“We really prefer Miss Helen’s Dance over Jamison’s Dance Academy. Allison gets a lot more individual attention there.” A group of my mom friends were trading tips on their kids’ activities.
Another mom added, “Well we finally got Hunter and Taylor registered for swim lessons with that private instructor you told me about,” she pointed at the mom sitting next to me who nodded with fervent agreement. “It was hard to work around their soccer and t-ball practices.”
I sat and listened, trying not to let the panic stricken look show on my face that I’d strategically concealed with a Stepword wife smile and glazed look. Silently I interrogated myself. “Why haven’t I gotten Carson and Ella involved in anything! Have I totally crippled them as potential athletes because they are going to be way behind all of their peers in sports and dance and swimming??? How was I even supposed to know this stuff??”
My mind suddenly relived every sports related horror of my childhood.
…the time I fell in a hole on the soccer field my first day of practice when I was seven years old and the only kid who had never played before. (I never played soccer again.)
…when I was about nine, I decided I wanted to try gymnastics and learn how to do back handsprings and was placed in a beginner’s class with preschoolers. “MOM! I’m with the BABIES, learning how to do somersaults!!” (I didn’t go back, but it was the first time I was the tallest kid in class. So there was that.)
…I was always one of the last picked for teams in kickball, softball, basketball, volleyball, and EVERY OTHER PLAYGROUND SPORT IMAGINABLE during elementary school. (Please note I was ONE of the last, not THE last. This is an important distinction.)
…I didn’t make cheerleading in 7th grade because I was awful. I couldn’t do herkies or pikes or toe touches, or even remember two lines of a cheer, but whatever.
…For one season I was on my high school’s swim team, but the stress of the competition resulted in my wishing the school bus would break down on the way to the meets and/or praying for raging diarrhea so I wouldn’t have to compete.
The discussion amongst the moms continued. “We started Chloe in soccer when she was about two and a half up at that indoor sports complex off Water Road. It was a daddy-daughter thing and she LOVED it!”
“It’s so funny to hear you all talk about your little ones! I remember when Chase was that young and starting to play! It was so cute to watch all the kids chase after the balls. Now that he’s fifteen, it’s so competitive and I have to spend nearly every waking moment on the baseball field once spring comes.”
PANIC! My children are going to be behind and they aren’t even in elementary school!
Tate was always involved in sports, but I’m not particularly athletic. Coordination and game rules don’t come naturally to me. I don’t know if I would have started playing sports earlier if it would have made a difference or helped my confidence, but I do know that I don’t want my kids to be like me when it comes to sports. Even if they aren’t the best athletes, I want them to enjoy some sort of athletic activity and I don’t want them to give up without ever giving it a chance.
My fear is that if I don’t get off my non-athletic butt and start getting them involved, they are going to be very behind their peers in sports and dance. If most kids are starting soccer/dance/gymnastics/t-ball at two or three years old, then if I wait any longer to get them involved, they are going to be the worst players, the ones always picked almost last (or God forbid, LAST), or they are going to be the nine year olds put in the beginner groups with BABIES.
I guess now the thing I need to do is get over my phone phobia and actually call around to some places to try and register each of them for whatever it is you register kids for in the spring.