Friday, April 12, 2013

The stories I get to listen to at baseball

I sat at Kiel's baseball game the other night listening to the conversations of the other moms around me. Rich had just arrived and dropped a mini bomb about Noah's behavior at his psych appointment that day and that the pdoc was asking again if we had found someone else to see. Because of that my stomach was in a bit of a knot, and I wasn't feeling all that social, so I just sat back and listened.

The conversations took the usual turn to gossip and criticism. I zoned out for a while until I heard one of the women (a teacher) start telling stories about the kids in her class and how she wishes she could take some of them home with her because the parents are so awful. Then she talked about the families that are homeless and two of the moms audibly gasped with surprise. Homeless? Here? In Bucks county?

She started talking about a mom with five kids that lives in a two bedroom house. The kids have subsidized (free) lunch and they complain that they don't get enough food. This teacher has the only girl of the five kids. She said the family couldn't afford to send her on a field trip.

Then the other moms all gasp and say how horrible that is. How could they not pay the $50 for the bus. It's not like it was that much.

So then she starts talking again about how the girl always seems hungry, and she said that her older brothers, who she shares a room with, eat all the food in the house so her mom doesn't buy snack food. And that she doesn't sleep well at night because her brothers sneak out of the house at night and wake her up when they come home.

Again, more gasping and sighing, and horror that the mother allows this. That she doesn't buy them more food. That she isn't home enough to parent her children.

Now, I don't know a damn thing about this family, and perhaps this mom is truly the worst mom ever. But all I could think was what the fuck ladies, is it possible this mom is doing the absolute best she can with what she has? Perhaps we (in which I mean those moms) should get off our fancy camp chairs, tie back our bleached and highlighted blond hair, and consider how we can help these families as we walk to our SUV's and our Escalades and our Beemers.

I kept my mouth shut for once. It's been bothering me since though. No wonder I don't feel comfortable with these sports moms.



  1. Holy crap that must have been hard to listen to! I would so love to tell them "But for the grace of God ..." And do they do nothing more than gossip? Seriously, if the teacher and now her friends know there are hungry children are they doing nothing?! And these families plights are good for nothing more than fodder at the local gatherings?! Just sad!

  2. I remember when I wanted to buy a $6 game for my computer and having an internal debate about it because my husband and I truly couldn't afford it. (I didn't buy it.) $6! There were times we couldn't afford food. Thank God my mother-in-law helped us out. I cannot imagine going through that and having kids. I am so grateful that now I can go to the grocery and don't have to keep track of every single dollar I spend. I remember, and try to help others not to have to feel that way, because I remember.

    I'm sure it wasn't that hard to figure out who the family was. That teacher was WAY out of line. That makes me furious.

  3. So sad indeed that they just gasped instead of making plans how they could help the kids. If every family of the kids in her class gave 2 extra dollars, the girl could come on the field trip. I hope that, if I am ever in that position, I will step up.
    And I don't mean that YOU had to step up, but THEY should have...

  4. I'm new here via Christine's (Welcome to My Brain) list of parents of trauma. I loath gossip sessions anytime moms gather. It is so hard for me to keep quiet, but I often do. As a mom of children with RAD and FASD, I am often the subject of those sessions. So, I don't have a lot of influence under those circumstances. The few times I have spoken up, I've just given them more to gossip about. Now, for the people who really know me... they know they will never get away with such nonsense, so they don't even try.

    Nice to meet you!