Today we are tackling perseverance. My son's interest in gymnastics is waning. He absolutely would not get in the car to go to class this afternoon. My husband carted my daughter off to her happy world of balance beams and uneven bars while I sat with my son to try to discern what had happened.
My son usually goes with the flow. That he was so adamant about not going to class was not normal for him. He and I sat and talked and with tears in his eyes he said, "Gymnastics is too hard. My coach is too hard. And, it takes too much time. I just want to compete."
I always try to channel Danny Tanner from Full House in moments like these. They remind me so much of the last few minutes of any Full House episode where the words of wisdom come with the soft, everything-is-going-to-turn-out-just-fine music. I am never sure if I reach that epic moment as a parent but I try.
I told my son that if he truly wants to compete then he has to work hard. I told him his coach has a goal to get a competitive boys team together so he has a lot of pressure to succeed as well. I told him the class is only an hour and a half a week. That really wasn't that much time in the whole scheme of things. And, anything worth doing takes commitment.
"Do you feel better now that we've talked?" I asked him.
"Maybe a little," he replied.
"Hmmmm... Do you want to talk to Daddy about this when he gets home?" I asked.
"Yeah. I think I do."
Epic moment fail!
My son and I did agree that he would keep at gymnastics at least through the end of the month. That will give him time to sort out what he would like to do.
This is such a challenging parental place for me. When I was young, I didn't have the opportunities that my kids have. I completed one year of Girl Scouts and that was it. I wanted to try out for cheerleading and track and field but I was never encouraged to go after my desires. I was a very introverted child and I think my parents truly had their doubts that I would follow through with anything.
I think because of that I developed an intense ability to persevere. I constantly find myself in the middle of challenges I totally didn't need just so I can show myself that I can do it. I will stick to something until I achieve whatever goal it is that I have created for myself. I do realize that this is my hang-up and not my children's.
My goal as a parent is to help my kids find out what their passions are and then to chase them down and tackle those passions to the ground! I want them to never give up and to dream really huge dreams. I want my kids to succeed and I want them to persevere.
I realize my son may not be an Olympic gymnast in his gut but I want to help him find out what he is deep in his soul. Maybe it is swimming or music or art. I will support him in whatever gifts he chooses to develop. And, if Mommy gets too fired up he will, thankfully, always have Daddy to talk with!