive answer for how much involvement is too much or too little. I know for us, I do not even attempt to attend practices, but my husband and I try very hard to make sure one or the other of us is at every game or performance possible. I don't think that supporting them in this way suffocates independence, it merely shows that what they do is important to us, that THEY are important to us, and yes it's definitely a sacrifice sometimes. That said, I can't see why missing an event now and then should cause a problem. I think the important thing is that our kids feel our support and interest.

    It's a tough balancing act, isn't it?

  6. I don't see why parents would need to stay at practices (unless your child is really little and you don't want to leave them there w/o you.) My older kids range in age from 8-12 and I never stay at piano/baseball/choir/soccer practice. Drop and run, baby! Although sometimes I like getting there a little early so I can read a good magazine in my car while I wait.

    But games and performances? I admit that I feel like one of us should always be there for those, and preferably both. Part of it is because I want my kids to know we're interested in what they do, but I also want to be there and cheer when they do well and give them moral support if things go bad (forgetting recital song, getting hit in the shin w/ a really fast baseball, like my son did the other night.) It's not hard and fast, though. Some events are "bigger deals" than others–so if my husband's going to my 8 year old's soccer game and it's at 8:30 in the morning and it's cold, I might just bow out.

  7. As a child, I was heartbroken when my parents didn't come to a performance or game. I needed their support; I needed to know that they were just there. They weren't helicopter parents, they didn't hover, but most of the time they were just there in the background. I can't explain how much that meant to me. I don't plan on ever attending my kids practices regularly, but performances and games will always need to take top priority in our family.

  8. This is one of those personal things and just because I feel or choose differently than someone else doesn't mean I'm judging them. Because you asked: In my book, attending games, concerts and recitals does not a helicopter parent make. The helicopter parents are the ones meddling in their kids' lives and trying to orchestrate what position they play, what chair they are, who their friends are, what parties they get invited to, etc. and solving all their problems for them.

    I attend events, games and performances (but no practices) whether or not it's important to my kids (I've found that whether or not they tell me, it usually is) just because it's important to me. My kids are quite aware that I have a life and maybe that makes it mean even more to them that I show up. Or maybe they don't care. It's all good either way.

  9. I represented my school at the county spelling bee in 6th grade, and was scared and nervous until somewhere from the darkness of the audience behind me, I heard my mother cough. Don't ask me how I recognized it — how does a lamb recognize his mother's baaa? But instantly I calmed down and knew it would be okay.

    Band concerts, dance recitals, science fairs, speech festivals, yeah, both parents, and siblings if at all possible. But practices? No.

    Because obviously there *is* a definitive answer: Do just what *my* family did. 🙂

  10. My parents attended all of our games/events/performances when we were growing up. (I don't think any parents ever went to practices unless they were there early to pick their child up)

    My Husbands's family was the complete opposite and didn't even realize when he had a match or tournament. He always said he didn't care and never asked them to come. However, now that we have kids he's already mentioned that he wants to go to all their games/recitals. So, I think it did actually bother them.

    I mean honestly what child would complain (and mean it) about having their parents come support them and be proud of them whether you win or lose. Yes, you can be proud without attending but I think it's the extra step that can mean a lot to a child.

    As someone else said, this is just my opinion and every family has different needs.

  11. Interesting that this is today's topic, because just last night my daughter performed in the annual "Disney Revue" at a local theater. She's been in this musical every year for the past three years and it is always 2 1/2 hours long (I kid you not)–on a school night–forty grueling Disney songs–really, it's unbearable. So last night my husband and I got smart. We brought books and projects to work on and sat out in the foyer and just went in for the two numbers my daughter was in, which were both during the first half of the performance. Then we went home at intermission, and my husband went back and picked my daughter up when it was over. I will do the same thing next year.
    I try to make it to most of my children's performances, but I have to admit I don't make it to all of their games–usually my husband goes to those, and sometimes neither one of us makes it (and I would never go to their practices!). We do what we can. So far it seems to be working okay, but I'm sure my children will still have issues. My oldest daughter is still bitter about the one end-of-the-year orchestra performance we didn't go to five years ago. I should have been more supportive when she was in orchestra, but I was still rather clueless back then and had little ones at home, so it was harder to make it to everything. I try to be more supportive with my other children now, but I'm by no means perfect in this area.

