Life lesson plays out on national TV

Published 2:48 am Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dear editor, The Times,

If I saw it replayed once, I must have seen it replayed a hundred times this week on TV. I am referring to the incident at Philly Stadium where, on the first row of the second deck, a dad made a spectacular catch of a foul ball and handed it to his three-year-old daughter, who in turn tossed it back over the railing. The dad responded initially with a momentary look of disappointing disbelief that his daughter had tossed the souvenir away.

Very quickly, however, he saw the puzzled look in his daughter’s eyes as she saw his response to her action, and he quickly gathered his young daughter into his arms and gave her a big hug, all to the cheers of the crowd.

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Now I ask you, are we getting soft or what? What kind of life lesson does this teach? Should he not have sternly wagged his finger in his daughter’s face showing disapproval of her tossing away such a valuable souvenir and followed this up by yelling at her that the odds of catching a foul ball is about 15,000-to-one and that she should be more careful and appreciative of his efforts? Should he not have followed these actions by showing his aggravation by giving her the cold shoulder the rest of the evening instead of giving her a hug?

And finally, if he was going to speak to her further at all the rest of the game, should he not have used the episode as a teachable moment on how to throw a ball properly, because when she tossed it over the deck railing, it was a real weenie of a throw? She threw like a girl.

I bet if he would have done all of this, she would have never repeated her mistake, because I doubt she would ever go to the ballpark with her dad again. But because the dad did none of these things, she will probably go with her dad to the ballpark for years to come, blithely enjoying the moments, but oblivious that she missed out that day on having a valuable teachable moment from her dad. Or did she?

Jay Shows