A lot of y’all know that I am not a sports fan. I mean, I do watch things like downhill ski racing sometimes. I wasn’t ever a very good downhill skier but I could get down most hills and a few mountains intact if not gracefully and I have an idea what those skiers are doing. Football? Baseball? Basketball? Ho-hum. Golf? Ho-hummmm. Part of the problem is that, given the choice between sitting in the stands spectating and trekking around somewhere in the great outdoors, I would pick the second. All that said, I do know who Tiger Woods is. Unless you are living somewhere that is totally off the grid, you can’t help but hear his name on the radio occasionally.
For most of my drive to work this morning, some talking heads on the radio were debating the Tiger Woods accident and the possibility of domestic discord and whether or not he was a role model and, if so, what responsibility he had to his fans, yada yada yada. This went on and on and on and on and on and… Finally I looked at the dial and realized that this wasn’t my normal NPR station (and probably not even NPR) and switched the station. Yeah, I listen to NPR. Anybody wanna fight?
Okay. Here we go again. Sports idols (or movie stars or politicians or whatever) for role models? Sports idols (and movie stars and politicians and whatever) are PEOPLE!!!! Being a human being is messy. You can be a wonderful, thoughtful, caring, empathetic person. A good role model, in other words. But none of us are perfect. Not any one of us. I have yelled at my kids. Don’t even ask me how many times I have yelled at the GG. I have thrown wet washcloths at him. Nothing more. No golf clubs here. But he has never done anything to me like hang out with another woman. I do not know why because I am just an old bag who throws the occasional washcloth. If he did find someone else, well, I don’t know what I would do but I would probably feel like killing him.
But then a bunch of money gets dumped on some young sports star. What happens? I don’t know what’s going on in Tiger Woods’s life or household (and it isn’t any of my business) but I think we as parents need to help our children to choose their role models carefully. I think our kids need to know that even the sports idols (and movie stars and politicians and whatever) that have been held up as role models are human. They make mistakes no matter what their agents and publicity folks might say. It may be that the fame and the cash that comes with fame has contributed to the frequent family dysfunctionality that goes along with being a star.
Role models? My grandparents, who scraped themselves up from mostly nothing to be respected citizens of a small city and manage to buy the beach property that we still know and love on Fin Family Moominbeach. And have fun doing it all, loving and caring for their grandchildren. Were they perfect? I bet not. I bet I won’t leave as good a legacy as my grandparents did but I am doing my best to live my life in a positive way and bring up my children to have a positive influence on the world. It isn’t always easy and tonight I am not doing the best job. Peace.