I was born, raised, and live in Utah. I love it. We have some of the greatest things to offer. Four very different seasons, so we can enjoy golfing in the summer, hunting and fishing in the fall, snow activities galore in the winter, and baseball, lacrosse or any other sport you could imagine in the spring. The beauty of the state is beyond anything anyone can imagine. The Red-Rocks and slot canyons in Southern Utah, the arches in Moab, the mountain ranges in downtown Salt Lake, and the forest of blue-spruce’s up north.
I love this state. But why is it that our youth are killing themselves at a higher rate than the national average? Every 8.5 our of 100,000 youth will commit suicide in Utah. Why do we have crazy-ass soccer moms popping pills by the hour to cope with life? Why are our children living in their parents basements until they’re in their mid-30’s?
We have weird people living here, who want to be special. Here is a secret i’m going to let you in on. You’re not special. My childhood I followed my dad around the house and yard when I was five years old because he was my hero. When I got in my preteen years, I had four best friends around the neighborhood, and we raised hell. We doorbell ditched, we rode ATV’s on the hill by our house’s, we chased girls, we played basketball at the park, there wasn’t a minute of our free time that we weren’t outside. When I was in high school, I played every sport that I could. I fell in love with football, and it’s still a major part of my life, and I went to every party, game, or school event I could. It was a good life, a happy life, but I wasn’t anything special. Look at my report card.
That’s a major problem in society. We have parents who think that their child is the best thing since sliced bread, when in reality they’re just another fish in the pond. The helicopter dad who thinks his son is better at sports than he really is, is setting his son up for failure. If he isn’t getting the playing time his dad thinks he deserves, the dad doesn’t tell him to work harder, or listen to the coach, he tells him it’s everyone else’s fault. He isn’t teaching his son accountability. If he doesn’t reach his dad’s lofty and unrealistic expectations, he thinks he’s a loser. Listen I’m sure you were Bo Jackson in your prime, but let your kid live his life, with his friends, on his team. He’ll be happier and more prepared for what’s about to come. Don’t live in the past Uncle Rico. Enjoy the present.
Then there’s the “I don’t want to life a finger, so i’m going to let the iPad parent my kid” type of parent. If you’re that parent, stop that shit right now, and pay attention. I was at a park playing baseball with my boy (who by the way loves electronics, and it’s a daily fight to get him to play only 30 minutes a day) I was throwing him pitches, he was swinging the bat. We were laughing. But the odd thing was, we were the only people at a park on a 65 degree spring day. As we we’re cleaning up, another family came up and started playing on the playground. But that Mom had her head burred in her phone the entire time. No interaction with her children except to say, “Be careful” every five minutes or so. She may not have been a strung-out junkie, but she’s just as addicted to that phone. She didn’t have track marks, but she hadn’t been out in the sun for a long time either. An albino alligator has a better tan than she did. I’m not going to say that’s just as bad, but jeez get a life. Get them off electronics. I understand it’s part of today’s culture. Let them play their video games, but don’t let it run their life or yours.
When it’s all said and done, I wan’t my kid to look back and say, “Dad was a dude who cared about me.” That’s all. When I look at my kids life I want them to know they’re special to me. I don’t want them to think they’re a failure because they didn’t live up to some stupid standard. I was a good football player, I have the awards to show it, my dad couldn’t have gave rats arse about how good I was. He was just happy to see me doing something I loved. I wasn’t special, I didn’t achieve great academic success, It took me SEVEN years to get a teaching degree in English (That I let lapse a long time ago). But I’m happy.
So maybe you do have the next Lebron James as a kid, even though he’s 5′ 9″ , can’t beat a sloth in a race, and can’t dribble, but let him discover how good he is not you. Because remember, no one gives a rip about what your kid is doing.