Friday, April 11, 2008

Real Men Like Musicals

I was joking with my friend Shelly the other day that I was going to send Seven to live with her for a while. She and her husband, James, could teach him to ride a bike. Her entire family goes biking all along the Greenway in Murfreesboro--I can't get my boys to ride their bikes to the mailbox and back. They're just not sporty that way.

Ten has had a little bit of sports experience. He took karate for a year when he was four to five. He never really liked it except when they got to break boards. He thought that was cool but the regular classes? Eh, not so much. Karate is expensive so when I quit my job as preschool pastor Ten had to quit karate. That was fine with him because the whole martial arts thing was really cutting into his cartoon viewing time.

Next we tried to get Ten to play baseball when he was six, which was an unmitigated disaster--unless you count all the clover necklaces he made while daydreaming in the outfield. Baseball's kind of a tough sport to play when you can't throw, catch, or hit. But, boy could he run! In the opposite direction of the ball while playing outfield, mind you, but mercy he was fast. Bless his heart.

Poor Seven has never played a team sport because, well, you have to PAY for those things and actually ATTEND the games. After Ten's dubious success we just haven't bothered to repeat the experience. But the thing is, Seven could probably do it if we'd give him a chance.

But I'm perfectly happy with my artsy kids. They love to sing and act and draw pictures and read books. They're both in choir and drama. They even wear skirts and tights. No, not really. Just kidding, Dan. I bought Seven a pair of tights last week, but don't worry. They're bright orange because he's playing Chicken Little in the first grade play. Ten will be a Roman soldier in the fourth grade play so he'll wear some kind of kilt/Roman skirt thingy. So, despite the tights, skirts, and lack of sports, they're very secure in their masculinity.

Not many Ten and Seven year old boys would admit to loving the movie Enchanted. We watched it three times last weekend and have been singing the songs all week long. Dan is going to learn to play That's How You Know on guitar so we can all sing it.

My kids are sensitive and sweet too. They hold hands when we go shopping so that neither of them gets lost. They're not afraid to say they love each other. They still let me kiss them good-bye at school--even if their friends are around. I love that about them.

But it sure wouldn't kill me if they decided to take up baseball or soccer or biking or something manly too. Dan is worried that too many viewings of Dancing with the Stars or women's figure skating with their mother has shorted out the sports gene that was his legacy.

What he needs to realize is that half their genes came from their mother. A woman whose coach once stopped a soccer game and ran out to the field because I was crying.

Because I'd broken a nail.

I was five.

See? Those poor kids are doomed.


Shelly Conn said...

I believe that it is a million times more important to put emphasis and encourage your child's grades in school rather than push the sports issue with them. J.C. played soccer for 3 years w/ James coaching and he loved it and did great @ it. It started getting a little too serious/competitive and now he does Boy Scouts and he loves it! I don't think that sports will get you into a great college. Your grades WILL though! Both of your boys have brilliant minds and loving hearts. I think that matters so much more than a soccer trophy.

Pat said...

You also spent a lot of your soccer time watching the geese fly over. You finally quit when another kid(an actual good playing)yelled at the coach to get you out of the game. Brother Mike was into sports and look at your nephew, he could care less. He would rather read or explore or just be one with nature. Which, like your kids, will give them more usuable talents when they are older. Trust me you don't play a lot of soccer or baseball when you are 50+, but knowing nature and reading are important.