Sunday, July 09, 2006

The World of Men

Eli:...and when I go to sports camp, then you'll be proud of me.
Me: Honey, I'm pretty much always proud of you.
Eli: (sigh) But not Daddy, though.
Jeff (aka Very Proud and Very Vocal About It Daddy): OmiGod, it's starting already. Where does that COME from?

Tomorrow Eli starts a little basics sports camp. Five half days. Fifteen hours. Lots of running and maybe some basic basketball, soccer and baseball skills. Usually I'm all for Breaks for Mommy, especially in this dry season of minimal day care, but I find myself feeling unexpectedly sad about this one.

My pal said, "But he went to VBS last year, it's the same thing." It's 15 hours, all right, but other than that it doesnt feel like the same thing at all. It feels instead like he's crossing a line and he's never coming back - from the "women and children" category to the "boys and men" category. It feels like they're getting their claws into him way too early. It feels like my sweet little boy, who is active for sure but sweet and kind and gentle with small, fragile things is now going to become a spitting, crotch-grabbing jerk (ok, I guess he already is two out of those three, but still).

In other words, I'm overeacting.

Jeff and I have have watched with a mix of fascination, horror and pride as our little son has obsessed about one sport after another. Since he could talk, pretty much all he's wanted to talk about (besides guitars - his other obsession - and race cars, ever since we saw that movie) is whatever sport he's currently into. After I took him to a football game, it was football. All winter, it was hockey. And then baseball. Today he asked me when I would get him "a ball and some pins to knock down, so I can do some bowling." Have I mentioned that he's four years old? Have I mentioned that there are no two people less interested in sports in a 50 mile radius than my husband and I? Have I mentioned that we have NO IDEA WHERE HE GETS IT?

If you're the praying kind, pray for us on Monday if you think of it.
For our Sweet Jock, that it's all he hopes it'll be. That it will make him, not break him.
For me, to let him go. Always that's my prayer - to let him go.

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