Mister Jack is not much of a sports fan. Admittedly when his big sister was in T Ball he decided he’d like to have a go, so the next year we signed him up! We paid the $25 for a T Shirt with his name on the front and the team name on the back. We bought him a glove, helmet, pads, pants and bat. The boy was kitted OUT. We headed down to the diamond ready for his big debut. It was his turn “in”. He strode up to the T, took a swing at the ball… missed… turned around, threw his glove to the floor, handed his bat to me and, as he walked out of sight, yelled “YOU do it!!” And that was how we paid $25 for a T Shirt (which I kept… as a reminder!)
Since that day we have tried horse riding (he fell asleep on the horse ), wrestling (he didn’t want to take off his glasses – totally understandable – and so had to give up), a bike riding class to learn to ride a two wheeler (he decided he didn’t need to ride a two wheeler since we had – foolishly in retrospect – bought him a fantastic three wheeled bike that he liked to ride just fine thank you very much), basketball, which he quit since he couldn’t get a basket and was much frustrated by the whole process of trying. He likes to run, apparently, so we hope to get him involved in the Special Olympics track program this spring, but I’m going to take a wait and see approach.
Perhaps you might think I am not doing the right thing by not forcing him to continue, to not push through and perhaps get better at what he does, but I think differently. I want him to participate in sports because he enjoys it. The idea of pushing him into something he does not enjoy is not our way. To be fair, a few years ago Jack and his big sister participated in a homeschool sports day event and Jack tried everything: shot putt, track, the obstacle course and the long jump. He had a wonderful time and everyone at the event was incredibly encouraging and supportive of all his attempts. He likes to play basketball in the driveway and Wii sports and Just Dance with his sister, he likes to go on long walks with us and the dog and he loves roller skating, ice skating and rowing our small boat. I’m noticing a trend with my boy: he enjoys sports that are more solitary rather than team sports. He is excellent at fishing, I was surprised to discover, and he has no end of patience when it comes to archery and using a sling shot. I’m so very proud of him every time he tries something new. I don’t care that he probably won’t be an NBA star or a famous footballer, he’s healthy and hearty and he’ll find his way… he just needs a sporting chance.