Sunday, January 24, 2010

T-Ball and the Rearview Mirror

So once I herded everyone out of the house, into the car, and over to the pool (stopped on the way by a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses, what timing), I pulled up, dumped everyone out and told hubby "You're supervising today--I have stuff to do."

I love hubby, but he thinks when errands need to be run that we all need to go. I thought time would be better spent if one of us knocked out a few while the kids were swimming, and since I'm not the one with the attachment issue, I was the only one for it.

Anyway, took care of the bank and postal runs, then stood in line for a half hour to register G for T-ball. You can tell it was the last day of registration, because you could see the line from Loch Alsh Avenue. I called hubby and let him know where to find the car if I wasn't back in time. Then I settled in line, half-listening to conversations ahead of and behind me.

Ahead of me, two men of comparative age registered their boys, one was a late starter, the other a second-time around dad. (I chuckled at the late-starter, being one of those myself). Behind me, one mom regaled another with the UPenn clinic her one boy was with (the other mom didn't know the difference between PSU and UPenn) and all the sports her son was with, and how her son liked township basketball because it was 'fun and no pressure.'

I wondered why an 11-year-old kid needed to feel pressure in a sport.

Soon, it was my turn, and the guy registering G noted Nic in the system. "Not Nic?"

"No, just G."

"Are you sure?"

I hesitated a split second, wondering if I *really* wanted to go there, internally shook my head and replied tersely, "yes."

He glanced at me a second, then went back to it.

I related the story to hubby on the way back from our collective errand running after the lesson (He guesses it went fine, Nic is still with the beginners, but he wasn't paying much attention and couldn't really tell me how they did, although both boys assured me that it was 'fine.'), who told me "You know, if Nic did T-ball, we could register him for baseball."

I sighed. We've had this conversation many times in varying forms over the years, but I said (again) what I have said in the past. "Nic could not do t-ball. He was not conversational, he tantrummed, and he wandered all over the place. He is not Gabriel. Gabriel, on the other hand, can handle t-ball. Two different kids, two different sets of issues. Remember?"

He was quiet for a minute, probably remembering the last 50 times we've had this conversation. "Oh. Yeah."

As much as possible, we try the same things out with both kids. This was one of those rare instances where G 'got there' before Nic. But I anticipate it will happen more, especially as G advances in elementary. His relative skills are already emerging, and there are things that will just be easier--and more realistic--for him to do than Nic.

On the other hand, Nic has the makings of an intellectual powerhouse. Between them, they will have an amazing repertoire of skills.

But it's my job to help them figure out what each of their gifts are going to be. And not to spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror and asking myself "what if?"

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