As we’ve passed Levi’s first birthday and moved into fall, the milestones are coming fast and furious. Crawling, which didn’t happen until 11 months, and walking is already coming on fast. Words are beginning to pop out of him with a rush of semi-intelligible grunts, shrieks and adorable ooo’s and aahhh’s. He knows a duck says quack, and Rasta (our dog) says Ow Ow Oowwwooooooooo! He waves, he claps, he tries to climb up my legs like he’s bouldering, I could swear he’s got a chalk bag strapped at his waist the way he attacks any obstacle in his way! Needless to say, I’m excited. As we watch his learning and development curve shoot upward, I begin looking more intently at the future, how long before he’s walking, running, surfing…? I try to tame my exuberance with the realities of life, logistics, work, time, all those things that are going to be getting in the way of doing everything I want to do with him. I have all these plans, and while I’m aiming towards these goals I have I cant help but think about how things will really go.
I have a friend with a young son who is surfing with him (well) on a regular basis at 7 years old. I’m figuring on the same goal, riding with me on my longboard at 3, pushing him into waves on a body board on his own at 4, surfing his own board by 5? Snowboarding also, I figure around 4 is a good start there. While I’m at it, maybe I’ll have him run for president by his 9th birthday and solve world hunger by 10?
That constant nagging little voice keeps telling me I’m getting way ahead of myself on this whole thing. What if he doesn’t like doing all the outdoors activities I do? What if he likes video games instead? What if he wants to do ballet? its all to much for me to get into words. I imagine most fathers have similar feelings and concerns as their children begin to grow up from infants into impressionable children. We all want the best for our children, and we look back through our own lives to see what has brought us the most joy and fulfillment. The best we can do is foster an envoronment that leads our children outside. Want to have your kid surf instead of playing video games; put the Playstation in storage and go to the beach. Want him to climb instead of hanging out at the mall, make it a habit to go to the mountains on free days instead of sitting around the house. It can be viewed as work, or it can be viewed as bringing the ffamily together ina way that will start positive habits that can last for years to come.
I was talking to a father of a 19 year old college baseball player who said “Baseball is my life, I just got lucky and thats what my son loves too! I encouraged but didnt push, and i made sure it was fun, never a chore.” I’m guessing that this means you want to be a partner not a coach, and if my son wants it, a mentor, but not forcing him to do more than he wants.
Right now I’m just going to enjoy him where he’s at. We’ll get walking out of the way first, then I’ll start planning our first boat trip to Bali, or maybe down the street to our local beach with the family, whatever he wants to do.
You must be logged in to post a comment.