Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Peanut Gallery and Discrimination....

Heightism...yes this is real. Crazy right. That people would be prejudiced against a tall person. Can you believe this crap.

Now I will tell you, I can't fathom what goes through my sons mind most days. Everywhere we go, people simply stare at him. Usually grown men. It's funny to me, because you can see the testosterone almost slither out of some men when my 16 year old walks into a room. He is a child to me, teenager to most and a threat apparently to most men and their manhood. They stare, they glare and sometimes ask him if he plays ball and what position.

It has to be hard being 6'7 and 16. Still growing and knowing that you are still growing. I have always taught the boy to be confident. Own your shit. Confidence is the key to making people believe that you are not insecure. I know he has to be though. Its hard to find clothes, shoes and sit in cars, hell even sitting on a toilet must be a challenge. You have to bend down to kiss a girl and slow dances at homecoming must be hard too.

So back to my story, because I digress. The boy loves soccer. He is an awesome goalkeeper and can dive for a ball like a 5'8 person would. He has learned to use his height believe me. When he is in goal, no one really says anything on the sideline. You don't hear many groans or mumbles coming from the peanut gallery of parents or coaches. But give him a chance on the field as striker and he shines. But then you hear the mumbles, the groans, the parents yelling to get him off the field because he may hurt their little Timmy. Now Timmy apparently is playing an age group of 16 year old boys and is two feet shorter than my son. It's not my fault Timmy didn't grow or hasn't come into puberty. Maybe you should have given Timmy better genetics. I don't know. But why should my son have to worry about Timmy's height.

Little Timmy tripped over my sons size 16 shoes and is flopping. So of course, the peanut gallery starts yelling. As I sit there, getting angry and mumbling to myself. The end of the game comes and Peanut #1 is talking about how tall my lil giant is as I walk by. I stop and give the Doe Eyes look of a sad mother, and say "Yes he has Giantism and its really hard for him to fit in and be a normal kid" hoping for a little remorse from said Peanut. All I get of course is an "Oh Crap" look when Peanut realizes the Giants mothers was only sitting 4 people down from him as he proceeded to talk crap and yell to pull my son off the field the whole game.

As we are leaving we have the opposing Coach (Head Peanut) screaming at our coach about my son being a threat and that someone will get hurt by him playing. That he shouldn't be allowed to play.

Of course, my Irish mentality at first goes to "lets take this out in the parking lot", but I can't do that. So, I go into the typical American mentality of "I'm going to sue the pants off of you and the facility, if my son is not allowed to play."  Oh and you can bet your pants that I will. Why? Because it is simply discrimination. It's called Heightism. It's a Prejudice or Discrimination for his height. Nothing more.

But luckily, we have an awesome coach who has watched my son grow up since 2nd grade and knows what we have been through. The hard times we have finding him clothes, shoes, cleats, gloves. He stood up for my son. Like a good coach should, with his own smartass mouth and said "Maybe Timmy should eat more red meat so he can grow tall too." Making the opposing coach and parent stand there with their mouths wide open.

Today we go back to play. It has been determined that poor Giant must stay in the goalkeeper box the whole game. It's really sad, because he loves running the field and scoring a goal himself.  But you never know if another Timmy will be playing and have parents that are going to judge my son based on his height. So to avoid conflict we will watch him stand in his box and dive for the balls and have amazing saves.

Let's just hope I don't have to speak my mind to any Peanuts today.....