Matt and I have been talking a lot lately about our goals for our family. Living in suburbia can make it more difficult at times to stay on track with what you feel is truly right and good for your family. For whatever reason it seems as though towns like ours are obsessed with sports. (For the record, I love my town. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It just seems as though it’s easy to get caught up in this kind of living in certain places.)
Play sports 24/7. Choose your sport by the age of 6. Hire a professional trainer to help your child be the best.
I don’t get it.
I played sports year-round growing up. I played softball and swam on the swim team in the summer. I played basketball. I ran track. But I did it because I loved it. Because it was fun. Because I wanted to.
Not because my parents thought it would get me a scholarship or because they thought I’d be a professional athlete. I did it because I wanted to.
I want that so badly for my kids.
I want Gabe and Matthew to play soccer or basketball or baseball because they love it. Because it’s fun. Because it’s good exercise. Because they like to play with their friends. I want them to feel no pressure from us. Because honestly? We could care less. We don’t care what the kids do as long as they get exercise. If they end up being valedictorian or getting a scholarship for athletics, fantastic! But that’s not our goal.
You know what kind of professional we want our kids to be?
Professional kind, good people.
What happened to that? To focusing on making sure our children were good citizens? Productive members of society? Happy? Having fun? Enjoying life? Being kind and thoughtful and polite?
That is what we are focused on in this family. Making sure we are producing professional kind, good people. Not professional athletes, not Harvard graduates….good people. Because to us, that’s what’s most important. I see the disappointment in Gabe’s eyes when he’s not recognized at the best on his team, when he gets a B on a test, when he’s not the fastest one on the field. I’m guilty of that too. Having that drive to the be the best can be a good thing if it doesn’t overpower you. I keep reminding myself, and Gabe, that it’s more important to be a good person and be happy with yourself.
What’s important to your family?