There, I said it.

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We just wrapped up week two of baseball with Beautiful People.

There’s a reason the word “special” is thrown around when discussing children with disabilities. The feeling you get from watching them accomplish something they could not do a year, month or even a day ago is just a special feeling.

Talking to a dad that I have not spoken to before, it was awesome to see his excitement that his son is hitting much better on his own than he did last season.

He turned to me and said maybe soon he can work on him catching the ball.

I feel the same way about my son, Luke. He’s slowly getting more independent of me, which is a good thing. He hit the ball within three pitches today, which is phenomenal.

This is our reality. I can accept that. The gentleman I was speaking to obviously accepts it.

I think it’s time other parents with children in youth sports who are not mentally or physically handicapped look at themselves in the mirror and stop making fools of themselves at their children’s events.

The odds of your son or daughter making a living playing the sport you are dragging them to are as likely as me being able to dunk a basketball.

It’s not going to happen.

In the meantime, you are embarrassing yourself and your children for really no reason.

Our kids should be playing sports for the reasons of making friends and learning how to work as a team with those friends.

They should be challenging themselves to improve, not looking at the sidelines for your approval.

In the last two weeks, I have witnessed the following:

In a meaningless basketball scrimmage – after an eight-year-old slammed his knee on the hardwood, a parent supportively yelled: “I better not see no tears!”

In a travel soccer game – as an eight-year-old went down in pain, parents from the opposing team started to yell that the kid was faking the injury.

Every Sunday at this time, I drive 40 minutes so my son has an opportunity to play baseball for an hour. It’s an opportunity that few give, especially living in Orange County.

My family is sometimes divided which we don’t like, but we manage and every week I come home from watching Luke play and I know I did something that was solely for him.

Not something I failed to accomplish.

If you feel offended by anything I have written, you might want to check yourself in the mirror.

After that, go to your bank account and let me know how much money you have made playing the sport of your dreams.

If you are really feeling guilty and want to make it right, you can donate to Beautiful People here:

Jason Micallef


Jason Micallef contributes a blog to This essay originally appeared in Hudson Valley Parent.

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