I will start by acknowledging that none of this is really any of my damn business. I generally can’t stand people commenting on other people’s parenting decisions. But somehow I am overcome by the temptation to weigh in on this semi-controversial topic and where else but my own blog can I better exercise my freedom of speech?
It is now well reported that Chicago White Sox/former Washington Nationals player Adam LaRoche has decided to retire after White Sox President Ken Williams requested that LaRoche limit the amount of time his 14-year-old son Drake spends with the team. According to reports, LaRoche’s son is in the clubhouse on a daily basis and Williams seems to find this a bit excessive.
Can I agree with Williams without sounding family-unfriendly? I have a 14-year-old son. I am sure that he would much rather be playing catch with Avisail Garcia than getting up at 6AM to get on the school bus to go learn about the Industrial Revolution. But, I think that’s where he needs to be at this time of life. Developing his own identity outside of his father. Focusing on his education. Grinding it out on his own team instead of shagging balls and cleaning the cleats of major leaguers.
Now, no one begrudges a boy time with his father or a man time with his son. I deeply and sincerely respect Adam LaRoche for putting his personal principles over money and career and for his dedication to his son. But I just can’t see how hanging around an adult workplace that much really could be the best place for a kid that age.
I asked a real 14-year-old what he thought: “Oh, man, that would be so cool.” and then, “I don’t know. Not like I am saying that school is super-fun or anything, but there are people there. People at lunch, people you call names, guys on my team, you know…”