Having a son has changed my mindset SO MUCH!! I can’t even explain to you in the ways it has changed it. You know, with so much information about social norms, sexual identity and parenting styles that’s out there – I have had to really learn to stop, take the breath and just see who my child is and what God wants from me – for him – in this little bit of time we have as his parents.
There are so many things to consider and also to push through. As a parent I really have learned to set aside my own desires for my children and dig deep to seeing what God wants for my individual children and how he’s designed them. That all being said – Our son is a huge social personality. He would choose spending time with people over food, and has done so many times. He is also able to attain a skill and do it well, if he enjoys it and because of his age he just wants to try all the things. He wants to do gymnastics, play soccer, try golf, do cricket, do extreme tricks (if he knew there were classes for certain things – Lord only knows the nagging that would ensue) – But it’s natural for his personality type to just want to do.
As his parents, you know – we just want to give him everything he wants but as much as that sounds fantastic and so admirable, we can’t. Not because of finance or because of schedule limitations – it’s just not fair on him as a child. There are certain things we have to set limitations on and help guide him into.
Why am I telling you this and writing it down? well, because my father put it so nicely and plainly for us when we were chatting to him about it. He said this, “with a child like Jude, there comes a time where you have to make the decision for him – so that he can learn to focus in on something and gain the opportunity to decide for himself if it’s something he truly wants to do – or acquire greater skill in as well”
As much as that does sound like we’re cutting him at the knees a bit – it’s true. We have to direct him a little and make the choice amongst the buffet of experiences/skills he wants to have.
So, with that being said – from now on when I share about what we’re doing with Jude and as a broader family – you will see a little bit into our strategy as to why we are doing certain things and not necessarily cutting him off from all the choices but giving him the exposure in ways that he can get a taste without spending the money on lessons in 65 directions.
Up until now, Jude has had swimming lessons from when he was 10 months old and when he got to a certain stage – we realised he’s too social for this and we can wait until he has more focus if he wants to continue. I had to be honest with myself – he was far too distracting with the other kid in his class because he just wanted to play. So that was his first extra mural.
We then put him in play ball – which was amazing for him because it gave him all the general skills that he needed for any sport he wanted to choose in the coming years. He did that for about 2-3 years.
So with that foundation, we ventured into big boy sports and because of his exposure in Play ball, he was able to specifically decide what he wanted to do. 1. Soccer and 2. Cricket (much to his father’s delight) This, all alongside wanting to BMX, skateboard and Trampoline trick his life away. A mother’s heart can cope with soccer and cricket….. we’re trying to slow the extreme sports vibe for as long as we can – but shucks it’s hard.
ok, he starts soccer and being the kind of person I personally am to always wanting to win for the team – Striker just seems to be the ideal position to be in……. what does my child want to be? Yup, you guessed it – the goalie. #facepalm
Guys, I’m going to be completely honest with you, in my heart of hearts I’m like – dude this position is going to be the most emotionally draining position because you carry so much responsibility for the team and I’m going to have to counsel you through all of the losses and such while you’re learning……. ugh – why? WHHHHHHHHYYYYY Goalie of all positions?
Nope, he didn’t want to hear it. Every practice he went to – He wants to be goalie. Oh well – let the kid be who he wants to be right?
Now that I’ve told you all of these thoughts and musings I’ve had over the last 6 months – my boy is completely invest in this goalie thing – and because my folks are the way that they are with all of their grand children, they get invested as well. They went and got him goalie gloves (which I didn’t know they made that small) my sister gave him her son’s shin guards. They got him soccer socks and then to top it off and to help him understand his game more – they found him a fold up soccer goal set.
This kid was over the moon and was set up and practicing his heart out. You see, Jude had never (up to this point) actually watched an actual soccer match – which is partly why I found it hilarious that he wanted to do the sport in the first place. So with the posts we had to teach him that the ball mustn’t go over the line or else his team loses. He kept saving it, in the goals. #facepalm.
So, we’ve slowly taught him about what the line means – have showed him goalie drills online and what has really helped and been amazing is that my father used to be a soccer goalie and was able to teach him, physically and in person, what goalie stances to use and not to be afraid to dive for the ball.
So with Tim (Jude’s dad), and my father they have been able to have moments like this where they have taught him his goalie skills and he has really improved because of it. Enjoy the imagery of what I was able to capture with this little soccer unit he has around him.