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Parent Confessions... I Lied So My Kid Might Make the All-Star Team

Volume 3 | Issue 7 | July 2015 | Archive
Parent Confessions... I Lied So My Kid Might Make the All-Star Team
Over the years, Little League® has received stories from parents throughout the world, reflecting on their influence, their behavior and how they handled themselves during the career of their Little Leaguer®. While a vast majority of our parents and guardians are extremely positive role models, we can all learn from select stories some have chosen to tell.

My wife and I always tell our kids not to lie. When it came time for All-Star selection, though, I didn’t follow my own rules. By not telling the truth, I ended up disappointing my son, his team, his coaches, a friend of mine, and my wife and family.

The paper my son brought home asked if there were any vacation days that would conflict with the All-Star season. I knew we had a vacation already planned that was smack-dab in the middle of tournament time. But, I didn’t want our vacation to hinder the chance of my boy being selected, so I left that section blank. Before handing the paper back in, I reread the part of how the tournament season is a serious commitment, how being selected to the All-Star team is an honor, and if there were any conflicts to PLEASE state it because the league was looking for dedicated kids who could be there for as many practices and games as possible. I had a little hesitation in handing the paper in without disclosing the vacation, but I did it anyway.

He made the team. Started at third base. Hit fifth in the lineup. We won the first two games. There was talk about us having a serious shot at winning our District Tournament. My wife asked me if I had talked to the coaches yet about the vacation. I didn’t. I knew I had to. So, after a practice, I went up to the manager, and told him my son was heading to the beach for a few days. He folded his arms, and gave me a kind of confused look. “Spur of the moment getaway,” I lied. “He’ll miss just a few practices.”

He shook his head a little, and said, “The league was clear about vacations and All-Stars.”

“I know,” I responded. “Maybe he’ll miss just one practice. I’ll talk to my wife.”

At home that night, she asked me if everything was okay with baseball and the vacation. I told her that we should drive two cars, and maybe me and my son would cut it short a few days.

She stormed off. I knew I was in a serious bind.

The first few days of the vacation were a lot of fun, but I was kind of on edge because I wasn’t sure how all of this would play out. My kids were having a blast. So much so that when I mentioned to my oldest son about heading back to make a few All-Star practices, he said he wanted to stay. He had made friends with kids his age, they played Wiffle Ball on the beach, body surfed in the ocean, and hung out in the evenings. He liked baseball a lot, but this was the beach! He told me much later on that he figured I had spoken to his manager about the vacation, and everything would be fine.

I gave in a little, and stayed on the vacation longer than I thought I would. But, I knew we had to head back. My wife didn’t talk to me the entire time we packed up. My other kids were sad.

My son didn’t say much on the four-hour ride back home. We ended up skipping three practices. But, we got there for the game. As the team took the field, there was a different kid at third. As I sat back on the bleachers, I remembered the words on the sheet of paper about commitment, and how I left the part about vacations blank.

My kid got up only once that game. Struck out. We lost. In the parking lot, I waved to one of my friends who was with his son. He was on the same Little League team as my boy. He didn’t make the All-Star team, but many thought he should of. When my friend didn’t wave back, I knew he felt my son took his son’s place on the team.

I lied, and I shouldn’t have. I put too much emphasis on the “glory” of being an All-Star. I ruined a family vacation because of it. I also took away a chance for a more committed kid to play All-Stars. We’ll have more family vacations, but that kid won’t get another shot at being on a tournament team. That’s terrible, and it’s my fault.
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The Parent Connection - July 2015 - Archive