Fall Sports and One Mother's Guilt
When her two sons said no to soccer, this Patch mom had to find another sport to keep them active and keep her sane.
Last fall I did not sign the boys up for soccer. Yes, you read that correctly. No soccer. No football. No team sports last fall for the boys. My favorite doctor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Broomall was none too pleased about this fact either. Trust me, I got the obligatory lecture about how children need to be active and how important sports are for healthy development.
As much as I know how healthy and important sports are, it doesn't take away the fact that Peter and Teddy have no interest in soccer. Peter played soccer for three years. He played during his preschool years at Rocky Run YMCA and then later with Marple Newtown Soccer Association. We loved it as his parents, but he just wasn't that "into it." So last year we cut ties with soccer.
That wasn't an easy decision, especially when everyone was asking me what team Peter was on. When I informed them that Peter wasn't playing soccer, I got a few questioning and open stares, and then a follow-up question about football. No, no football either.
If they weren't already labeling me, I was apparently a bad mom, negligent, doesn't have my sons' interest in mind and the list can go on.
So last week I met a few other moms for breakfast. We were discussing all the important back-to-school topics. What teacher? Who's in his or her class? Are you done shopping? What soccer team are the boys on?
Uh oh. I did it again. It's mid-August and Peter and Teddy were sport-free, and I was anything but free of guilt.
I ran home and sat both boys down. Soccer? No. Football? No.
What else is there? Honestly, I had no idea. They don't really write a handbook for moms, you just have to figure it out on your own and hope you get something right.
Instead of throwing in the towel, I reached out to local moms to find out what was available.
One of my friends, who also has two boys, wrote back quickly and told me that her boys were doing karate, football and bowling. My 'guilt-o-meter' was on the rise. Three sports? I have zero and her boys have three?
I went back to the boys and received some luke-warm interest in karate and bowling. Okay, I was getting somewhere. I saw a future that didn't include a disappointed pediatrician.
Ironically, that night Peter's coach from South Marple Little League contacted us to let us know that he was getting the team together to play baseball for the Newtown Edgmont Little League. When I approached Peter about fall ball, he started jumping up and down. It turns out that baseball is a fall sport. I can send this portion of motherly guilt out the door with my $65 check. Done.
Then there is Teddy. My stubborn, “I don't want to do anything” child, who will literally sit on the bench and not participate for weeks on end. Teddy only wants to play tennis. I want to encourage this interest, but at the same time, I need to use this information to my advantage–he's just 'that' kind of a kid.
So once again I am turning to bribery. Teddy must learn how to swim. He's been fighting this for a long time. I have declared that he must take swimming lessons and he must learn how to swim. When he achieves this, I will sign him up for tennis lessons. Period. No negotiating. Of course, I will have to negotiate to get him in the car to go to said swimming lessons, but that is another story.
I'm still receiving information on what sports are available this fall and I want to share it with the Marple Newtown Patch community. Like I said, there is no handbook, so how is a mom supposed to know these things?
Sproul Lanes Bowling Leagues (Leagues for kids ages 5-18)
The Marple Newtown Recreation Center offers sport programs in the following areas:
Wrestling (ages 6-14)
Flag Football (ages 7-13)
T-Ball (ages 3-5)
Tennis (ages 3-13)
Golf (ages 7-16)
Rowing (ages 12-17)
Fencing (ages 8-adult)
Cheerleading (ages 5 & 6)
Fall Baseball (grades 9–12)
Zumba for Kids (ages 6-13)
Soccer (ages 3–8)
Swimming Lessons (private, semi-private, and group)