Sep 24, 2009

I'll Show You Some Good Parenting (Take 2)

Like every parent, I’ve read a lot, heard a lot and tried a lot of parenting techniques. We shouldn’t push our own agendas on to our kids. That’s the rule isn’t it? We shouldn’t push them in the direction of one particular sport, or one particular profession. We should encourage a diverse range of activities and support them when they begin to find a passion for one or two in particular. As they grow older we shouldn’t form their political or religious beliefs, we should promote an open dialogue, play devil’s advocate occasionally, build a solid base of reasoning so that our kids can form their own ideas and opinions and… and…

...and there’s no way in hell my kids are barracking for any team other than the Geelong Cats. Yeah. That’s right. I agree with most of the advice in the first paragraph but when it comes to who my kids will pledge their allegiance to, I’m determined to steer them in the right direction.

Compare the angels they are now -

to the people they will become -

The second photo is of Brendo, Gazza and myself celebrating the Preliminary Final win against the Pies last weekend. It warms my heart to see the Geelong supporting bogan-ish human-like creature I have become.

To Archie, Lewis and Tyson. The above photo represents your destiny. I will not let anything stand in the way. That’s why I put the blue and white beanie on your head only hours after you were born, Tyson. Lewis, that’s why I snuck away and hid your soccer ball in the garage when you started to show more interest in it than the glorious Sherrin. Archie, that's why I always use the plural ‘we’ when discussing the Cats – We barrack for the Cats. We hate Hawthorn. We hope Ablett wins the Brownlow.

Yes, I have been relentless. And I am already reaping the rewards of my hard work. Archie and Lewis now know the
Geelong team song, Archie can also identify several players and Lewis walks around with a toddler-sized Sherrin under his arm (Geelong colors of course).

That’s tear provoking stuff because I know I am molding these young boys into a Geelong Cats-addicted AFL junkies just like me, just like their Pa and just like their late Great-Grandfather. They have now been added to a family history that includes four generations of Geelong supporters and over 90 years of history.

Very soon, probably even next year, three generations of my family will be going to Geelong games together and screaming our guts out. You can’t buy that sort of life-long bonding material.

There are some things, specific to family culture, which overrule all those otherwise solid parenting guidelines. When they are much older I will show Archie and Lewis this rant and they will love me for it. Just like I love my old man for forcing me down this path many years ago. It set up years of Saturday afternoons together. Years of phone calls and visits to discuss ins and outs, injuries, team form, draft choices, disappointments for past seasons and hopes for upcoming seasons.
My Dad was born in 1951 the year the Cats won their first of back-to-back flags. He was clearly too young to remember it. I like to imagine my Grandfather listening to the radio, hanging on every minute of the game. He would have loved it. In 2007 The Mighty Cats won their first flag in 44 years. Dad and I witnessed our first Geelong Premiership together.

Last year was gut-wrenching and I'll say no more about it.

This weekend the Cats are up for their third successive shot at the title. It’s an emotional week. Dad and I will be riding every minute desperate to see the Premiership cup back in the hands of Captain Tom Harley and Coach Mark Thompson. We will party long and hard and I’ll have some great stories for Archie, Lewis and Tyson to pass on to my grandkids.

I love the fact that I had no choice in being a Geelong supporter. I had been at my first day of primary school and was mixing with a lot of wayward Corio kids, a few of who were filling my head with some crazy ideas. When Dad came home from work I ran up to him and said, ‘Dad, I’m barracking for the Bombers now because they Bomb ‘em’’. A very cute, child-like thing to say. Dad dropped his bag, knelt down, looked me in the eye and said, ‘You barrack for The Cats, mate, or you're moving out.’ That’s some pretty special parenting right there. Thanks Dad. Go Cats! Premiers 2007/2009.


Kyles Smiles said...

It's a good thing the Fitzroy Lions went bankrupt otherwise which team to barrack for could have been cause for family riots...

Reservoir Dad said...

There would have been no debate on this topic, Smiles.

Keith Wilcox said...

HAHAHAHA. Ok, I don't know anything about Rugby, not a single thing. But, we have a similar thing going with out kids and the my college football team (University of Oklahoma). As long as they aren't Texas fans I think I can handle it:-)

Reservoir Dad said...

G'day Keith,

I don't know that much about rugby either. hehe. The Cats belong to the AFL (Australian Football League) - Aussie rules football is a different code to rugby.