“You have to pick a spring sport.”
These words just came out of my mouth, directed at my five year old son. After swearing up and down that I would never force my children into extracurriculars that they didn’t want to do, I caught myself doing exactly that. Why? I don’t know. My son is not even remotely interested in taking on a sport this spring. He goes to school five days a week, my husband works full-time, and I work part time, including many weekend hours. We have precious little time where all four of us are home. And also…he is five.
So why the heck am I forcing my child to “pick a spring sport” like he’s a college freshman choosing a P.E. elective?
I’m not worried that my son isn’t getting enough physical activity. He’s outside constantly. He doesn’t sit still. He gets plenty of social interaction at school, and he has an omnipresent little brother tagging along at home. Goodness knows I’m not eager to pay for any sports– we’re already paying for preschool. I don’t have any grand dreams of a full-ride baseball scholarship in twelve years, so there’s probably no need to make my son sit through three evenings of t-ball every week (yes, three!) when none of us wants to be there. The truth is, I’m folding to peer pressure. And it’s all kinds of ridiculous.
My kids want free time. I want free time. We moved into our house because it had a great yard, yet here I am, looking for ways to pull my kids from that yard when all they want to do is play in it and be left alone. I’m done with it. For now, we play. We are going to enjoy our free time, save some money, and have friends over to hang out with us. If, down the road, my kids decide they want to try out a new sport, I am more than happy to oblige. But I am going to let go of the pressure to sign up for everything simply because it feel like we should, and we’ll do embrace doing more of this: