Look, I get it! I'm extraordinarily proud of my son. His 9-10 yr old All-Star team made it to State this year! Lord, I didn't even get the chance to go to state until I was a Freshman in High School, so I get how impressively cool this is.
But when did it become a cleverly hidden "Keepin' Up with the Jones" scenario? Good God, I think we heading towards disaster. In case you aren't up to speed, our team is aiming to raise nearly $13,000 (OMG) for this 6-day tournament. WHAT THE HECK? WHY? Ah - it's to pay for 13 families to spend a week in Portland. Hmmm... 13 Families? We HAVE 13 families who can sporadically spend a week in Portland on vacay? Wowza!
Now I get that everyone wants to be there. I want to be there too. But the truth is, and listen closely because this is important, WE AREN'T PLAYING BALL, our kids are! We should be approaching this like it's a high-school event, causing enough ruckus to earn money to send the kids, not their families too.
It's as if I'm officially on the set of 'Days of Our Lives' and everyone just pretends they have a job. To be clear, our lives all stopped for a week (last week) when we traveled for five days back and forth 1.5 hrs each way for the District All-Star tournament. Now we get to travel 5 hrs North for six days?
I say, two hotel rooms crammed with kids and a crap-ton of pizzas should do the trick. Any parents who want to come up on their own are just that, on their own! And yet, most parents are going to make the journey, thus making the tiny few who HAVE to work look like jerks. Kids are already asking parents WHY they can't go, and if they are, WHY they are staying at the Best Western and NOT at the hotel with the 2-room suites like the other kids. My son's baseball team has just become a class-distinguishing activity.
I say forgetta 'bout it. We'll be up there for at most two days, hopefully catch one game, and - NO, thank you - but I'm not going to fly my husband home for $100 and keep my baby and 5 yr old in a big city by myself. I can't pretend we can do that and I'm just not that cool anyways. Crazy people!
And don't even get me started how a $13,000 tab warps a good-natured fund drive. In addition to water bottle sales and 50/50 raffles, we're also asking sponsors for $500-$1000/head. Ambitious, folks! Ambitious.
I'm gonna explain calmly and evenly to my son that life is occurring right along with this tournament and that I will be at home cheering my little guts out for him, getting updated text messages the whole while from others. He'll understand that I am beyond words proud of him and hopefully realize that how much time you can get off of work and spend on hotels is not an expression of how much you love your children.
He will understand, won't he? Yes, yes he will.
For info on how to negotiate rates at hotels, check out this abrasive yet easy-to-do article from VIA Magazine.