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Who's Laughing Now?

November 13, 2007 - Heather Ziegler
When my son played ice hockey in middle school, the other parents on the travel team hated me. The parents on his football and basketball teams made fun of me. And do you know why? It was because every night after practice or a game in any of these sports, I washed my son's uniforms. It didn't matter how late it was when we got home or if we were on the road, I got his uniforms washed and dried for the next day. Some of the other mothers wouldn't speak to me. They thought I was crazy to wash football practice uniforms every day. They said I made them look bad. Sometimes my son was embarassed because he stood out with his clean practice gear, but I know he didn't mind a clean, dry uniform when he started a practice or game. Anyway, I didn't do this because I am some kind of clean freak. Not at all. I was more concerned about hygiene than appearances. My son was physical in the sports he played and sometimes he would end up with cuts and bruises. So would his teammates. That meant blood and sweat. He also could work up a pretty good sweat and his clothes would be soaking wet when he dropped them in a heap at the front door. I knew the only way to keep germs and staph and strep at bay was to keep him and his clothes clean. I would even wipe out his hockey and football helmets with soap and water. Today, it is about deadly strains of bacteria that are making their way across the country in locker rooms and schools. If more people would remember to wash their hands and take care of their germy equipment, there would be fewer of these outbreaks. My son is in college now and I can't be there to do these things for him anymore, but I hope I instilled in him a sense of responsibility about proper hygiene. I don't care how big and strong a kid is, these germs can knock them to the ground in a minute.


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