  12. As one of the oldest kids in a large family, my parents did their best to make it to important performances (although I don't know if they ever went to my brothers' sporting events). But with teenagers and newborns at the same time, what else could they do? Once we could drive, my brother and I shared a family car while mom and dad paid for insurance and gas, but we were expected to drive our siblings to music lessons, ballet, karate, etc. When my parents did make it to something, I knew what a sacrifice it was for them to be there, and I really appreciated it.

    I think the most important part of the whole issue is making sure that your kids know that you support them and are proud of the efforts they make, regardless of the results. There are plenty of times in life when the only people who are aware of the work you have done are you and the Lord. (Motherhood?) My own kids are still a little young for this to be a big issue, but I can guarantee that I would NOT stay at my daughter's piano lessons, except she takes lessons from my SIL, and my boys throw a fit like you wouldn't believe if they don't get to hang out and play with their cousins.

  13. Two thoughts:

    Your support of them is an attitude thing. Do your kids know you're cheering them on?

    Also, they need to know they're fortunate to be able to HAVE piano, dance, and baseball. Tons of families don't enough money to provide extras for their kids.

  14. Melissa M, I know about that Disney Review! It is insanely long. I think there is a balance to supporting your children in activities. My parents tried to make it to end of the year concert, parent teacher confrences, etc. However, my dad worked two jobs and we understood that it wasn't always possible for him to be there. Also, when one sibling had mulitple games a week, it wasn't ever expected that all siblings attend. In fact, my parents never pressured us to attend sibling events once we were old enough to be home alone. I can't imagine how that works for a family with mulitple kids in all sorts of activities!

  15. My parents were in the occasional attenders camp; definitely not practices or lessons, but they tried to come to our performances and things when the could. But again, we had 5 kids and by the time I was in high school my younger siblings were in Little League, so sometimes there were conflicts. The main thing I participated in during high school was the Trivia Bowl team, and it's not really a spectator sport. But I do remember my mom coming a few times and I appreciated it a lot. I participated in the team during college, and one time we were at a regional match close to where my parents live and they came to watch. They also came to a conference where I was presenting a paper a few years ago. Support is nice. But like other people have said, I think the most important thing for kids to know is that their parents care. The ideal for me would be to have open communication as much as possible so we know our kids understand our choices and so we can help them deal with inevitable disapointments. For me, the biggest danger with over-involvement (or 'helicopter parenting') is that it sets up expectations that parents are perfect and that life will never involve disappointment. Kids can learn a lot from having some hard things to deal with.

    I have no idea what we'll do with our kids–they're only 5 and 3. My daughter has started taking some dance classes, and I stick around because she's too little to just drop off (plus I'm not that busy). I'm honestly a little nervous that they'll want to do sports, since my husband and I hate sports and I'm afraid I'll be totally bored, but I'm prepared to support them in what they do.

  16. Jennie, my family growing up was like yours, and I tend to have your same viewpoint now as a mother.

    Personally, I really don't think it's good for parents to attend every game for their kids (performances, yes). I like that my parents came to some of my games, but also that I went to other games without them. I think it made me more independent and confident in myself.

    Comparison: If your daughter was in a play, would you attend every showing of that play? Or would you just go once and see her? I think that it's good to watch your kids in their sports stuff frequently, and particularly to make the ones that are big to them, but I certainly don't think that they need to have us there at every game.

    My point of reference: We didn't really do any sports or extra-curriculars until we were 10 or 11 years old. Like someone else said, it makes a difference the age of your child when you drop them off. But, especially with high school sports, I think that it's a bit damaging to attend every game. I think that by adolescence they need to get used to the fact that they usually won't have a fan club right behind them cheering them on through life, nor should they.

  17. I also hate it when moms are so busy shuttling everyone here and there and going to every game that that's their whole life. Is it really a good thing to teach your kids that the world revolves around them and that the adults in their lives are only around to attend to their every whim, pleasure, and interest?

  18. Strollerblader–when I see these parents that go to every single performance of their kids plays I can't help but think that's completely weird. I had no idea that many parents do that! I don't plan on doing that ever.

  19. I grew up in a large family so my parents' presence at my recitals and concerts meant a lot to me. They didn't attend lessons, but that was fine with me. I knew that they sacrificed financially to make them possible.

    Because of a personal experience in my childhood, I have to make a conscious effort to avoid being overprotective. But it's also a vastly different world now. I am fine with dropping my kids off for a group activity or sports practice. When my older kids could finally drive themselves, that was cause for celebration! But when they are young I just take a book or my laptop and wait through the private music lessons. Also, three of our children have studied violin which requires parental help with a young child in the beginning.

    My husband and I try to attend our children's events and encourage them to support eachother without force or guilt trips. We have one child with Asperger's Syndrome who has difficulty being in crowds so he decides what he can handle now that he's old enough to stay home alone. Before that (if we didn't have funds for a babysitter) my husband often walked the high school halls and foyer with him during concerts.

    I'm not a sports fan, but I must say that by attending my sons' track/cross country meets I have gained tremendous appreciation for dedicated coaches and teenage peers who have had a positive impact on their lives.

    Now that two of our children have left home, I realized more than ever how quickly this busy stage of life passes and how much parental support means. But as others have mentioned, each family is different and this is just my take on expressing that support.

  20. I'm with most of you. Practices? No. Performances? Yes. Games? One of us will be there, not both, especially if it's just a weekly soccer game.

    When I was in high school, I never would've expected my parents to come to every choir and Madrigal performance. There were tons of them. They were busy. I still knew they loved me.

  21. I was just thinking about this very subject this week. My husband's sister is a dancer and her parents (my in-laws) attend every performance (even traveling to the city 4 hours away where she goes to college and dances in programs there) regardless of whether or not they have seen the show already. I think that's a bit much.

    Contrast that to my parents who didn't attend enough. I remember winning a prestigious award my senior year of high school and my parents weren't there to see me accept it.

    There has to be a balance that works for both the parent and the child. And I also think that setting yourself up with insane expectations early on will bite you later on.

  22. I grew up playing sports and an instrument. My parents never went to any practices, and I never thought twice about that. My parents attended some of my games; however I was the oldest of four, so there were a lot of games they had to be at. They would make more of the "important" games and tournaments, and I was fine with that – especially as I got older, and my basketball team travelled to schools that were pretty far away. My parents attended all of my "important" or "big" recitals/performances. And I was totally fine with this.

    As a parent, I know that I'm more hands-off than other parents with whom I come in contact. I think that it is important for my children to learn to speak and act for themselves. As a mother of daughters, I especially want them to see that yes, I take motherhood very seriously, but motherhood is much more than chauffering and cheerleading.

    Anyways – don't guilt yourself, just confidently do what you think is right for your family.

  23. I'm another in the "practices no but games/recitals yes" category. My parents always came to everything. I ran cross country throughout jr high and high school. Meets are boring and I wasn't a star. I'd always tell them they didn't have to come but at least one of them was always there. It was nice to see a friendly face when I was hot and tired and fun to hear my little brothers cheering for me so I'm glad they came. I am one of six and usually siblings attended things too unless they had scheduling conflicts. I can remember going to my younger brothers little league games as a teenager and even when I'd be home from college.

    My kids are still very young so at least one of us always stays at practices and often we take everyone because usually there is a playground around. We both try to go to games as well but it's not a big deal if only one of us can go if the other has something. I know as our kids get older, we'll have to divide and conquer more.

    My kids will only be young and playing sports/recitals for a very short part of my life. I personally want them to know that they are one of my top priorities right now and I think attending their important events is a way I show them that. I think because I have so many kids in a short span of time (5 kids in 4 1/2 years) they crave my attention so this is one way I can give it to them. Every time my son hits the ball, kicks the ball, catches the ball, he turns to where we are sitting to see if we are watching. He knows whether we are there or not.

    My mom was one of 14 kids (#6) and her parents hardly came to anything. She still occasionally mentions asking her mom to come to a choir concert and her mom told her that if she ever made madrigals than she would come. She never made madrigals and her mom never came. My dad was one of 9 kids and at least one of his parents came to all the games/recitals. I think it was because of this difference that my parents made it a priority to come to stuff. I'm glad they did and I'm glad they encouraged us kids to support each other too.

  24. I have a friend who is bedridden with a serious illness and is not able to attend her children's performances and sporting events. This is excruciatingly difficult for her, but she makes a point of having them climb up on her bed afterwords to tell her all about it. It's all she can do and it's enough.

    For me, it isn't about going or not going; it's about prayerfully trying to fill the needs of each child entrusted to me. No sacrifice we make for our children is ever wasted. I want my children to feel that if it's important to them –it's important to me.

  25. I have some personal feelings about this, but my advice is to do what you can to make sure that you at least are equal with all your children. It really hurt me when I was young when my parents never when to my orchestra concerts or swim meets, but then my mom decided to make every effort to attend every single one of my sister's volleyball games because my sister was more of a "problem child" and my mom thought this effort would fix it. Like I said, I've got some personal baggage about this issue, but I can attest that every time my parents attended one of my events it meant so much to me. Maybe that was just because they didn't attend very often, but I would say that anything you do to show them that you care in this way you won't regret and it will mean something to them. I'm sure there has to be balance with the rest of your life too, but I think it's a really nice way to support your kids.

  26. I really do not want to come off as judgmental, but it hurt to read a lot of this.

    "I think that by adolescence they need to get used to the fact that they usually won’t have a fan club right behind them cheering them on through life, nor should they."
    I'm 30. I KNOW I have a fan club right behind me cheering me on through life. Even though my family is now scattered across the country, facing life with all of its challenges would be darn near impossible if I didn't have that fan club behind me. And adolescents need it even more.

    My high school play performance was on the same night as the last episode of "Cheers." I know my dad would've loved to stay home and watch that show. But he didn't. He came to my play and watched me. And the track meets he came to meant the world to me.

    My mom was at my track meets too, even though she hates driving on mountain roads, she would, with my siblings, to watch me run my 3 races or so.

    They weren't at practices. But the family was at track meets. The family was at band performances. The family was there. My parents actually missed it when we all graduated from high school and they didn't have such a built in excuse to go watch marching bands any more.

    Practices are practices. But performances and games, those are important, no matter what you think of them at the time. Looking back, they will always be important.

    And nobody says your kids have to be doing all those activities you don't want to go to.

  27. In high school, I was in the choir, on the diving team, and on the debate team. My dad faithfully came to all of my choir performances, and my mom came to some of them. They never came to any of my diving meets or debate tournaments. It didn't bother me that they weren't at the diving or debate ones, but I wish my mother had come to more of my choir concerts.

  28. I was a little offended when my mom didn't come to ALL of my middle school band concerts, but then I realized she did still have toddlers at home to care for, and with Dad working late many nights and my younger sister not quite old enough to tend, it was hard for her to get to everything.

    We go to performances. We only went to lessons if there were no errands to do and it would waste too much gas to go all the way back home and go back to pick them up again.

  29. I am almost 14 years old, and I am shocked after reading many of the responses on this blog. It always means so much to me to have my parents at my dance and singing performances. My parents are divorced and their attention really means a lot to me. I hope that when I am a mom that my children will know that I care enough to be there for them and support them. I'm here to tell you that even when you think your kids don't notice if you're there, they really do.

  30. I am blushing a little bit because my son was just in a play at school (he had a leading role) and we enjoyed watching him so much we were one of THOSE families where someone went every night! I loved it! but football? in the rain? on a hard bench? each game was a sacrifice for me. I did it, but not every single time. Also struggling with this time of year and 5 kids. Next week we have 3 different children participating in 3 different activities (big ones!) in 3 different locations but all.at.the.same.time. Not sure what we are going to do but hope they will know that we always come when we can and understand when we don't. It is fun to see them "trying on" different activities for size and I love clapping and cheering them on. Hopefully enough cheerleading now will carry them through when we can't be physically there. One other trick, I've been known to catch up on Segullah on my Blackberry, stopping long enough to clap and shout when they are getting close to scoring or singing! 🙂

  31. I agree with the general consensus that practices, at least when they are older, probably aren't necessary, but whatever games and performances that we can make it to, we will.

    IIt meant a lot to me that my mom came to a lot of my sporting events. however, there were often 3 of us playing soccer every Saturday, and sometimes all the games overlapped. And in HS, some of those away games were pretty far away. So no, both my parents didn't make it to all the games for all of us, and we were fine with that. they tried to be pretty fair about how often they sent us with a friend.

    Although I always was a little upset that my dad never saw me play volleyball in HS–I know that it would have been hard for him to make most of the the games since a lot were during work hours, but in the 2 years that I played, he could have found a way once since he did manage to come to a couple of my brothers' HS soccer games each year. My mom, on the other hand, sat through every home game and even some away games while I sat the bench for almost my entire senior year. She came on the chance that I might play that game and even though I told her she didn't have to, I know she was so happy to be there the last game when I finally got my chance and had an awesome game.

