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Why I Am A Bad Mom - I Expect My Son To Be More Active Than I Am

I will never claim that I am an athletic person. I try to work out on a semi-regular basis, but I'm not one to sign on for additional strenuous or aerobic activity. I like leisurely walks and do everything I can to avoid running. I've never really been the athletic type. I did dance for a bit as a small child, never participated in any organized sport, and still consider yoga to be about as exciting as I get. My son is a different story.

It was very clear early on that he was going to be athletic. His energy level and focus when it came to anything sports related, meant we needed to get this going right away. He started with gymnastics when he was two. One of my nephews had done gymnastics and it helped him with spacial awareness and focus. My guy mostly just liked jumping on the trampoline. At 5, he is still involved in gymnastics, and may start going twice a week after summer because he shows a real aptitude for it. He is solid muscle and can currently do 5 pull-ups in a row on the monkey bars (I'm not sure I've ever actually accomplished a pull up, let alone 5). He has no fear of flipping over, and I know his coach is eager to see where he is going with this sport. To this day I'm still not completely sure if I'm paying them to teach my son gymnastics, or just to entertain me for the better part of an hour; I love watching those little kids bounce and tumble.

Last spring the short guy became old enough for city league teeball, so we signed him right up. We are a baseball family. My husband and I spent most of the season watching it in college, and happily head out to as many university and summer collegiate games as we can. We got our little man into it as soon as possible, he attended his first game at 2 weeks old, and my husband's scorebook (he likes keeping track of the action) has what time we gave the baby a bottle in the notes from his first summer. It came as no surprise that this resulted in an eagerness to participate in the action. He had been hitting from a tee since age 3 (if not earlier), so fielding was the learning curve.

I say fielding like the kids actually do much of it, but for his first season, my guy spent most games dancing at short stop. I don't know why dancing is his go to, but it means he can mostly watch the game, so he was always ready to jump to action if the ball came near him. I love teeball! I love watching the kids pick flowers, play in the dirt, lay down in the field, and just watch as the baseball rolls past them. The games are an hour long blooper reel and I enjoy every minute. I can't imagine the frustration that comes from trying to coach the activity, but I will happily buy them a beer in exchange for the joy I get from watching.

We are now in our second season of teeball, and the practice he puts in with batting practice in the yard, and educating himself by paying attention to games on TV and in person has paid off. We are two games in, and he has played pitcher for an inning in each. I know pitcher in a teeball games sounds as useful as lips on a chicken, but getting the ball to the pitcher and the pitcher touching the rubber on the mound is how the kids stop a play and means no more base advancing. Short version of that being the pitcher actually has to pay attention to the game. His coach this year is impressed with his focus and dedication (though he still dances when he is at short stop) and we are looking forward to him having a great season.

Now all of these activities are our scheduled ones, on any given day we will also spend hours playing baseball in the yard, walking for miles, scootering even further, climbing every surface on a playground, or the occasional swimming lessons in the warmer months. Whenever possible, I am encouraging my son to exert energy and move, but preferably somewhere that I can sit in the shade and enjoy. I hope through all of this I'm teaching my son to love activity so he can enjoy a life of healthy choices. Now to hit the gym a little harder to work on setting the example, and so I have a hope of keeping up.

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