One of my best girlfriends came over the other day. She tells the best stories and this visit was no exception! We sat down on my porch while our kids jumped and played in the blistering heat. Her 7 year old son is on the swim team at the country club where they are members - they've always considered him to be a very good swimmer, which he is. So She began like this, “My son had his 1st swim meet yesterday, our whole family was there to watch as he crossed that finish line and won his ribbon! And that he did, a full minute later than everyone else." My friend said it was the longest and most awkward minute of her life as all the parents of the victors just watched waiting for her little fish to reach the finish line in complete silence! We both laughed at the awkwardness of that moment as our kids moved onto water balloons and throwing them at each other violently. A few minutes later, she proceeded to share of her new found mom anxiety, you see, in the county where we live there's a certain amount of pressure when raising sons… it's called "team sports." Her oldest son is 13 and played golf when he was younger, but took a break for a while. He then went back into it only to find out he was now behind his peers and was only to be partnered with much younger kids - the 8 to 9 year olds. Obviously that's awkward for a 6th grader - not to mention mom. I realized in the middle of her story, “Uh oh, my kids don't know how to do anything apart from breaking sticks throwing rocks and making mud!" This is where I begin to share in her mom anxiety. I said nothing of it to her but when our play date had ended, I started calling and emailing every coach of every team sport in middle Tennessee only to find out I had missed the cut off for registration. It felt like a secret society of which I was not a member! The questions begin to fill my mind… I think my kids are good swimmers, I think they run fast, but do they? Have I failed them in a big way? Is Soren gonna ask me, “Mom, how come all my friends are on the soccer team and get to travel and hang out and I can’t?" Are they going to be the kids that don't fit in in high school? Will they be sitting off in a corner on campus wearing all black and smoking?
A few days went by and I called my friend and I told her that her anxiety had passed on to me. We laughed because we were both asking ourselves the exact same questions! We both had this epiphany that maybe we are square pegs trying to fit into round holes. Ha!
We have these incredible little kids who don't really care about fitting in. So, why as parents should we force them to be like everyone else? Right? We have to trust that God will show us in time where he wants them to be AND if they are listening for His voice they will inform us as to what God has put on their hearts. In the mean time we spend our days making memories that only we can share in as a family. Athletics peer pressure will come, but for now WE are each other's universe and that day will come to an end so let's soak it up now! Bring on family marathon movie nights (after they do their chores, of course). I highly recommend a giant Xorbee (https://xorbee.com/) for family fun and memory making! I got one just for our family. I believe in what they are doing. They have also created special bean bags for soothing kids with autism and special needs and it works!!!!