With three sons firmly entrenched in their respective sports, I am suddenly reminded of Michael Jordan's famous "For the Love of the Game" clause. In his early professional career, Mr. Jordan wanted to make sure he could play whenever and wherever he desired.
I admire this kind of dedication in athletes. However, I am now finding that the grammar school crowd has replaced Mr. Jordan's clause with one of their own, aptly titled "For the Love of Snack Moms."
Snack moms are those earnest individuals who play an active role in their children's sports by putting together carefully designed charts listing every gameday snack assignment. I will never criticize this level of involvement, as I am the parent who paints white lines in the grass like I have been doing tequila shots.
I understand that snacks help reinforce a positive experience when small children are first introduced to organized sports. But now? If a 9-year-old is only motivated by Capri Suns and Cheetos, perhaps sports just aren't his thing.
One of my mom friends complained how she was sick of the kids coming home not wanting to eat dinner because of all the garbage handed out on the field. When it was her turn to be snack mom, she sliced up carrots and brought along water bottles. The team's response? No thanks. She threw up her hands in surrender and packed a case of Coca-Cola and Twinkies for her next at-bat.
Naturally, she was a hit.
With all due deference to snack moms who have organized this for centuries (or rather, since 1990, when anthropologists first documented the shift), I respectfully submit we put an end to the practice. If the kids get thirsty, point them to the water fountain. If they complain, tell them to suck it up. It's time to go 1970s tough love on their Twinkied butts.
I tried unsuccessfully to implement my vision when I was handed yet another snack mom assignment this month.
"Aw, c'mon," I begged. "Aren't they getting too old for this nonsense?"
Snack Mom looked at me in disbelief and stunned silence. She then turned and handed the sheet to the next dad who approached.
"Hey dad!" I called out. "How about it? Want to stand in unison against snacks and injecting our kids with high fructose corn syrup after every game?"
He gave me that all-too-familiar "Go away, crazy lady" look.
After several more failed attempts to convert parents to my way of thinking, Snack Mom walked over.
"Just so you know, ma'am, my older boys are in HIGH SCHOOL and they ADORE post-game snacks. It's just something little we can do to show our love and support."
I hung my head in shame.
This weekend, my family sat down to watch the Bears when the kids noticed the giant Gatorade container on the sidelines. My oldest commented:
"I wonder who THEIR snack mom is! That is awesome."
Snack moms, it seems, rule the world.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.