Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jump on that Crazy Train and Ride, Sister Ride!

I've been holding back, I absolutely know it, and my motives are purely selfish. I have gotten away with this behavior for nearly 15 years, but I used to be able to blame it on somebody else. ( like an Ex-Husband).

I have not jumped into the "(insert favorite sport here) Mom" role. Its not that I haven't embraced it, its that I have not really encouraged my children to participate in organized sports. Just like Octamom, I like my long baths, and my long books. I like my quiet time. I LOVE that my children will willingly go to bed at 7:00pm every night. I like that I'm not running all over the valley in crowds of disgruntled dad's who's major-league dreams never came true. I like that my leathery butt is not sitting on a bleacher bench only half clothed, pretending that I'm not swilling beer at my 10 year old's baseball game. There are alot of things about organized youth sports that are great, but I haven't found anything about it that I'm dying to participate in yet.

And so I find myself at a junction, where love for a child meets selfish attitude and I realize a decision must be made. I've written before about Gabriel and his Karate lessons. He LOVES Karate. And I think someday he will be quite good at it. But there's this sticky little caveat...he will only be good at it if we give him the opportunity to train to his best ability.

The past few weeks ( Christmas Break to be exact) we have "tested" the program. It has involved rearranging our schedule in ways I'm not entirely comfortable with, making good use of the "Crock-Pot", and extending bed time 'til 8:00pm (gasp!).

And this is what I've found. This works for us! (In fact, sitting outside the studio for an hour most evenings I've realized that Martial Arts just might be the thing I've been looking for in MY life. I've committed to joining the studio and attending lessons. Hopefully by this time next year I will find myself to be the owner of a small rainbow of belts.) I have seen our family come together to support one of our children in something that is very important to that child. Its wonderful to see him from the vantage point of "fly on the wall" train, learn, focus (sometimes) and work towards a specific goal.

We've decided to hop on this train and ride it. We don't know exactly where this journey will take us (although various trips to California and Arkansas are almost certainly in the mix) and we're not really sure exactly what this commitment will require of us as a family. But we've decided to make this commitment to him and his potential.

It is our hope that as an adult, our son will be able to look at his child-hood and know that Martial Arts helped form him into a respectful young man who knows how to set and achieve goals. But my greatest hope is that we as a family will have found a healthy ( both in body and in mind) activity that draws us closer together and helps us strengthen the bonds we already share.

So here goes! Friday is Gabriel's first testing day. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be no turning back after he tastes success in acheiving his first goal-to earn a yellow belt. Better pack my bags, 'cuz I "Hear the train a comin' rollin' round the bend" (10 virtual points if you can tell me what song that is!) and I want to be on it with both feet before it leaves the station.


Jillene said...

We have tried t-ball, soccer, basketball and now he wants to learn to ice skate and play hockey.

For my oldest daughter we have tried ballet, dance and gymnastics. She chooses gymnastics and is rather good at it.

For my youngest daughter it looks like she is leaning towards dance.

We are going to be quite busy--for the rest of our lives!!

clan of the cave hair said...

see Jillene, and THAT is why I just haven't encouraged it. My two oldest girls never got to participate in anything becuase their dad would complain that it took too much of "his" time away from them. So I was off the hook because HE didn't want them to do it. But it honestly never hurt my feelings to not have to do all that. Now we've got a stable family life though and I think its going to be ok.

ramsam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ramsam said...

Way too many typos! Let me try again

We have tried so many things, too- some pan out, and most things don't, so I really applaud you for givng your son the means to stretch his wings. It is busy and tough, and it is only for a season....soon enough he will be on his own!

I hope he does well on his testing, and can't wait to hear how YOUR karate goes! Kudos to you!

Vanessa said...

My daughter is the most shy little girl. I put her in dance and she comes alive. She will barely say hello to you when you talk to her, but she will dance in front of hundreds at a competition (and next week at the Jazz game!). It is a pain to get her over to dance, but we carpool. It is a big expense, but I think its worth it. It's building her confidence and I guess I can look past that it is sort of an interupption of our week, but she loves it so much!

rachel said...

I'm at the point that I'm wondering if we should start some sort of lesson, but I'm like you I don't want to go running everywhere and have kids going to bed at midnight. I'm so glad your son has found something he loves and how cool if you did it too!

Lara said...

I'm so glad that karate is workign for you!

I grew up as the only girl, and I remember all the crazy sports stuff, and all my brothers went on to play at a college level, so there was a ton.

I'm glad I have girls. We do music lessons, but nobody is dying for a sport. Although, it would probably be good for all of us!

Anonymous said...

Even for girls, I feel like some sort of sport (or martial art) is very valuable. It really teaches so many things besides athletecism. But you do need to find the balance and that is different for every family. I hope this works out for you.

Kristina P. said...

When I met my husband, he was actually a karate instuctor. In fact, I have his old business card right in front of me now! He taught for about the first 18 months we were married. He loved it and it really does wonders for kids.

GOod luck!

Anonymous said...

I have an award for you on my sidebar.


I have no definition for it, I just like the way it rolls off the tongue...

So said...

We have not really pushed organized sports on our kids either. Some of the reasoning being the time constraints that it would put on our family but mostly, for us, it's a money issue.

Good luck with the Karate. I think that is an awesome sport.

K and/or K said...

I like that this is an indoor activity. Now I know you won't be cold or sunburned. See how much I care about you? :-)
Happy New Year

clan of the cave hair said...

LOL K and or K. Yes, thank you for your concern. Around here I could get cold AND sunburned on the same day if I really tried.

~ Straight Shooter ~ said...

See what I meant about you being a professional lemonade maker my friend?!
YOU are on the band wagon to becoming a slightly older version of Karate Kid...
THAT is way cool sister!

Anonymous said...

We have had our fair share of crazy sports schedules. I am done.
Football has been part of our lives for the last 8 years. Our boys love it but I am just exhausted.

Good luck with the Karate.