for the most part, the way I thought Debra and I would parent is pretty much the way we ended up parenting. That’s mostly because RR is pretty much the sort of kid that fits in with our parenting style. Dodged a bullet with that one. We’re also (so far) pretty good parents but that’s mostly because the choices we make are the choices that RR would make for herself.
RR, do you want to help me sweep the floor or play with this stuffed animal?
I will sweep the floor, mama*.
RR, how about some play-doh time?
Mama, let’s play in the sandbox*.
RR, let’s put you to bed.
Okay, mama! Yet’s Go!*
We figured, she’ll take piano lessons at least once and learn to swim. Maybe an organized sport to see if she likes it. But really, we aren’t the kind of parents who would handle a soccer-mom sort of schedule well. And she’s not the sort of kid who would do well being ferried from one event to the next. Low key, we thought. We are low key.
But all of a sudden, RR has an interest. And what used to be lazy Saturdays kicked off with a music class and followed by many many hours of doing whatever we felt like is now Saturday music class followed by gymnastics followed by Sunday gymnastics. A few months ago I’d have been hard-pressed to tell you what RR’s favorite TV show or outfit or toy was. She’s not a favorites sort of person. But then, gymnastics.
Late in the fall, after noting that she had a penchant for vaulting over chairs and sofas, springing off walls, and tumbling over the ground, leaping up with a smile, we took her to a try-for-free gymnastic class. She spent an hour on balance beams, trampolining, and swinging on uneven bars and came out delighted. She was lit up all over and Debra and I bit the bullet and signed her up. Given that it’s a pricey commitment, we also signed her up for a smaller, shorter class through the parks and recreation program. She begins that this weekend and we’ll see which environment suits her more.
There’s no plan for no gymnastics though. Not when we try to drop our smiley, cheery child off at school and she dissolves in a pool of but I want to go to gymnastics mamas! not school! I love the one of the first things she’ll tell you about herself is that she’s strong. That she has muscles. I love to see her tumble, fall, and get back up again. I love to see her do these hard, strong, falling things without me. I never thought I’d say it but I love gymnastics even if we’re in it for the long haul.
* While I know this won’t last much longer or at least not forever, I’m going to take advantage of it while it does!