Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dreaming of the Olympics....

Soccer was over in November and since then Jay has been without sport. This drives me, an over-committed busy mom, crazy. (Overcommitted: SAHM of three, professional photographer, non-profit 20 page monthly newsletter editor, PTA nominating committee chair, PTA spring banquet committee, blogger, playgroup dropout, AKA... crazy)

"What can I sign you up for?" I ask him every week, being that finding Jay a sport has been on my to-do list since Halloween.

"I will think about it." He answers each time. This drives me, a pushy compulsive mom, crazy.

"I’m still thinking." He re-words himself moments later.

"Mama. I know! I know what you can sign me up for." Jay exclaims one day.

"Sweet mousie, Jay. I am so happy. What can I sign you up for?" Thrilled that he has actually thought long and hard about it. I am excited for his excitement.

"Pilot lessons."

Needless to say, I was not able to find pilot lessons for a five year old in the suburbs of Ohio.

Would he like to play indoor soccer? "No, too many people on the field." He likes to kick the ball but is afraid of a crowd of kids running toward him.

Would he like to play indoor tennis? "No, it is too sweaty." He happens to sweat a lot and doesn’t like it.

Would he like to play baseball? "No, the ball is hard and I am afraid of it hurting me in the shoe-shoenka by accident." He happens to watch America’s Funniest Videos and saw a man yelp when the ball hit his shoe-shoenka.

What would he like to do? Truth is that since he was born, Jay has not liked to do much of anything organized. He is a very sensitive child that has the separation anxiety of a two-year-old. He loves to be with me. All the time. And I am okay with it, cause really... how long will THAT last?

He cried at baby Gymboree. He melted down at toddler My Gym. He kicked and screamed on the way to preschool ice skating, He fell asleep at piano lessons. Tennis lessons. Swim lessons. Basketball lessons. All. Of. Them. Disasters.

What have I done? Truth is, I made him finish every single class in the sessions posted above. Always one sport at a time. Never pushy. I taught him the importance of perseverance "See, Jay? Last week you couldn’t even stand on the ice." I taught him the importance of being proud of oneself "Are YOU proud of YOURSELF for swimming so good today?" I tried to teach him that crying doesn’t solve problems "I understand words, not tears, words help me understand your feelings."

Last week, I received an email from one of the sweetest women I have met to date. "I have talked to the gymnastics owner and he agreed to create a boys-only introduction class. It is scheduled for Wednesdays at 4:30." Way to be pro-active, Mommy. Sweet. I thought. That is immediately after Lola’s class. I can even save on gas and camp out at the stinky gym for two hours, at back to back classes.

"Jay. Mama signed you up for boy’s gymnastics. Big boy gymnastics for boys like you that are 5, 6, or 7." I tell him deciding that I too will be pro-active and take matters in my own hands.

"I. Don’t. Know. About. THAT." He speaks slowly and doesn’t look me in the eyes.

"You also said you weren’t sure about snap peas and now they are your favorite! I think you should give it a try." Wow. Sometimes, just sometimes, I amaze myself.

Today I spent two hours in a sweaty smelly gymnastics gym with three children, in stilettos. Today I saw my son participate with much enthusiasm. I saw determination in his eyes as he attempted all of the men’s apparatus. I saw pure joy as his friends, all boys, joked around in typical manly fashions. I saw a new love growing inside of him.

"Did you like it? Did you have fun?" I immediately asked him.

"Yes. Oh, yes! I really loved it!" He confidently looked me in the eyes and spoke.

"Are YOU proud of yourself? I saw you so high in the air, on the bar." I continue.

"Yes. I. Am. Proud." His voice grows more confident with each word.

We drove home with an exhausted Fifi, a talkative Lola, and a confident Jay. Jay was looking out the window and interrupted Lola, "I like gymnastics even more then Star Wars Lego computer game and I want to go EVERYDAY!"

The computer game has been his nirvana since Christmas. I am dreaming of the Olympics.

Glory, Hallelujah.

Holy Guacamole!

Houston. We have finally landed.

44classy comments:

Jeni said...

Congratulations! Trying to get kids involved, interested in something and all can be quite a chore. Maybe you should come here and see what you can do with a 16-year-old who doesn't want to go any further than the couch to my computer chair -which is where she lands with record speed as soon as I vacate it! (Whether I am finished using the computer or not.)

lattemommy said...

