For anyone who is not familiar with the topic of Adam LaRoche, the Chicago White Sox baseball infielder, walked away from baseball and $13 million dollars this years. Not because he was sick or injured but because he was not given carte blanche on the ‘take your kid to work day’. Here is a major league ballplayer, every little boy’s dream, walking away from a game he was so blessed to play and got paid a King’s ransom for showing up every day. He walked away after reporting to spring training. Why? Because he wanted to bring his 13-year old son to work with him every day. Management basically said, ‘Wait a minute. You can bring him sometimes, but every day is a bit much. We like the kid. We appreciate your bonding with the kid. We know he’s a good young man, but we’d appreciate him being here less.’ This somehow rubbed Mr. LaRoche the wrong way. He said sayonara, picked up his ball, and went home. His public reason for doing so left him open to much controversy, discussion, headlines, sports talk, gossip, etc. Everyone had an opinion on the matter, and here’s mine.
I too was a working mother for decades. I loved my children and then grandchildren dearly, dearly, dearly. Having to show up for work every day no matter what is going on in your personal life is a stress millions experience, and none particularly like. We appreciate that we have a job that helps provide for our family, but we also have to put forth a relentless continual effort to juggle family and work. Who’s going to stay home with the kid who puked through the night? No matter who ends up staying home, there’s consequences in the workplace. Either you miss a day, may not be paid for time off, or if you do show up, you’re exhausted from being up all night with a sick child, feel crappy yourself, jittery from drinking a gallon of coffee, trying to concentrate on the duty at hand, be in the moment, trying not to be grumpy with your co-workers, all the while worrying about your sick child. Say your child’s ballgame is at 4:00 in another town. You don’t get off work until 4:00. Do you use precious personal or vacation time you may need at another time to leave early and go to the game, or do you not go until after you get off work and get there in the 6th inning, or not go at all and miss their homerun? It’s a constant thing. Everyday. When the children are younger there’s the whole child care issue — the right place and people for your situation, the expense, and getting them to and from daycare eveyday. Then, there’s stopping at the store to pick up milk for cereal in the morning, getting cash for school lunches, coming home to making dinner, helping with homework, making sure everyone has gotten cleaned up before bed, clothes and uniforms are out of the dryer and ready for all to wear in the morning, backpacks loaded and ready to go, etc. Having a family and holding down a job are the ultimate challenge in a parents life. It’s tough, very very tough. Of all the heart-wrenching decisions we have to make not one time did the controversy of ‘we’re not showing up unless our kid or kids can come with us.’ Adam’s son had his own locker in the locker room. So cute. Really nice. In my wildest imagination would I ever think there should be a desk next to mine for one of my children. First, they would be bored out of their skulls, but there would be disruption in the workplace spawning discord, confusion, lack of concentration, etc. Now, imagine every person working who has a family, bringing their children to work. Umm… ludicrous.
Now I realize Adam LaRoche is a wealthy man, not simply from his baseball fortune, but also from his entrepreneurial ventures. He doesn’t need the money, but the White Sox did agree to pay him $13 million to be part of their ball club this year. Not that they can’t find a replacement because Lord knows talented players are a dime a dozen, but they gave that contract to him, not anyone else. The rest of us poor souls who couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have the God-given talent, an opportunity to play in the Big Show, and have the ability to bring their child to work even just one day, let alone every day, grates on our sensibilities. I mean, c’mon!
Giving it up for the sake of love? Or is it? I say it’s a completely self-serving act of faith, not a selfless act of faith. There are so many things wrong here it boggles the mind.
I know there’s is a lot of armchair parenting going on here, but doesn’t this child deserve to be in an environment with his own peers, not mostly his Dad’s. Shouldn’t he be playing on a team of kids his own age? Shouldn’t he be given the opportunity to experience puberty, locker-room comradery, you know, a young man’s coming of age with friends that aren’t 20 years older than him? Adam wanting his son to be with him everyday at work, seems to be more about what Adam wants and not what his son needs. His narcissism and Christianity are skewed more toward him personally than toward his family. It’s not all about what you want, it’s about what’s appropriate for your offspring.
Many children don’t have anyone who loves and cares for them in this world. Adam’s children are extremely blessed to have people around loving and caring for them that much. But take it one step further and prepare them to be a part of their own societal structure, and not just that of their parents. Play dates are one thing and beneficial in their own right; however, everyday interaction is another dimension altogether and adds layers to a person’s life not obtained from having the child shadow your life instead of developing their own… Sandy