Was I Bad Parent On Parade Day?  

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I was going to make my first piece on this website a story about the "the games that shaped the season you forgot" recap. But it will wait.  In light of the news out of Paris, today needs to be about something deeper and less trivial than just baseball.

Like 800,000 of you, I took my kids to the celebration at Union Station. Until it was decided by Olathe Schools to cancel class on that Tuesday, I was going to be a bad parent and let my kids skip school and go. To me the chance of a lifetime far out weighed the alleged benefit of attending school. Canceling classes made the decision less of one. Life lessons learned that day for a second and sixth grade were more than any class could offer.

Parade day is when I really began questioning my decision making. First was the two plus mile hike from a Plaza Hotel we stayed at only because of a friends ridiculous generosity. Then as we got closer and closer to destination walking north on Grand I realized this may not be the smartest thing I have ever done. In fact  I may have been horrible parent at that point. The sea of humanity was overwhelming trying to get into the grass knoll between Union Station and Liberty Memorial. If it was overwhelming for me at 42, what was I subjecting  the kids to. "This is a bad idea" I repeated to myself, but then an opening and by chance another friend summoned me to a great spot on the grass. Parenting win was temporarily restored.

Then with the couple hours of waiting for the celebration to start, and the area becoming the largest gathering in the history of the city, my mind started drifting. How could it not. There was no way for law enforcement to actually monitor what was taking place. Even with the "regulation" in place of no backpacks or coolers allowed, they were everywhere. I thought briefly of the Boston Marathon attacks, a memory as etched in my mind as any other attack because, 1. it in a round about way involved the Royals and 2. because it  took just two brothers and a backpack to bring the happiest day in Boston to it knees. Again I  was telling myself I was a bad parent putting my kids in this situation.

After a bit I allowed myself to relax. The tone of the crowd made it easy. This was party, but not some rowdy kegger frat type throw down. No, this was the biggest, happiest, Disneyesque family oriented bash I ever imagined. Kids on shoulders everywhere. Families with umbrella strollers, snacks in Ziploc's, kids dancing to music, dads dancing with them. Ole' Walt thought he had the happiest place on earth, but Kansas City….man Kansas City was just unreal. And I remember having the thought just after Gomes epic speech of "thank god I was a bad parent today".

Terrorists hate an American celebration like the one Kansas City threw. In the wake of the Paris events it would be easy to say, at least temporally, let's not gather in large groups, let's cancel sporting events and let's not do anything to egg them on. If Paris happened two weeks ago would we have had that day and the memories it created? Likely not.

Writing that sentence makes me sad. Of course it would be irresponsible to gather 800,000 into downtown. But here's the rub, that's exactly why we should and why we do. the smile on my kids faces, my daughter dancing, my boy cheering. Me cheering and hugging friends and high fives. The zombie-like trek to and from the celebration.  The ZERO cell service. All of it made it the greatest day I have ever had with my kids.  

Sometimes being irresponsible, being a "bad parent" makes the best memories and sets the best example.

I was a bad parent on parade day…Thank God I was. 

 

 

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Author: Brian Plumer

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