Every Friday evening and Saturday morning you will find me (or my husband) sitting in the local gymnasium along with many other parents watching our kids learn backflips, somersaults, floor routines, trampolining and other stuff. Well, I say watching – we are half-watching but mainly we are moaning about the price of lessons and gym kits and the god awful smell of the place (pongy feet and whiffy children).
The price of parenthood I hear you mutter.
And yes, I agree. We sacrifice our time, our money and our functioning olfactory glands for our offspring.
And sometimes it pays off.
As you can see from the photos my eldest son was recently in a gymnastic competition. This involved an early rise (on a Sunday), an hour and a half drive and sitting for four hours in a gym with my two younger children.
And it was all worth it.
Not because I am Tiger Woods’ dad grooming him for a life in the arena. Far from it. Growing up my siblings and I were never competitive. Our parents never pushed us to compete (possibly because we were never particularly good at anything!) And you know what we grew into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Yet I believe that competition is important for kids. To learn about winning and losing. How to be a good sport. To be disciplined and determined…
…oh God I am Earl Woods! Who knew?!
But of course it’s not about the winning. It’s about my son growing up and discovering things about himself. It’s about him learning and excelling in things that I can not teach him (still to perfect my triple salto!). It’s about him gaining confidence and choosing a path for himself. Setting a goal and achieving it. It’s about him getting on with it…
…without me showing him the way. Me on the sidelines, cheering my son on in whatever he endevours to do.
Me allowing my son to grow up. Letting him go his own way.
The price of parenthood.
by Hannah x