Thursday, September 26, 2013
There. I said it.
I know you're shaking your head in disappointment at my lack of kindness, empathy or basic decorum but I have no other way to say it.
I promise I'm a good parent. My son doesn't know that I think he sucks at basketball. But he does. He's not just catching up or a little behind, he's in the needs a miracle to make it zone.
There's a million justifications and reasons. He's 7. It's his first sport. He's never played basketball before. He's small for his age. Blah blah blah. Excuses.
In reality, I spend the majority of practice trying to think of kind ways to tell him to keep his shirt out of his mouth. Every time he goes through the warmups I bite my lip to refrain from laughing as his does half of them backwards and chooses to skip along daintily as everyone else runs their hardest. When it's time to catch a pass he can often be found examining a butterfly or poking the kid behind him in the ribs. He gets hit by the ball a lot.
I hate going to his practices and his games are even more embarrassing. I don't need a superstar or anything but what we have is just simply an exercise In futility. I know you're supposed to make them stick it out and encourage them to practice and praise the small successes. I've read a parenting book or two. But have you tried to do that in a situation like this? I keep hoping he'll want to quit so I'll be off the hook.
The part that amazes me through all this is my sons attitude. During practices etc... He looks frustrated or like he doesn't care most of the time. But after every practice and game he tells me "basketball is awesome!" We practice at home and he shows incredible perseverance. No one wants to be his partner and he often messes up the whole team but he lives in a world of rainbows and sunshine where nothing bad exists.
As his mom, I watch and I teeter between embarrassment and sadness. Today is his birthday and he has practice tonite. I've been dreading it.
Well I was dreading. It until I saw a friends post on Facebook:
"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece - by thought, choice, courage, and determination." John Luther
My little guy isn't delusional in his rainbow world. He sees that he's not on the same level (or the same planet!) as the other players (he's not stupid) but he is filled to overflowing with good character. He tries, he's kind, he includes everyone, he perseveres and he ends his practices with a smile for everyone. Today I am going to watch his practice and try to focus on that and cringe less at all the other stuff.
As shocking as it is that my tiny, slow,uncoordinated child won't be making it to the NBA ( or will he? Michael Jordan didn't make his high school team!) I know he will be a good person filled with good character. Maybe that is where his true talent lies.
Friday, September 13, 2013
I've had a lot of days where I feel like I'm failing lately.
The reality is, of course, that I'm awesome, but sometimes I forget that in the moment.
For instance, Beautiful baby only likes to sleep at home. I have over scheduled us to an insane degree which means she often has to tag along to work, or meetings or practices. This means she has days where she doesn't really sleep until bedtime. You generally wouldn't guess how tired she is and might even label her a "good baby."
She is a "good baby" because I am constantly giving her a bottle, holding her in whatever her current favorite arm numbing position is, bouncing her nonstop and can often be found speaking baby talk or babbling to her in the most awkward of places. I'm also not above using my husbands iPhone like a ridiculously expensive mirror so she can see her reflection and babble at herself.
I'm in survival mode.
I'm sure you've already judged me for over scheduling so let me justify myself. I am usually against signing my kids up for multiple opportunities. In fact, I generally only sign them up for something if they ask. I don't suggest activities or push things on them. It just so happened that everything they were interested in was at the exact same time of year. So, we find ourselves involved with yoga, choir, garden gnomes, broadcast, sign language classes, basketball, tennis and cross country. I'm sure I should have said no to a few of these but my sons are getting a lot out of their activities.
