I love my children fiercely. I would step in front of a train, bullet, or any other force that was on a course to harm them. I don't, however, fight their life lesson-battles for them, because that would defeat the purpose. I stick up for them, and advocate on their behalf as is necessary and appropriate, but that doesn't mean constantly. Depending on their age and maturity, I either make decisions on their behalf, guide them toward the best decision, or sit back and applaud good decisions, or wait to comfort or counsel them after poor decisions.
All that to say that I am not a helicopter parent, nor do I have a sink-or-swim mentality, I simply try to be the best parent I know how to be.
Crash is my baby, but I am not really the sort to treat him as such. He is simply my youngest child. He is a true athlete, with an incredible amount of natural ability. This school year he played his second season of basketball and his first season of baseball. Both went very well, and coaches in both sports verified that his natural talent is undeniable.
Peewee football registration opened this week. I find that some unknown overprotective mom gene has surfaced and I feel particularly determined to prevent Crash from playing a sport that I love. Mr. H is on an opposite course.
In his short life, Crash has broken three bones. His tibia as a toddler, in a freak misstep sort of accident that, apparently, isn't really uncommon, and his ulna and radius were snapped in a fall from the couch when he was four. I am assured by his pediatrician that he is perfectly healthy, and there are no calcium deficiencies or any other convenient excuse (other than active boy) to explain away the injuries.
I can't find any justification for letting my sweet little nugget of a skinny boy get steamrolled on a football field. It can't possibly be safe. I understand there is risk in all sports, but, hell, this is football. They intend to hit one another. Yes, yes, he did really well playing flag football last year, but they didn't run into one another! They were having fun, not trying to slobber-knock their opponents. And those volunteer coaches, what do they know?
Crash loves all sports, but, his dad's obvious love for all things pigskin-related has shaped Crash's worldview. I could win this battle quite easily. If I say 'no', there won't be a fight, some disappointment, sure, but not anything more -we, fortunately, don't have that sort of family life. But, I am having a hard time weighing what is best for my peace of mind, what Crash (thinks) he wants to do, and my husband's midlife need to re-experience his youthful football career vicariously through his son.
I just don't get this rush to get kids into sports. It is crazy that I have to consider that not letting Crash play now can affect his potential to play at the high school level. It is stupid that 10-year old's have private skills coaches. Can't we call a moratorium on organized sports for little folks, and agree that kids can be just as happy playing Kick the Can and Pickle until they are teenagers?