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The Parent Trap
Rick Reilly
July 31, 2006
I went out to get my paper this morning and found my neighbor Dalton instead.
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July 31, 2006

The Parent Trap

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"Anyway, Ashley and I started flying to all these stupid tournaments-- Dallas and Baltimore and, my God, Ottawa!--and every one is billed as 'the recruiting event of the year!' And do you know who we see at these tournaments? The same damn girls we used to play in our neighborhood league! Essentially, we're flying across the country to get our ass kicked by the same exact people!

"So I start talking to these girls' parents, and it turns out they don't really want to be there either, but their kids were saying we were going to do it, so they had to!

"But then my wife gets to talking to some other moms at Justin's slap shot workshop, and they say we're crazy if we don't have a 'performance-enhancement specialist' for our kids. So she signs them both up with one. Then she finds out most of these girls have 'recruiting consultants' who make highlight reels of kids and send them to college coaches. I'm like, 'She's 14!' And my wife is like, 'You're gonna tell our little girl no?' Then we add a rating-service guy and a sports psychologist and a webmaster.

"Well, what with me working half time and all this crap I'm paying for and all these trips, I had to take out a second mortgage. Denise can't work because she's spending every waking moment in a freezing ice rink, which makes her joints stiffen up. Luckily, Hans knows some New Age massage technique that makes her feel better.

"So now I'm getting no sleep, turning my stomach into a Dumpster and having less sex than a dead monk. But before I can put my foot down, my boss does. He fires me! And as he's firing me, he adds, 'By the way, the average lacrosse scholarship is $1,000, you putz!' So I punch him, and now I think my hand might be broken.

"I stomp out and go find Ashley to say, 'It's over.' And she goes, 'Whatever. I quit today anyway. My sports psychologist says you guys push me too hard.'

"Nice. So I go home to tell Denise, but she's not there. Three days go by. I figure she's at the Elite Competitive Hockeypalooza in Cheyenne. Turns out she moved in with Hans. Says she wants to be with someone who 'knows' her. Oh, and she really likes massages.

"So now I get home and somebody changed the locks! Probably the mortgage company, since I'm way behind.

"And do you know what I learned from all this, man? I learned that the most viciously competitive sport in the world is parenting.

"Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is--you wanna buy some lacrosse sticks?"

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