Very Round Peg, Very Square Hole.

It has finally come to me that despite his amazing athleticism and my clear joy in spectatorship, Mr. Ornery appears to be little interested in organized sports. At 18 months of age, his day care teachers remarked at his persistence in shooting basketballs into the miniature plastic hoop. At 4 years of age, I strapped on ice skates and he took off across the ice with me stumbling in awe behind him. Put him in shoes, in skates, in skis, on wheels and he just goes. Give him a ball, a bat, a glove, a stick and he gets it.

In his short 8 years (well, four really when you consider that he didn’t start until age four), this boy has done sports! He has played more seasons of soccer than he cares to have joined. (“But, Mom, I didn’t sign up for soccer,” he whined one evening last Spring as we drove to practice. Evil grin from the driver’s seat.) He has played basketball for the past three winters. He tried ice hockey for a year and decided to “retire” shortly after I sunk money into the “travel bag” to carry all the gear that I had already sunk money into! He played a season of flag football. He was fast. He can run. But he didn’t care to catch the ball. He tried baseball last Spring. His coach was amazed that it was his first time ever as he caught, threw and hit with ease. “Yep,” I said, “I bought him a glove a week before the first practice.”

Scattered in all that was two years of gymnastics, getting to the point of twice-a-week practice to look toward competitive gymnastics, but he was not interested. He joined his brother and cousins in karate for a few months, but had no stamina for working toward a hierarchy of colored belts. He was on the swim team last summer and has a beautiful stroke, but doesn’t care to show any speed. We even tried a session of water polo, but for a little seven-year-old, treading water in the deep end of the high school swimming pool was a bit too exhausting.

But look him in the eye and ask Mr. Ornery what’s his favorite sport and he’ll say, “I’m going to be a BMX biker when I grow up.”

Mind you, I love watching all my boys play sports. I happily drive them to practice after practice. I put money into sign-ups, equipment, and Gatorade and tons and tons of mileage. I want to expose them to as many sports as I can (okay, I probably didn’t need to do all of the above in 4 years I realize now as I list them!). My hope is that one day when they are on the college campus and someone yells out to them, “Dude, want to join us for a quick game of …?” they will actually know how to play that … and jump right in. (Golf, we need to do golf. And tennis and rowing and cross-country….)

But Mr. Ornery has other ideas. He’s a round peg. He wants round things under his feet. He glides with ease and flies to the top of ramps on a small BMX bike. He is working on how to do an Ollie on a skateboard (see what I’m learning?). He just learned how to “drop in” on a scooter from an older kid at the skate park. He’s watching YouTube videos of people biking and skating and scootering. He’s begging me to take him to the indoor bike park several times a month and rates their one-week bike camp as the best week ever. He cajoles the babysitter into taking him and the Little Guy to a nearby skate park as often as he can (though her rule is that they leave when the teen mass enlarges towards the evening and the language gets more and more foul).

And, Mr. Ornery has spent this entire weekend creating his own miniature skate park in his bedroom after spending his allowance on “fingertip” skate boards and torturing me with the world’s smallest nuts and bolts to put together a Tech Deck. (That’s the towel rack from the bathroom, by the way. Sigh.)

Give me a sport that I can understand and cheer for and I am happy. Put wheels under Mr. Ornery and he is in heaven. He’s a round peg. He doesn’t care for my square holes. But we are learning to compromise. He keeps up a sport to garner the lessons of persistence, sportsmanship, listening to a coach, and working towards a goal as a team. I keep the bike tires pumped up, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed for a quick snack, and the back of the van loaded with two BMX bikes, two scooters, two skateboards and two helmets at all times (naturally, the Little Guy is following right along).

And, I keep the prayers flowing as I watch him soar, hoping for soft landings.

Love my round peg. (And…. he’d love you to “subscribe” to his video. It matters to an 8-year-old, apparently 😊). 

 

 

 

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Soccer Mom – It had to happen….

It has to happen at some point, especially if one has a boy.  At some point, I have to become a Soccer Mom, if only for a season.  I’m secretly wishing that it’ll catch on with at least one of the boys since I like the sport.

On the other hand, maybe I should wish that they will all have a preference for basketball.  It is at least an indoor sport!  I thought about this last weekend when we arrived at the field in a torrential rain storm and I prayed for game cancellation despite my sons’ enthusiasm.  We had just the day before gone to the soccer store and purchased cleats for both (poor Seth can barely walk in regular shoes) and socks and shin guards and balls.  Noah would have worn the cleats and shin guards to bed if I had let him.  So when the coaches started yelling out “U8 games are cancelled” I was very happy.  The boys, however, decided that the now sprinkling water shower was actually enjoyable and they spent the next 30 minutes sloshing about in a mud puddle….in their new shoes!

So here’s my list of things you need as a Soccer Mom…in very little particular order…and with the caveat that we’ve only had one “game” for each kid and my thoughts are highly likely to change over time.

  1. The perfect water bottle.  The ones that leak all over the neighboring diaper bag while at the bottom of the stroller are not so ideal.  The ones that shrink to one third the original size as a result of dishwasher cleansing even if on the upper rack are also now worth only recycling.  The ones that Micah has chewed on the pop-up value so much that they can’t close anymore are also of little value.  I know….probably should get a Nalgene.
  2. Collapsible captain’s chair.  I have two of them.  They work fine, but they really are a pain to carry on one’s back while pushing a stroller through damp grass to the farthest field EVER!  And who wants to fold them and put them back in their “handy” bags?!?!
  3. A golf umbrella.  Let’s face it – despite years of ridiculing my father for such a HUGE umbrella, last week I looked on other people with envy as they kept “mostly” dry with kids scurrying around under their feet.
  4. A really warm parka.  Again, back to the basketball.  I’m not sure I’m cut out for rainy days, cold days.  I might need inside sports to avoid the damp cold (and I certainly don’t plan to be the one to teach the boys to ski!).
  5. Rubber car mats.  After playing in the rain and the mud, I’m pretty adamant that they remove their shoes as they clamber into the van….before stepping on the seats as they make their way into their carseats (and thank goodness for babywipes when they do get things muddy!).
  6. Extra shoes to have the boys change out of cleats when they finish playing.  I haven’t figured out the logistics of this yet – which is why 3 of them (my nephew also plays at the same time as Micah but on a different teams so they don’t strangle one another or just stand on the field making potty sounds at each other) wore cleats to the movie theater see “Finding Nemo 3D” yesterday afternoon!
  7. Extra food in the car.  Even though the boys get a snack after the game (and I was wondering today what I’ll do when it’s my turn), they still pile into the van and ask “what do you have to eat?”  I must remember that they eat every 2 hours no matter what and are not capable of “calmly” overcoming this strong impulse.
  8. A duffle bag to keep team shirts, socks, shoes, shin guards and balls in whenever a straying item is found throughout the week so that by Saturday morning you can just grab it and go.
  9.  Grandma!  Yes, she is vital for pushing a stroller through long damp grass, carrying folding chairs on the back, taking siblings to the “potty” while the other one plays (or just changing a diaper on the ground), cheering loudly, and generally just helping with everything!
  10. A strong heart to swell with pride at every goal, every good  defensive play, pretty much every move.  It’s amazing how teary-eyed I get while watching the boys.  I don’t know who sports is better for – them or me.

Please help me – what else do I need?  I know I’m forgetting something.