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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

It was the moment for which he had been waiting: his first day of soccer.

Truthfully, he hadn’t been waiting very long for this moment. In fact, Peach had never shown any interest in playing any sport. Until…

Until his new best friend, who lives two doors down from us, mentioned that he was signing up for soccer. And then Peach developed a sudden interest in the sport.

Our kids had never participated in any type of organized sports until we moved here to the corn field. Poppyseed was the first to introduce the torture excitement of being a sport parent to us with her newly-found love [note: I did not say talent] for field hockey. At age eight. Which is rather late to join the athletic party.

My ambivalence is multi-faceted.

  • Never wanted sports to interfere with Shabbat
  • Never willing for sports to interfere with Religious School attendance
  • Not willing to relegate my time/life to a practice/game schedule
  • With the exception of some genetic abnormality (aka JockBro), athletic propensity is lacking in the gene pool. On both sides.

Peach is five. Meaning, the time commitment is minimal. And it’s on Sundays. And it’s after Religious School. So, why not?

Except the first “game” came and went. With a very unhappy player. Because he and Cue were not on the same team. And Cue was his entire reason for existing playing.

{{Parenting dilemma}}

Do we force teach him to accept that we don’t always get what we want?
Do we ruin his very first athletic experience?

I don’t want to be “that parent.” You know the one. Who steps in anytime Junior is unhappy, bored, thwarted, etc. I am NOT that parent.

And we intervened anyway.

We are still new here. Peach has become much shyer since we plucked him out of his SoCal milieu. And we were thrilled that he was interested in trying something completely new.

So he got traded. The green team, Green Candy, snapped him right up.

And all is right in the world once again.

However, this is where parenting gets really tricky. It’s just so easy to obsess over question every decision. There are thousands of books, blogs, experts and while much can be gleaned from the experience of others, parenting is a spontaneous activity. As BubbeGiraffe cautioned early in my motherhood, and I am paraphrasing, you can’t ask your kid to hang on while you go and consult “the book.” Life just doesn’t work that way. At some point, it’s a leap of faith. Faith in your child. Faith in self. And faith in…faith.

There is little time to waste second-guessing the myriad of choices, decisions, etc. that we make as parents. I want to enjoy the fleeting moments of their childhoods. And it’s pretty hard to do that if I’m always looking back and, with the clarity of hindsight, wishing I could choose differently.

So I chalk each one up to experience and pray that I am able to attain some modicum of wisdom from all of that experience.

And then I leap…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 1 May 2012 8:59 am

    For what it’s worth, I think you made the right decision. It’s his first sports experience, the friend is the one who got him into it, he’s in a new place, and if he’s going to get involved in sports you might as well start with a positive experience. And he’s five. There will be plenty of other opportunities for him to learn to play the hand he’s dealt.

    And laughing about the genetic anomaly. My little brother is a jock, too (rugby.) There’s not an athletic bone in any other body on either side of our family.

  2. Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:21 pm

    Love that silly grin on the kid’s face! I remember K soccer. The coach will be lucky if the players can remember which goal is theirs AND connect a foot with the ball. Enjoy!

  3. JockBro permalink
    Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:32 pm

    You handled it perfectly. It would have been a shame for his first athletics experience to be negative just to make a point. We pick our battles, right?

    By the way, as the genetic anomaly, I didn’t start playing organized sports until third grade. I’m quite sure I wasn’t the polished athlete I am now (insert laugh here) at that point. So, Poppyseed is right on schedule.

  4. DadGiraffe permalink
    Tuesday, 1 May 2012 3:18 pm

    You didn’t go back far enough in your exploration of athletic interest/prowess in the family genetic history. Peach’s mother’s father’s father (aka your grandfather, Oliver Sholom) played ping pong every day at lunch time (not to mention tuning in to every Dodger game broadcast from the time the team moved West). Peach’s mother’s mother’s father (aka PapaBear) only recently gave up his regular racketball game, and still goes to the gym several times a week to maintain his exercise regimen. The genes skipped a couple of generations, but (surprisingly) may have reappeared!

  5. Tuesday, 1 May 2012 4:07 pm

    And Peach’s mother’s sister has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Though she’s still sort of a klutz.

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