Sunday, January 23, 2011

Calling All Sports Fans!

I might have mentioned previously that I am not an active soul by nature. When I was a child, my favorite activity consisted of shutting myself in my room with a book. If this wasn't solitary and sedentary enough, I'd move to my closet with a flashlight.

Come to think of it, not much has changed. Okay, you can find me on a treadmill now but more often than not I'm reading on the thing and if I could? I'd shove that sucker in a closet so I could get a bit of peace and quiet while I'm on it.

So of course, because God has a tremendous sense of humor, I managed to produce two very bouncy boys, a descriptor which was evident even in utero. The Elder was literally spinning like a whirling dervish during his first ultrasound at six weeks gestation (I'd had some worrisome bleeding, but after watching his antics I figured he'd just tried to kick himself loose), and the Gum Zombie was the only awake and active fetal wunderkind for his scheduled ultrasound session at the midwife's office. I swear that child made the sonographer's day -- we got a solid 30 minutes watching him wiggle around in there.

So yeah. Active. Now don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for this because not only are they healthy but they also have an unholy love for video games, so it's a darned good thing they have interests that counteract their mother's genetic contribution to their makeup. It's just... wow.

The Gum Zombie, being the free spirit that he is, blithely informed me a couple of weeks ago that he wishes to take gymnastics. Now this is the child who likes to hand-walk up doorways and hallways and hang there until I catch him at it. Failing that, he will watch TV with his hands on the back of the couch and walk his legs up the wall until he's at a good forty-five degree angle to the floor until there's too much blood rushing to his head or, again, until I catch on that my walls are being abused. Really, I shouldn't be surprised.

A few days later he asked, "Don't you want to know why I want to take gymnastics?"

Well, yes; yes indeed, I was curious.

"Because I want to learn how to do backflips. I'm going to be a ninja when I grow up, and ninjas have to do backflips."

I blinked a couple of times still hoping I could somehow get out of this (do you know how dangerous backflips are????), and then he played his trump card:

"I went to the library and checked out a book on gymnastics, so I already know all about it."

All of you who are parents are nodding right now. Yeah, I'm so hosed. Clearly I have to get him into gymnastics and support his chosen profession of ninja, because he went to the library and researched it on his own. Initiative must be rewarded. Here's hoping the Y's gymnastics program is less cost-prohibitive than the two closest gymnastics studios.

Meanwhile, the Elder has more pedestrian goals. Last fall he approached me with a pamphlet for the basketball program at the church that houses his before-and-after school program.
Practices started a couple of weeks ago, and he had a game yesterday. Let me tell you, it was high comedy. No, I'm not a huge sports fan, but I swear watching sixth-grade boys running up and down the basketball court is hysterically awesome. They're up the court, they're down the court, they're up the court... oh, there's a melee breaking out over the ball! Wait, the kids brawling are all from the same team. Snerk. There's more traveling and double-dribbling than you can shake a stick at, and throughout the whole thing they're just giving it every bit of heart they've got. I was grinning like an idiot.

And then there was the Elder, in the last 35 seconds of the game. He'd already scored 4 points, and I guess he figured then was as good a time as any to clean his glasses. As I watched him take them off and start wiping the lenses on his jersey, I thought, "I sure hope that ball doesn't come toward him."

Remember that whole God has a sense of humor thing? I sometimes swear he's listening in and giggling.

The ball came straight at the child. He looked up, and without even flinching he got the ball and started dribbling with the one hand while continuing to polish his glasses lenses with the other. He finally passed it (still one-handed) to another of his teammates who ran it down the court right as the buzzer sounded. I was clutching my head in my hands and everyone around me was howling with laughter, regardless of who they were there rooting for.

Again, awesome. A bit more of this and I could almost become a sports fan.


Choreboy said...

I would be one of those parents that push the kids too hard. I'll leave the sports stuff up to you.

Amanda said...

Fortunately I don't have even an ounce of athleticism in my soul, and I'm beyond non-competitive when it comes to physical activity so I just enjoy the hilarity as it rolls in :)

Jenn @ said...

I can't wait to watch my girls in team sports - should be a hoot!

tz said...

neither my husband nor I are athletic and our oldest plays sports year round (also in basket ball right now) and the youngest is in karate and swimming...we also didn't want to be *soccer parents* schlepping crap and kids all over...well we are.

who knew

kids are amazing creatures
i love that your youngest crawls up the walls.

Jen said...

I put my daughter in an after-school program at a gymnstics school. It was a lot more affordable than their regular the college kids that were teaching helped with homework.

Choreboy said...

I'm all for the youngest taking gymnastics. It's excellent for coordination (god knows he needs THAT) and it builds muscle and confidence. My only thought would be to reinforce the fact that being somewhat proficient in gymnastics does NOT give him immunity from the forces of gravity.