Ours is a typical American suburb, and most kids on our block are signed up for sports teams. Four year-old kids play soccer, t-ball, and other activities- and they seem to love it.
Our little boys aren’t on sports teams. They aren’t for us.
It isn’t that we don’t believe in the importance of teamwork, following directions or being physically active. As parents, we just don’t think our kid needs to be on a sports team.
Instead of rushing off to practice and missing family dinner, we walk around the block, hike through the woods, play in the yard, and have wrestling matches in the living room. We have a ridiculously early dinner time so that Sawyer (who is only one year-old and demands an equally early bed time) can join us.
We never have to wake up early to rush off to a game on the weekends. We’re free to plan a spontaneous trip to the Children’s Museum or head off to Story Land every weekend if we’d like. We do things together as a family, and everyone gets to be a participant. (Well, Sawyer is still working on his participation. But he’s getting there!)
I’m a little sad that we don’t have that cute team photo, and that I won’t have memories of a herd of kids chasing after a soccer ball on Haskell Field to remember. Those kids are having fun, and Jasper doesn’t get to be a part of it.
Friendships forged on the soccer field can last a lifetime… but the Tobiassons aren’t setting up those relationships.
Instead, we’re modeling life long fitness by hitting the gym as often as we can as parents, and play sports in the backyard with both boys. (Parent Brag: Jasper’s golf swing is looking pretty good!)
I’m not saying that our kids will never play sports. I’m just saying they aren’t going to- for years- because we aren’t ready to let go of the precious time we have with toddlers.
Right now, our boys want to pig pile in the living room, whack pipes with rocks, and perfect the k-turn in the tractor.
For now, our family is committed to playing together.