WRITER’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on the now-defunct Yahoo! Voices network on June 5, 2012. The article is no longer available on Yahoo’s network. Reprinted here as the author of original work.
The decision, for me, was never hard.
Was it surprising to me? As a life-long sports participant or fan, it seemed inevitable that my children would be involved in sports. So it was surprising.
That was, until I met, Gage.
Gage is the youngest of my three children. An inquisitive, sensitive, strong-minded ten year old. His older sister and brother were big-time into sports. His sister was a premier-level soccer player until knee injuries did in her career. His brother was a club-level goalie and non-stop “full 90 minutes” player on his high school soccer team. Both kids enjoy watching sports too but my older son is by far, the bigger sports fan of the two.
From a young age, I knew there was something different about Gage. He just had a way about him that you knew instantly that he was created a bit different from the other two. We tried sports; soccer, track, cross-country. Playing sports just wasn’t his thing. Other than just trying to keep him active, I made the decision ‘not’ to push sports on him.
Gage liked to play. But Gage also liked Legos. He liked music. He liked video games. He liked reading. He liked his scooter. He liked cartoons. He liked just about everything else…but “playing or watching” sports.
Now before anyone gets the wrong impression, Gage is a normal, healthy young boy that I am completelyin love with. For him, sports is something Mommy likes. It’s part of Mom’s job. That’s the extent of his sports-affection. His mom. Me.
And that’s okay.
I was reminded of that this week with stories from two dads “in sports”. One, a new father, and the other, facing a life-challenge through the body of his son.
Both stories in their own way reminded me of how thankful I am for my youngest. He is teaching me lessons beyond the field, court, pitch or diamond. There is a life beyond sports. That “life” can be hard to see sometimes when your work revolves around the 24/7 world of sports & social media.
Life is building a Death Star out of Legos. Life is zooming down the street on a scooter. Life is having a sword fight with the enemy in the backyard…because you can. And yes, life can be sports too.
But it does not need to have a place in my life as the ‘be-all, end-all’.
Gage has taught me that. Sports isn’t everything. Life is. Sports certainly is a part of that. Gage understands it. He may not always get it when I say the Rangers, in June, I’m probably talking about the Texas Rangers and not the New York Rangers (sorry Rangers fans). If I say Seattle is playing, I have to make sure I explain it’s the Sounders, not the Mariners or Seahawks.
And when he says ship, he has to make sure to explain to me “it’s a Naboo Fighter, Mom” and not a boat for the water. These can fly in the air and “get the bad guys, Mom”.
Getting the bad guys. Living life.
Ain’t that the truth.