Yay! I'm so glad he's found something he loves. Way to go, OHMommy for taking the initiative and signing him up. Nobody knows her little man better!

By the way - holy overcommitted! How in the hell do you manage it all?

Marie around the World said...

Bravo !!
For you, Failure is Not An Option on any mommy field !!
I see a lot of my son in yours and I'll definitely ask you for some advice at some point.
He's going to be 3 early March and guess what he told me when I gave him the choice a few weeks ago :
"What would you like to do next Fall : gymnastics, dance, soccer, swim lessons or crafts ?"...
Gymnastics...

Karen said...

Yeah for finding something that he loves!

Krystyn said...

Found you through a friend.

That's great that you found something that he loves. Competitive, but still an individual sport! Good job, momma!

MamaWise said...

You know, my mother and I share a psychic gift... we are able to see and predict a lot of things in the future, and it scares even us. When I first started reading this post, I got a strange feeling (like the psychic ones I get) and saw Jay getting ready to mount the parallel bars in some event on TV. Call me wierd, but I KNOW that this is what he is destined for! Olympics, here he comes!

Wendi said...

I give you a "10" for that post. I give Jay a "10" for braving a new sport and loving it. I give you a "5" for having "over-committment" and "over-scheduling" issues. Slow down already! Learn to say that all important word: NO!
*when you learn how to say it... would you teach it to me?(lol)

Lisa said...

Kudos to you for continuing to work at finding something Jay would love. Too often I think we have set in our minds what we hope our child will like, and push it.

I'm looking forward to seeing Jay's sweet smile standing atop of the Olympic podium. You'll blog about that too, right?

Amy said...

it sounds like you have a very good perspective on things. i am like you in that if we sign up, we stick with it. my oldest was much the same way. he didn't want to do anything. he cried wherever we went - even story hour at the library.

we just kept trying. i have never pushed things on him or signed him up for too much. i just take one thing at a time. i also didn't ask him if he wanted to do things. we just did them. i think i a kid like this will always say no.

i am happy to say that he loves doing things now and he adjusts well to new things. it was tough though.

you are right. it's important to teach kids to persevere!

Kellan said...

My Little Billy is not in gymnastics right now (football), but he has been in the past and loves gymnastics. Alexis takes gymnastics and loves it. I hope your son loves it too! It's sometimes hard finding the "thing" they want to do or feel comfortable doing. Good for you for continuing to try to find something he might like - it's good for kids to be involved.

Have a good day - see you later - Kellan

Kim said...

You are da bomb.. Do you know that? My oldest sounds so similiar to Jay with not being a fan of the organized sports.. I too did the swimming, they Gymboree things.. I am SOOO excited to hear that you were able to find something he is willing to commit to everyday.. You really are super mom you know that?

Joggingincircles

Kelly said...

YAY for Jay! I hope he continues to enjoy it. We've done gymnastics with the older two and they have always loved it. It's a great way to burn off energy in the winter too! :)

Smart A$$ Mom said...

good for you! I waited for the kids to tell me what they want to do- then I don't let them quit....I will let you know how that goes after softball tryouts this weekend, I can only hope for that kind of enthusiasm!

The MomBabe said...

Awesome. I think Gymnastics are GREAT for boys.

MrJourneyman said...

Go, OMommy, It's your birthday (I am doing my "white man" dance for you, and I can say that because I believe the stereotype was modeled after me!)...

I'm excited for Jay...I was the same way as a kid...found it hard to get involved in stuff (eventually I found scouts...) - we all find our niche, and sometimes it changes...but I see potential here...Jay is most certainly going to need a cheerleader...hmmm...any good, classy candidates in your household? *grin*

Have a great day...stay warm! (ha ha ha)

Kathryn said...

Oh yeah! It must be so exciting to see that little person emerge with new likes and talents. So fun!

Crystal said...

That is awesome. How wonderful that he found something he thinks is really fun. Go for the Gold Jay!!

Stephanie said...

Sounds like you found a winner! We're not sure what we're going to let our kiddos do, but I hope they're just as enthusiastic as Jay! ;oD

Melissa said...

WTG Mom and Jay! I hope this is the start of something big.

girlymom said...

