Whenever I watch baseball on T.V., I’m not focused solely on the game. I like to watch the actions of the fans in the front row too. They’re on screen just as long as the pitcher and batter, after all. The difference is that they aren’t programmed to do the same set of motions over and over again. Baseball might be boring, but baseball fans are not.

A few days ago I was watching the game, and two particular front row fans caught my attention. On the right side was a boy of about 12 or 13, decked out from head to toe in Jays gear. On the left side was his mother, chatting away on her cell phone.

After every play, the boy went nuts, cheering or booing depending on the situation.

After every play, the mother remained seated, occupied with whoever was on the other end of her call.

Every once in a while, the boy would say something to the mother, and the mother would turn to him, place her hand over the cell phone, say something back to him, and then resume her call.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what was going on here.

The boy had wanted to go to a game, as he was a big Jays fan. The mother had been the only parent available to take him to a game, and she had agreed to take him, despite the fact that she found baseball boring.

And I get that. Honest, I do. I like playing baseball, and I like watching baseball, but I can see where people are coming from when they call it a boring sport.

But baseball isn’t what’s important here.

With her son at 12 or 13 years of age, how much more time does the mother have before her son decides that it’s no longer cool to hang out with his parents? Not very much at all. True, it varies from person to person. Some people have already outgrown the practice by 13, and some never outgrow it. But, playing the odds, the mother doesn’t have much time left. And how does she spend this precious time?

Talking to Aunt Genevieve on her Blackberry.

Again, I get it: Baseball is boring. But come on, lady. Surely you could pretend to be interested for a few hours, for your son’s sake. And for your sake, too. If you’ve got front row tickets to a Jays game, your son is going to be entertained regardless of what you do. But do you want him to remember the game because of the game itself, or because his mother was there with him at the game?

As far as I know, no parents read this thing, so I’m sort of talking to thin air here. But we’re all potential parents, so I’ll talk to the air regardless:

If you’re going to have a kid, you had better pay attention to them. Otherwise you’re going to be staring at a young man or woman in about 30 years and you’ll  be wondering where the years went, and how he or she grew up so fast.