Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wiffle Ball War

Do you ever read something where you can see both sides of an issue so clearly that you can't really make up your mind which side you would take? That is how I felt when I stumbled across this little story about some teenagers in Connecticut that renovated a vacant lot owned by their town into a wiffle ball field as a replica of Fenway Park.

The kids just wanted a place to play wiffle ball outside and saw the lot as a perfect place to have some harmless, healthy outdoor fun. The neighbors living around the lot (valued at over a million dollars mind you) lost privacy, quiet, and a flood barrier that the lot was provided.

So both sides have lawyered up and a battle has ensued. In a way this story is a microcosm of several things -- how we as parents box our kids into an endless sea of structured activities, how we cling to our romantic notions of carefree days gone by, and how our society handles conflict and disagreement (all or nothing, win or lose).

I can completely see both sides to this. The first instinct is c'mon, it's a wiffle ball field for crying out loud. Kids have so many distractions today -- especially unhealthy ones. What is the harm in them channeling their energy on a neighborhood ball field of all places?

Then I remember that I am a homeowner living in a neighborhood and that I would probably not be crazy about the noise and distractions something like this would bring to my backyard.

Interesting read.

"Build a Wiffle Ball Field and Lawyers Will Come"

All kids deserve a Huck Finn summer. We perhaps have lost our collective minds about our overscheduled, overstressed young. But, in the end, maybe there was a reason that Kevin Costner built that Field of Dreams in Iowa and not in Greenwich.

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