That is so exciting that he found something he really enjoys! And how cool that it works out back to back... I am trying to schedule it like that for next year. Kinda the nice thing about all girls and close ages, I think I might just be able to swing it! Did you really wear stilettos to gymnastics? I give you credit...I slop around in my big winter boots!

Jenni said...

Yeah for finding something that works. We just started our first organized sport ever- for the 6 year old. I knew once we started it would never stop!

LunaNik said...

That's great! I was going to suggest something like karate or tae kwon do which boys always seem to LOVE and as a bonus it's a major confidence and independance booster for them but if he's happy in gymnastics then FANTASTIC!

krissy said...

Way to go Jay! It's great that he found something that he will most likely love forever!!!

Good job momma....you did a great job by encouraging him!

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful thing to think of! Gymnastics are a great way to keep active (and wear them out!). Here's rooting for the Olympics! Haha!

Smitty76 said...

Oh that is great! And so awesome that he really, truly ENJOYS it! I'm happy for Jay :-)

Lisa said...

Wow--you are a busy busy mommy!
Isn't it fantastic when you find something they just LOVE?!!!

Miss said...

That is so great!! I hope he does well. Wait, he is your kid, he will do great!

Nissa said...

Want to trade? Mine wants to do everything, and I'm such a bad mom, because I'm too lazy to commit to all those activities!

Irene said...

That sounds great! My oldest (6) is starting gymnastics next week. She took them last year, but quit for a bit and now is excited to be in the "big kids" class.

I don't believe in pushing kids into tons of activities. I hate to see little kids screaming and crying at some lesson because they just don't want to be there.

I don't think anything is wrong with a gentle nudge to get involved in something. But forcing? No. Although I definitely will push my kids to be active in general.

I also had to chuckle about one comment you made. I know what you meant, but one sentence reads "I spent 2 hrs in the gym with 3 children in stilettos". I immediately got this picture of 3 little kids wearing stilettos and I laughed out loud. Sorry, not to make fun, believe me, I do the same thing ALL the time. I just thought it sounded funny!

Take care!

Kelly said...

You are such a wonderful mom. So many other mom's would have just given up and given in. I agree that it is important for every person to reach outside their comfort zones. What awesome lessons to teach your children. Way to go Jay and way to go YOU!

April said...

Kudos! You should be very proud :)

Happy Days said...

I am so glad that he found something that he likes.

carrie said...

"Shoe Shoenka" - I love that.

Amy said...

And I'm just the opposite, trying to get mine to drop out of something! But when you're running four around...
That is AWESOME for Jay, I hope he loves it! Two of mine are in gymnastics and they adore it. And Emma is in Tae Kwon Do as well, all the little boys in that class seem to really like it. If you feel he needs another activity, you should give it a try!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Hi!

That's great! Hey, not every kid is a joiner, nor are they all organized sports kids, either. Gymnastics is a great way to stay in shape! Good for him!

Lizzy

renatamic said...

i can just picture jay...proud as ever and falling in love with his new sport!! can't wait for him to show off for me in march!!

GoMommy said...

You are a busy mommy! But good for you for helping your son find a fun activity to get involved in! I think it's important for kids to have something of their own, whether it's sports, music...something other than video games and TV!
You sound like a great mom and motivater!

Kristen said...

Great for you, and awesome for Jay!! Glad he found something that he loves and is proud of!

Way to go Ohmommy!!

Mr Lady said...

I never had any luck giving my kids options. They just walk all over me! Good for you!

zoeyjane said...

did he like that bar or rings best?!

Amy said...

Yay Jay! This is great!

And I am totally stealing this...

"I understand words, not tears, words help me understand your feelings."

Karen said...

How amazing!!

I've been wondering why you haven't been posting lately, and then I realized I sorta forgot to update my reader with your fancy new url. Oops!! hehe...glad to see you're still around!!

Grandy said...

This is SO AWESOME!! I'm impressed with how you handled it! You are indeed, one classy mama!! :) Please keep us posted.

Rhea said...

Is Jay still loving gymnastics?

I require my boys to take one sport each season...or something active. They can chose what they want to do, but it has to be active. They usually chose soccer, baseball, basketball, but we have also done swimming and tae kwon do. :o)

 

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