I have three sons, and they’re not particularly sporty. And that’s OK. There. I said it.
When I had just two sons, I often heard “Wow, you’re the perfect family of four – a golf foursome!”
And when I had my third son, so many new comments flooded in, like “Wow, a soccer team!” Or, “Three boys? You must be so busy with sports practices!”
But I don’t have a soccer team. I have three very silly, high energy, active boys who are more interested in cars and action figures and music and building things than they are in joining a team, going to practice, and trying their best to win a game.
While I’m not sure I have the time or the character to be a “soccer mom,” I do sometimes wish I had a sports practice or game to watch at least one of my sons play in. Why? Is it for me? So I can bond with other sports moms? So I can feel the rush of cheering for my kids? It’s a little of that, but even more so the chance to see my boys in a team setting, trying their best, sometimes winning, sometimes losing, but always having the camaraderie that comes with a team, and the sportsmanship and strategic thinking that goes with it. And to see them feel proud of themselves knowing they’ve given it their all.
Not only do my sons not play sports, but they don’t really watch them, either. I’d love to start a Sunday football tradition in my house, or follow a specific NHL team or college team. But so far, when I’ve tried, the kids are more interested in what snacks I’m going to serve than what sport we’re watching.
It doesn’t matter, really. Though I admit I cringed recently when my son said “I think the Red Sox are playing the Giants this weekend.” Ouch. What’s going to happen if he says that at recess? Is it my duty as the Mother of Boys to at least make sure they know a socially acceptable amount of team names for each respective major sport, and that they don’t inter-mingle them?
Probably not. I think it’s all going to be OK. As long as my kids don’t feel left out, or like they’re missing out because so many of their friends play sports, then all is well. They play some sports at recess and at camp, whether they truly know the rules or not. They are active in non-team activities like karate and swim class and an awesome American Ninja Warrior gym class. And above all, they’re happy, and that’s all that really matters.
Kids can learn a lot of valuable skills from playing sports, from technical athletic skills to people skills, sportsmanship, and the way they tackle problems. For now, my kids get those skills elsewhere, through their other activities and other social interactions and through the impromptu wrestling matches that seem to playfully erupt daily in my house full of boys. If they follow their dreams as of today, one will be a water-park designer when he grows up, one will be a professional drummer, and the littlest guy (age 3) – I’m going to keep him designated as my Chief Snuggler. They may not be sporty, but they’re mine, and I’m very proud of them.
#mobtruths #raisingboys #raisingsons #boymom #parenting #kidsandsports