Moe wants to be a yoga instructor when he grows up so to him yoga class is essential :) he recently performed his yoga moves at a talent show so I can attest that he's pretty serious about it. Plus, if you've ever heard a 6 year old explain why shivasinha (sp?) is the hardest yoga pose or show you their full turtle you wouldn't be able to deny them when they asked to sign up for yoga either (p.s. he also has a speech impediment that makes everything he says extra cute)
It's the 6 year old again when it comes to choir class, I think he may be secretly in love with his Aunty who teaches the class. Larry signed up to be a choir helper, and considering the fact that he got himself removed from choir last year due to unacceptable behaviors, we were not going to say no when he tried to take a leadership role and show responsibility. Their choir class has lead to all of us practicing the songs together at home which has created a favorite song for beautiful baby and some hilarious family sing along moments that never would exist without choir. (P.s. one of the songs is about hippopotamus and have you heard a 6 yr old say that word? You can't deny that cuteness)
Garden gnomes is currently a Curly activity. He voluntarily pulls weeds, harvests fruits and vegetables, spreads fertilizer that makes him stink horribly and other tasks that I can't pay him a hundred dollars to do at home. So um yeah, not gonna say no to that one either. Gotta keep hoping it will mean he'll manage our garden at home because my black thumb just isn't getting the job done.
Broadcast is enjoyed by both of the twins. One is on the production side of things and the other is an announcer. They both think its the coolest club to be in at school and would probably disown me if I didn't say they could do it. Kids doing their own tv show is pretty much as awesome as it sounds, if not more awesome. Feel free to be impressed.
Sign language class brings us back to Moe. He has a goal of being able to do the sign of the day on broadcast in a few years (currently only deaf students are allowed to do this) and he attends the elementary school on our island where all of the deaf kids attend. He is quite good at sign language and one of only a few non-deaf kids that attends. It's cool that he is learning another language and I hear that he's very adorable in class (his Aunty takes him, I've never seen what he does at these classes. I just hear the stories afterwards.) he loves the Deaf Education teachers and from what I can tell they are fond of him too so this is another activity I couldn't say no to.
Basketball. My husband has been trying to get me to sign our kids up for this for awhile now. I always have an excuse, I mean reason, why we can't but I finally ran out of reasons so I signed all 3 up. This has given us a lot of entertaining family time as we finally started using our basketball hoop and playing together. The 9 yr olds are focused and driven and practice on Their own a lot. This is a sure sign of a good fit between a sport and your child. Moe is learning some hard lessons as this is his first time playing a sport and he is, well, not a natural. Its a pretty short season and I think if they decide to continue they'll have to drop another sport, but for now I applaud our basketball decision for giving us a lot more focused active family time. Also, have you seen 6 year olds play basketball. Adorable. Hilarious.
Tennis is something we went back and forth on for quite a while. It's a year round sport and the twins enjoyed it a lot last year. It just started this week and so far they are most excited that some of their friends from school signed up, including Larry's best friend. We'll see how it goes. Babies and tennis are not a very good mix so I find myself very detached from it this year. I do love that this keeps my boys up, out and active 2 days a week. If we weren't in tennis I can almost guarantee I would be letting them play on electronics at home so this is probably the better choice.
Finally, cross country. This activity is only 5 weeks long and they get to compete against hundreds of kids from all over the island every weekend. It's cheap and non committal which are my favorite words when it comes to kids sports and all 3 boys are signed up. My favorite part is that it has me up and active again since I can stick baby in the stroller and run with them. My second favorite part is moe, who has never done sports before and Is not known for his drive and ambition turning in to a little superstar. He has clocked 1/2 mile distances around our neighborhood so he can practice and he is really pushing himself to do better and not give up. It's inspiring to watch all the kids and my boys are all being encouraged to set and beat personal goals. Glad they are getting the opportunity to see running as a fun thing. I hope it means they'll grow up less fat than me.
And that's it. I'm sure you're exhausted just reading this. Reading through I can now see that I am WAY to influenced by the cute factor of sports and by Moes speech impediment. I'll have to remember that next time it's time to sign up for something.
For now, I'm embracing our overscheduledness and seeing all the amazing advantages even as I look forward to when they're done and we go back to being just a little bit too lazy. Is interesting to see how things work from this point of view. Now if I can just figure out how to stop negating all the good exercise we're getting with donuts and trips to McDonald's we will have totally conquered this whole sporty over involved family thing.
Beautiful baby will probably be burned out before she's even old enough to get started but I'm sure she'll find something to do and ask in the cutest way possible so I'm bound to say yes and get involved.
Live with kids is grand!