|Walking out at Niles|
Casey is in the midst of the competitive gymnastics season and has meets most weekends. He's already qualified with his all around scores to go to the State Championships and it would be very surprising if he didn't make it to the Western Regionals as well. Those are being held in Reno this year, so we've gone ahead and booked a room and are planning to go.
|Casey with a team trophy|
Riley finishes up basketball season this week with his school team (they're currently tied for first place) and his spring track season is ramping up. Riley gets to try high jump this year and he's all excited about that. The boys are not only getting good grades and doing well in school but they're good at their sports. It's a happy-making thing, even though it feels a bit odd at times to have two kids who are good at most everything they decide to try. I'm sure there will be difficulties in the future for them (and me) to deal with, but for now they're doing well and it constantly amazes me. I know I didn't have such confidence when I was their age, so it's great to feel like they are more assured and capable than I was. They do have to work at things, of course, not everything is easy for them, but they seem to have enough inner strength to move on through the disappointing failures and keep going to get better at things. I'm not even sure where they picked that skill up but I'm really glad they seem to have at least the kernels of it inside.
|Casey on rings at Stanford|
How do we learn those skills of picking ourselves up and trying again, getting good at something and being unafraid? It can be so hard sometimes to pick up and keep going, maybe especially so as we get older and more cynical. These little guys, they still believe they can do anything, and their future is wide open. Myself, I find my thinking about my own future much more narrow in focus, more restricted by outside demands- like making sure these guys get what they need to turn out well in the world.
Figuring out what they need to turn out well is harder to know, of course, aside from the basic essentials. But what is essential? Food, shelter? Love, support? Teaching them to break a big scary project down into smaller bite-sized pieces? It's really not just a matter of telling them they're great all the time, certainly, which seems to be popular in child raising circles right now. If you tell them that everything they do is great, how will they know when it's time to try again and do a better job of it? Not to mention the possibility that they could turn into smug little gits who think their farts are golden. Blech. I admit I am one of the parents who believes in a solid grounding in reality, as in, sometimes it's good for you to fall flat on your face in the mud. Then maybe just play in the mud for awhile. And then pick yourself up and try again.
Anyway. I need some encouragement myself to get up and try again. I have ideas but I haven't been following through on them lately, and if I'm really honest with myself, I'm often afraid of failing and don't even start, and I tell myself that I'm too tired, I don't have enough time, I'm too busy with everybody else's needs, there's no point because then what will I do with it all?
I think I may need to break down my ideas into smaller bite-sized chunks so I can face them. Or maybe I just need a good smack upside the head, and somebody telling me to go ahead, it's okay, just get up and try it again.