  32. I am glad my son lasted through 1 season of baseball it was torture- I am glad we're into tennis now- lower key!

  33. I aim to get to all of their orchestra performances, the plays (although only one performance of), and sporting things too. I don't wait at practices unless it is swimming as that is the rule there. I do it becuase I want my children to know that I am proud of them and want them to do well. As a rule we try to go as a family to these big events too if at all possible. That is what works for us and what keeps us all happy. I have to admit though to not agreeing to my son doing soccer as I couldn't cope with another activity at the time and didn't want to be out in the rain each weekend for games either. I absolutely did not feel guilty about this either as whatever my children do it must not make life too difficult for the rest of us. As others have said though, each to their own. It is whatever works best for your individual family.

  34. Looking from another perspective at this. I used to instruct art and music and not too many things were worse than the parents staying. Either the kid played to the parent or the parent decided I was a therapist. Never ask "how are you?" or "what have you been up to?" Occasionally a parent would stay for 1 practice, no prob. If I asked your parent to come with you – you were in a lot of trouble.

    Practices, NO! Performances, YES! I've seen the kids who look out and no one is there, not pretty. Games, sports are a lot different than when i was young – now too many games. I honestly don't see how parents work and make it these. My husband's secretary doesn't take lunch and gets off early because parents are required at her son's events – high school!

    My Dad was in to Ball – Baseball, Softball. He played 2 – 3 teams a week, gone alot. Never believed in letting your family get in the way of what you did. (My mother still quotes that alot!) His Dad came to his games – every single one – even after he was an adult – in or out of town. Many people commented on it. Grandpa died when I was about 8 – my dad still looked back to see his dad and when he went in the hall of fame – he accepted it for his father.

    When my Dad was dying all he wanted in the paper was his ball stats – from the beginning. We mentioned that would take a whole page, – he answered. My sister said what about your civic projects and family? My dad – after ball!

    He loved playing ball. But he played literally – all the time – we went to tournaments. When my nephews played, he suggested we go to important games, and sometimes as a surprise – if they loved the game, they wouldn't even notice you were there til the end.

  35. I don't even have to comment because Dalene said it all for me, quite perfectly. (I did just want to thank her for doing such a good job of explaining how we feel, though…)



  36. My daughter is an only child, so it's probably a little too easy to hover. But her first-grader self taught me something important. She was receiving a smallish-award and told me very specifically not to come. I think she was a little embarrassed at how much time I spent at the school. So I didn't go.

    And guess what were her first words that day after school, "Mom, where were you? Why didn't you come to see me?" I felt awful.

    She's a teen now, and keeps it low-key, of course, but loves it whenever we come see her.

    But there's no way we can attend every play performance. For one thing, we have to pay to go. Way too expensive!

  37. Christine, my parents bought tickets for every night of my big brother's play. While all of us didn't attend every night (my dad was out of town for part I'm sure) I have fond memories of going at least a couple of times with the family. My brothers and sisters had fun supporting each other (most of the time).
    I remember when I was 18 and my parents were out of town so I was going to be the sole family representative at my sister's play in high school. My date stood me up, but my biggest concern was getting to the play because it was so important that I be there for her.
    I definitely think some families take it way too far (my SIL's family did the all practices and still travels to see college sports games…it is their entire life). However, I can't imagine not thinking it was important to have at least one parent going to a recital or game. We have little ones so we switch it up. SOmetimes the whole family, sometimes just one parents, sometimes a few of us.
    Lessons are drop off, although I occasionally like being without the baby and listening to the piano lesson, or occasionally like to actually watch the swimming lesson to see what is going on.
    I didn't show for a small award (for Empathy) last Thursday that was given in an assembly. I think she wasn't upset, but after thinking about it I realized that maybe the normal thing would have been to go, and so my daughter might have wondered why I wasn't there. (They sent a letter and said it was a surprise so I couldn't ask her). I didn't actually have a conflict. When she came home and told me about the award I think I gushed supportively.

  38. I've not read all the comments so I hope I am not repeating, but I'm a believer in being at kids performances/recitals/sporting events. My parents came to all of mine and I loved it. Of course, there are exceptions – for example, this weekend I'm going to a stake RS event and missing two football games and possibly a soccer game, but I always do my best to be there rain or shine. As far as practices…around here it's in the rules that a parent stays with their child for practices. I'm more than happy to take my boys to the playground while my daughter practices soccer or walk laps while my son practices football, but in todays world, I think it's important to be there.


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