Laying foundations – a labour of love

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It seems that my children are growing up faster than I might have imagined.  Now that everything in our world has slowed down and after breathing a long sigh of relief, I have noticed how much they have both changed.

I am not sure how it happened, perhaps it was a gradual thing? An inch here, a new word or so there, but somewhere inbetween they have both turned into quite independent little people, who both know their own minds.

To say this is challenging is an understatement. 

I feel like I have been thrown into the ‘next stage’ of parenting, and I can honestly say that I have no idea what I am doing.  Everyday is throwing up new challenges to deal with that are both exciting and exhausting all at the sametime for me.

It is no longer a simple task of telling them what to do next, or giving them a cuddle when they have an emotional outburst.  All of a sudden getting them to carry out a simple task brings with it a torrent of questions as to why? or even the point blank refusal to help.  The days are now a battle of wills I find.  Me on the one hand, trying to achieve some sort of home- life balance where everyone understands their place.  Them on the other hand challenging the rules, challenging each other, and well pretty much questioning everything they come up against.

My boy has shot up. He is taller, his appetite has no bounds (literally I cannot fill him), his energy is over flowing and he never stops.  He always wakes early, has a huge breakfast and then needs to know about what the day has in store.

He has a love of sports, all sports – or really any activity that involves a ball – and it is really rewarding to see.  His favourite sport, the thing he loves above all else is football.  I think this was inevitable given his daddy’s love of the game, but sometimes I think it might be a little bit different for him a little bit special.  It is the first thing he thinks of when he wakes up in the morning and the last thing he thinks of before he falls asleep.

It seems that the hour he plays every week for our local team is just not enough, and so I enquired about some additional training for him.  We went along together for the first session and unlike many past attempts to battle his nerves he ran straight off to join in, not caring that he didn’t know anyone, only caring that he would get to have a football at his feet once again.

As I watched on I saw the new standard that he came up against.  The game was faster, the tackles harder and he was pushed and shoved in an attempt to win the ball by boys faster and bigger than he.  Much to my surprise he kept getting back up, dusting himself off and he ran until he was exhausted.  As the session finished and he turned to walk over to me, the look on his face said it all – he was beaming and he had loved it (apart from being shoved by one particular boy).

I was so proud, my heart could have burst in that moment.

Not because he had done well but because he had put his all into it,  he had given it everything he had. Even if he decides to never go again, I have seen a glimpse of his determined little soul and how he has matured so much over the past year or so.

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My girl has changed even more.

No longer a dinky little toddler with corkscrew curls, but a leggy, bouncy little girl who wants to be every bit as tough as her brother.  I have had to restrain her (often physically) at the side of football training with the promise that as soon as she starts school she can start training too.

In the meantime she has thrown herself into swimming lessons and she was beside herself with excitement when I announced one evening that she would be going to gymnastics for the first time to see if she liked it.

Upon our arrival at the gymnastics session, the excitement soon turned into nerves. I had a fleeting worry – perhaps she was too young? perhaps it was too soon? had I made a mistake in bringing her? She joined in sure, but after a while her two fingers went into her mouth (a thing she does when she is unsure) and she stopped.  Dead still.  Was she going to cry?  I held my breath for a moment, and the coach went over to her and whispered something in her ear.  She shook her head.  Then to my surprise after watching the older girls do various stretches – she finally joined in.  I think she must have decided that all of the things they were doing, she could do too, she just had to overcome those nerves in her tummy.  For the rest of the session she did tumbles and balancing all with a giant grin on her face – she may have even gained some friends, and she definitely gained some confidence.

All in all, I have to say that there have been times over the past few weeks where I have questioned myself as a mother. 

Am I pushing them? (I would hate to be that pushy parent).  Are they doing too much? (there are only so many days in a week).  Do they really need to do all these things? In the end though I have decided that all I can do is go with my instincts.

To try everything once in life is a sound foundation to base things on.  If you don’t like it don’t do it, but if you never try then how will you ever know?  It is going to be a fine balancing act between school work and all the little extras, but as long as everyone has a smile on their face then surely it will all be worth it in the end.

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