Life of a Rugby Dad – Day Three

U16 Utah All Stars - ChaseHenderson, NV – It was a repeat of Day Two today as far as the weather was concerned. There was a little more sunshine today but I after two straight days of sitting in bone chilling cold from morning ‘til night I have absolutely given up on any chance of recovering any feeling in my extremities, my lips feel like I’ve been kissing a sander for 48-hours and my eyeballs feel like I’ve been staring directly into a blow dryer with my eyelids pinned to my eyebrows.

Sleep has been hard to come by, particularly when you have two dozen kids under the age of eighteen staying on the same floor who seem to think that sleep is something that dead people do. In fact, there have been times when I felt like giving some of these kids an opportunity to meet other dead people this week and weekend for that very reason. It doesn’t matter what time of year, what the purpose of the trip might be and your geographic location – if you have stick teens in a hotel room away from their parents with limited supervision, bad things are just waiting to happen.

We have been with our boys throughout the week here in Vegas so their chances of getting out of line have been very limited. They have been very well behaved. I wonder what they are like when we are not around though and whether or not they behave this well when they know that mom and dad are around to keep them straight. I tend to think that they would act well if we are around or not. There are at least two of our boys that I think may get into trouble without us because they like to be ‘cool’ or the center of attention. I’m trying to break that habit but I’m also allowing them a little leeway to see if they can correct that behavior on their own. I want leaders not followers. I want humility not self-centered attention seekers.

Today we spent most of our day at Sam Boyd Stadium watching international matches for the USA Sevens. I’m still so very fascinated with people and their interactions with other people, particularly people who show a very considerable amount of time being inconsiderate. I grew up around people who consume massive amounts of alcohol so drunks are not a novel idea to me. But people who can’t handle their liquor or those who use alcohol to pardon rude behavior and foul, offensive language aren’t realists they are just real stupid. And if you’re going to defend your behavior with the phrase, “This is what your kids will hear in the real world,” here’s something to chew on – my world is just as real as yours and my world doesn’t need foul language to adequately communicate a message to another human being.

Here’s another observation on human behavior – there are some kids who have absolutely no respect for authority. I have a rule when dealing with people who are in my charge: If you talk or do not pay attention when I am giving you instructions, obviously you do not need my assistance. So when you come back to me and ask me what it is you are supposed to do after the fact, I’m just going to tell you exactly what you told me with your actions – I don’t care. I know, it’s harsh but that’s just me telling you that I don’t respect you anymore than you respect me.

My final observation for the day is this – there are really good people in the world and I’m grateful to be associated with good people every day of my life. There are bad people too but I choose to be aligned with good people whose examples give me a road map of how I want to live my life. It’s hard to stay positive all the time but surrounding myself with good people makes being positive more plausible.

The life of a rugby dad is not easy, but it’s absolutely worth it.

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