… because I might try to teach both kids to sport this year.
Yes, yes, I know. One of my former directors at work used to take me aside now and again, put his hand on my shoulder, and say, “[Dad], we are a desert people. We do not do ice sports.” And yet, here we are, dear friends, here we are.
For those who have joined me only lately over here, I curl. Yes, the weird sport you’ve seen at the Winter Olympics that’s all the rage every four years, and seems to vanish in between. I’ve been playing since 2008 and, as I make reference to now and again, I play competitively.
Like most boys in this country, I played sports as a kid, both rec soccer and little league until I was allowed mercifully to quit. And, like most boys in this country, I sucked at sports as a kid. I also promised myself that I’d never push my kids into sports, and that if they chose to be athletic, that was their option. (Remarkably, despite being bad at sports, I enjoy sports themselves. My father should be proud, but that’s something for another blog entry.)
So, like most fathers, I’m also breaking that promise, and pushing my kids to play sports.
To be wholly fair, R’s been very interested in going curling, after watching some on TV with me and coming with me to a meeting of the board (after which we went down to the rink to watch the kids in Middle Rockers – kids 4 and up playing with half-weight stones – so he could see what this curling thing is). R’s finally old enough this season to participate as long as an adult’s on the ice with him, and we’ve been encouraging him that he could come curling with me if he’ll get fully potty trained. I don’t know if a four year old completely understands the idea of a quid-pro-quo, but there you have it.
On the other hand… there’s the Monster. The Monster’s experience at my curling club’s been limited to social events and spending a day with me while I was trying to pitch in after my club suffered a disaster during a winter storm and we were trying to fix our ice to salvage our season (that’d be the picture above).
Now, the curling club I play out of is a nice, fun place as you can see above… but curling isn’t a quiet sport. There are issues of the environment – it’s cold and usually fairly dry – and noise from various sources around the building, including other players shouting. The Monster himself is non-verbal and we’ve not tried to put him into a situation where he’s using this particular set of gross motor functions, much less that I’ve not much taken either child on the ice. But I don’t want to deny him the chance to try the sport either, since we should be assuming ability until otherwise proven.
And this leaves me in an interesting place, a week out from registration opening for my club, and I’ve been agonizing about it.
I could easily enough register myself and R for the season – me as an adult and R as a Middle Rocker – and chalk it up as “Abba and R time” every Sunday (once he’s potty trained, as mentioned above). Or… I could attack it as a “Just the Guys” thing, and at least try to take the Monster with us – pending approval from the Little Rocker coordinator – and see if he enjoys it or gets it. (And give my wife a break every Sunday.)
I think I’ve elected for #2, but we’ll see.
I’ll admit that I’m not sure where this is going to go, especially as my own rec-league curling is going to be increasing this season. I keep hoping – like any father – that my kids are going to get into sports and enjoy them because I enjoy them. I don’t have any illusions that either child is going to end up in the upper echelons of the sport, not that I’d mind if that happens… but the goal to me is for them to enjoy something new and maybe enjoy some time with their Abba.
For the Monster, I’m hoping it’s another opportunity to work on skills that we’re trying to build at school and in his after-school gymnastics – both in terms of physical ability and in terms of his ability to socialize with others. It never hurts, as I said yesterday, to try to make things as normal as possible…