We're firmly back in September, the kids have returned to school (thank god), the teachers are back at work (ditto, nobody needs that kind of smugness on their news feed) and the games have well and truly begun.
No, not the Olympics, Paralympics for that matter, or anything to do with those pampered princes afraid to break a nail as they (fail to) kick a ball around a pitch. This game is much more complicated, with even less chance of success.
Every September, come rain or shine, for the past half decade, my son decides to find a new sport. You see, he's never really been a football fan. He hates it, if i'm brutally honest. In the early days my husband and I were sure that we could find some other sport to keep him busy and occupy those weekends most boys his age spend kicking a ball around a field.
So far we've had little success. Swimming didn't agree with his grommets, he thew in his white belt after only a few weeks at Karate and (as my windows know only too well) he doesn't have the co-ordination for Tennis. With every sport we try the collections in the attic grows bigger, belts, balls and instruments (just in case sport ins't his thing) lay untouched and hardly used in the darkness upstairs.
We've even tried him with our own favorite sports, he's jogged with mum and rode with dad quite happily, but never quite finds his stride.
Last week I was growing desperate, 'Ok son, you have to pick a sport and stick with it, no going back!' I was hoping to encourage him to commit but then I took a look in the mirror and had a serious word with myself.
As with many of my parenting conundrums, I thought about my own childhood at this point. When I was younger, in similar fashion to my son, I didn't have a hobby so I tried Ballet. It was a terrible decision and anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have two left feet. I was hopeless and gave up quickly. My mother wasn't very happy, she'd been out and bought me a pretty little leotard and ballet shoes, 'money down the drain,' she said. After that point, whenever I showed an interest in a sport, she did not. My mum was unwilling to commit any more money to my extra curricular activities and all future hobbies were shelved.
It wasn't until adulthood that I was able to fund my own kits and 'have a go' at different things again. It took a while but I found my favorites and stuck with them for almost 10 years. My own experience has taught me that not all children find their niche straight away. My boy might have to dip his toe in many sporty waters until he finds one that suits him and until he does, I'll make sure there's plenty of space in the attic.
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