It's Game 1 of Johnny's soccer season.
It's a sunny spring afternoon. Kids are excited. Expectations are high. Adrenaline is rushing.
And there's 5-year-old Johnny. He's skipping (yes literally skipping) on the other side of the field. He's talking to himself and counting something on his fingers. His teammates whiz by. The ball zooms passed Johnny almost touching his feet. Does he kick it? Does he rush over? No. He reaches down to pick up an errant bunch of pine needles that are so interestingly irresistible that he has to stuff them in his pocket.
This should be no surprise. This is the life of sports with the MacKaben kids.
I hoped and prayed that our little darlings would be blessed with their father's athletic abilities. (We will save my sad sports saga for another blog.)
Though I admit Julie really blossomed in basketball this year, there have been quite a few busts when it comes to playing sports. One of my favorites is Julie age 7 running away from the soccer ball screaming and crying (real tears): "Nooooo! I don't want to get a goal!" Or Julie age 5 standing perfectly still during a dance recital. While all the other little dancers flitted around the stage, Julie stood motionless staring at her little ballet slippers.
Another goodie is Johnny age 4 playing basketball and "flying" around the court like Batman-arms stretched out and bumping into players saying "Boom. Pow. Gotcha." Or in Little League (age 5)--laying sprawled out in the outfield staring at the clouds or the sun or something imaginary. (Who knows.)
Hustle and motivation don't come easily to our kids---at least when it comes to sports. They'll write you a story or make a craft project in a jiffy or invent a new useful product you can't live without, but sports, for some reason, aren't high priority to them.
It wasn't too long ago that this all used to really frustrate Scott and me. Why can't they just try their best out there? Why don't they put in some effort? How can we help them improve?
Then we came to the realization that who the heck cares? We just let it go.
While we want them to be active and healthy and learn to play on a team, does it really matter whether they're scoring goals or picking up dandelions in the outfield? They're great students. They're nice kids. They're imaginative and creative and they enjoy doing lots of things.
Some day they might find their "sport". Or maybe not.