Tuesday, February 18, 2014

and then my kid schooled me

Big things are happening around here.
We signed two of our three up for team sports.
Now this may not seem like a big deal to you.
But for our family its pretty big.
You may know that our twins were preemies.
The first year with them
was both the best of times
and the worst of times.
Sometimes I still wonder
how we made it through
and all survived.
It was only by the grace of God.
We were clueless first time parents.
They had issues and wore monitors and oxygen
for, gosh, nine months or so.
We did various therapies.
I remember taking them to their pediatrician
when they were maybe three years old.
Somebody, maybe a preschool teacher
or one of their therapists, had said something
about their lack of gross motor skills.
So of course I freaked out
and brought it to her attention,
because their comment inferred to me
that something was "wrong" with them.
That they weren't where kids of their age were,
that they weren't where they needed to be
according to certain charts.
I'll never forget this doctor...
she was old school.
She said...
{"would you rather have an Albert Einstein
or an Olympic athlete?"}
She said they were uncoordinated.
So what.
They had what they needed.
So they wouldn't be athletes.
Big deal.
Ok I said.
I trust you.
You've seen more kids than I have.
So the boys grew up.
They learned how to do stuff
that seem simple now.
Like swing, pumping their legs back and forth.
And catch a ball thrown at them.
They run, climb, jump, bike, swim.
They've grown into their bodies and with that
their coordination has improved :)
Recently my husband lost his mind
and signed two of them up for team sports.
The middle guy is like me.
He wants to watch first
before he makes his decision :)
Last night was the first practice for one guy.
We were prepping him beforehand -
like if somebody runs into you
its not because they're being mean,
they too are just trying to get the ball
your soccer socks are black,
some guys might have white ones on,
if you are the only one in black,
it doesn't matter,
just know we'll fix it before next practice.
You're still on the same team
and you'll still fit in.
Try to just let stuff go.
The hubs took the twins to practice last night
while I stayed home to put our youngest to bed.
I held my breath the whole time they were gone.
They came home with big smiles on.
As they bathed they regaled me
with great stories about how much fun
the one twin on the team had
and how it was going to be
a great soccer season.
I breathed a silent sigh of relief.
After the twins got ready for bed
they came into our room to say good night.
The soccer guy said...
{"Hey Mom, you know,
 I wasn't the only one
with black socks on.
That's good right?
You don't have to buy me another pair."}
I said to him...
{Do you want to know why we told you that?
Then I told him the story
of how when I was a little girl
my sisters and I,
we didn't do a lot of
extracurricular activities.
My parents both worked.
They had five kids.
It was a lot.
Especially after our house burned down.
One year I wanted to be a cheerleader.
Now this was a big thing.
That my parents agreed to this.
I must have been in the second or third grade.
I don't remember going to any practices.
Only one day stands out in my mind.
Our school had two colors...
one color was the outside of the uniform,
the other color lined the inside.
I'm not sure where the other girls got theirs
but my mom could sew and so she made my uniform.
 I remember being so excited
to cheer in the first basketball game,
so proud in my purple and gold uniform.
We get to the school gymnasium.
And I find the squad.
All the other girls glowing in gold...
me in my purple.
Nearly forty years later
I still remember that feeling of not fitting in.
And being made to feel that I wasn't
part of the team because I stood out.
I don't remember
 exactly what happened after that.
Only that it was the one and only game I went to.
That and being made fun of
for being different.

So I'm telling my sons this story,
trying to teach them that different is ok
but that we'll do our best to make sure
that they'll fit in,
blah blah blah.
One of them stopped me short.
He goes...
{"It's OK Mom.
Its OK.
I know they made you feel bad
but look at your life.
You have a great life.
You have this beautiful house,
you have us,
you have everything!
Don't be sad."}

Its funny how memories can take you right back
to being a little girl {or boy} again.
It felt like he was the parent for a minute.
I told him what made me sad
was that
I had let that feeling of
not fitting in to a certain mold
stop me from doing something
I really wanted to do.

 quote made on
Suddenly I wished that I'd spent less time
telling him that we'd help him "fit in"
and more time telling him
that different is good.
To just be himself.
That was all he needed to be.
Because to be comfortable
in who you are,
with what you have at that moment,
where ever you are,
to really just be yourself...
that is good enough.


  1. very generous post!
    thanx for sharing!!

    1. hi Jules! Thanks for reading and for your kind comment. :)


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