I’ve sat on my hands for a number a reasons on writing this post. Mainly because I didn’t want my emotions to cloud the reality and make me sound like just another angry mom. It’s important for me to take each situation and make it a learning experience. It’s also important for me to show my kids to stay positive and not allow what others actions, comments, and ignorance to define them. I write this to share and be a voice to many parents who will deal with a similar situations. Most of all, I share this for my kids because one day they will learn about situations that happened when they were far too young to understand. This serves as a reassurance to what i’ve been teaching them since they were babies- be proud of who you are and where you come from!
Little Man is playing baseball again. He loves the sport. He’s pretty amazing on the field and of course i’m the loud mom cheering on and coaching my kid from the bleachers.
During one of his games, things didn’t go so great and it had nothing to do with his skills on the field.
When little man was up to bat we hear “ok Peter your up” This happened a number of times but it wasn’t until we heard and saw him get asked to get up that we knew this had to be addressed. Mistakes happen so we didn’t think much of it. The hubs heard and walked over and told the team mom “His name isn’t Peter it’s ****” The assistant coaches continued to correct each other as the game went on and we thought that was that. No biggie right?
Well, some where between innings an assistant coach came over and said “the reason we called your son Peter is because there is another MULTICULTURAL kid on the team. You guys weren’t on here for the first game and the other kid was. We didn’t know there was another kid. They are the same height and same complexion”
I was shocked to say the least. The hubs not so much. He kinda laughed it off in a way of saying he’s use to it but I knew he was bothered too.
My shock wore off and my thoughts went as followed:
- Our team has 11 kids 2 of which are non-white. wouldn’t you get their names mixed up more I mean since we are talking about height and complexion?
- If it’s the Peter who was on our team last year (which we later found out it was), he’s not multicultural his parents are both hispanic and our kids look nothing alike!
- Why did the assistant coach feel the need to explain why he called my son another kids name. Mistakes happen how about a simple apology.
- Why did he feel it was ok to express himself around a group of parents in the manner he did? The bleachers were full and all eyes were on us.
- NOT ALL MULTICULTURAL KIDS LOOK ALIKE!
As parents we can be emotional and set off quick but when it comes to our kids we need to be extra sensitive. Later that same night at dinner little man was talking to us about how his game went. We expressed how proud we were and in that moment I didn’t care about the incident that took place. However, Little Man remembered. He said “They kept calling me Peter, mom. That’s not my name” My heart broke. He was disappointed. He didn’t like someone calling him someone else’s name. I quickly gathered myself and began to teach my son to stand up for himself.
What I had here were two very different situations. One where us as the parents were involved in a labeling issue with the coach and the other where little man was sad he was being called another kids name. My son’s situation is easily a mistake. The talk about standing up for ourselves I had made him smile and the issue was quickly resolved.
I hope that by seeing us involved in our son’s sport that the coach gets to know our family. I hope he takes into consideration that not all kids who have the same complexion look alike or are multicultural. I’m sure he realized this when he met the other kids parents.
Let’s be the voice for our kids when situations like this happen. While I may not have acted on the situation as I wish I would have. I’m content with my actions. I didn’t let my emotions control me because I was pretty upset after. I know that wasn’t the place or the time to have a discussion about multiculturalism even though the coach felt otherwise. I know mistakes happen but I also know ignorance exists. It’s not a perfect world and our family like many others are still learning to deal with situations like this. I hope our experience is a learning one for you as well. We sometimes have to take a moment and analyze to not fall into the ignorance too.
What are your thoughts on the situation?
What would you have told your kids if they brought it up?
*The name of the boy was changed in this post.