As a child, I was the stereotypical athletically-challenged nerd. The one picked last for teams, who dropped every ball thrown my way and “ran” a 15-minute mile. My parents encouraged me to play Little League softball when I was ten, and it was a failure of epic proportions. I’m not sure I ever got a hit.
Luckily, our daughter shows early signs of inheriting her father’s athletic gifts. She is bold and strong and energetic and throws and kicks and jumps and runs and dances with the best of them. She falls down often — she’s 2, it happens — and pops back up to hit the ground running once again. But even if she turns out a klutz like Mama, and despite my own traumatic history with team sports, I will do everything in my power to encourage her in athletics.
Why? I want our girl to know her own power. Not the “power” young, beautiful women sometimes hold in swaying the desires of men, but actual physical and mental I-can-do-it-myself power. I hope the knowledge of her strength will help her withstand bullies and not fall for any boy who pays her a little attention. I want her to have a relationship with her body separate from whatever society tells her is attractive. I want her to have the experience of practicing something until she improves, and also the experience of losing with grace.
And of course I plan to live vicariously by seeing her succeed where I have failed. And then, when she’s famous, benefit from her millions of dollars in endorsement deals. Why else does anyone force activities on their children?
Have you pre-selected any activities to push on your children?