I’m really sad tonight and I can’t let it go. I’m tempted to say that I’m sad for my son, but that wouldn’t be honest. So far, Gustave seems pretty ok with this whole situation, which really proves that it’s all about me.
But I’m better explaining it from the beginning. :)
Thursday the 5th, Gustave had his first class of gymnastics ever. It was epic. He was so thrilled by everything that the first 5 minutes of the class, he jumped and climbed everywhere around the gymnasium to see everything… and kind of lost his group 2 times. I was afraid he was too excited and would not listen to his coach at all, but the truth is that as a mom, it was mind-blowing to see how much he loves it. It truly, deeply seems like he had found his passion and it was obvious that he already adored his coach (I do too! lol)
But after the class, the coach asked to talk to me, and I first thought it was about is lack of attention. But in fact, he told me that he really loved Gustave’s enthusiasm and desire of learning exactly how to do things right. He was telling me that my son have talent and a lot of potential, so he was recruiting him for the competitive section of the club, not just the entertai ning gymnastic.
I was shocked. Really. I expected my son to be good, but I think that’s a mom thing, we all think our kids will be good, even the best! I never expected him to be that good.. the coaches noticing him and wanting to invest in his talent… yes, even if I know that money wise, it’s always better for the club to have more athletes in competition.
So there we were. From 230$ for 16 weeks of 1.5 hour, we had the opportunity to be enrolled the full year, spring break and summer camp included for 1750$ and a little bit more, but for 2 days a week and a total of 6.5 hours every week.
That was a huge difference! My son is just in kindergarten and will turn 6 in November. Gym after school from 4h30 to 8h pm seems way too much for him. Even insane. And there was the money. I already thought that 230$ was a lot, so I really needed to think about it. I was afraid it would be too demanding for my son, that he would be too tired for school. I also worried that he was too young for competition and I was afraid the coaches would push it too much. Just like everyone else, I’ve heard terrible stories about kids in sport being pressured to perform always more and more, and I know gymnastic is especially demanding.
But as I talked about it and reflected on what I really was afraid of, I realized that I was more afraid about me. I know what it’s like to have kids in competitive sports. One of my friend had 3 kids all in sports. I always said I would never do that. I’m a single mom. I don’t own a car. I just started a job in a community center, and my salary is considerably lower than my previous job. Competitions are really expensive. If my son is that good…that means he’ll have to go to competitions around the province soon and when you start this…you quickly get stuck into a whirlwind.
Was I ready for this? Did I have the energy to spend long hours at the gymnasium? Or even the desire to do it? Did I have the money for all the expenses? Was I ready to sacrifice some of our extras to afford it?
Then, as I was talking to a friend who clearly wasn’t hot about the idea, I realized that my fear and doubts was really just about me. I was afraid of the commitment required by myself. I was not afraid for Gustave. I knew I would be there all the way and could see if the coach was too demanding, if it was too much for him or affecting is school. I also knew I could let him enjoy it and keep it fun, not just about the competition and that if it wasn’t and he wanted to quit (after the year) that he could. I know my son and I have the good kind of relationship that would make it possible. I know my son can tell me if something is wrong.
Turned out 4 hours is not too much for him. Not at all! I even had to ask him to stop running after the class because it was night and it was dangerous. Not that I didn’t know it before, but contrary to me, my son was more energized from this activity, while I left quite tired! He totally loved it and even though his coach said he was a bit tired at the end, he told me he did really good and was happy to see him go.
Do I have to say that I was really really proud of my son? That I enjoy telling how he was ‘recruited’ and how his coach seems to like him?
It’s not really something that I shared with others, (well, maybe a bit) but as I watched my son, I could imagine that he could go far in this, I could see him in a sport-studies program in High School. and who knows…
I started to dream for my son. Started to dream big.
Even though he was the youngest in his group (most are 8-9 years old). Even though I saw that he struggled more than the others. Even though I saw him fool around more than the other boys.
In just 5 sessions, even though I personally never did sports (even hated it) I completely fell in love with gymnastics, with this club and my son’s coaches in particular. I love how they all seem passionate about their sport, how they genuinely love every kids, how it’s about perseverance and discipline, team spirit, learning and working hard while keeping it fun and light. How cute it is to see every kid follow their coach proudly, heads up. I saw how my son was positively affected by all this in so little time and I was thrilled to imagine how he would grow up surrounded by this team. And I have to admit, Gustave growing up without a dad, I love, love, love the fact that his coach is a young man (and that there is other guys in the club). (I can’t believe I’m saying this, but can I say that young gymnasts are really hot too???)
But tonight, when I asked in the office if they figured out exactly how much money I owned, they said that they usually wait until the whole 2 weeks trial is done and make sure it’s a good fit, that both parent and coach agree that it’s a good thing for the kid.
I think somehow I knew. The whole evening, I was having this dread feeling, kind of worried or sad. I thought it was about something that happened at work. But I was afraid Gu would not make the cut. I knew he would be sad. I was embarrassed too because I talked so much about how good he was. That’s something really hard to admit.
But that’s the truth.
Because at the end of the class, the coach asked to talk to me. Even though Gustave was especially good tonight, was more attentive than ever, worked hard and by himself pushed is fear and limits away… his coach told me that it would be better for Gu and the group to let him go back to the ‘entertainment’ section. Probably just for a session. He said he still think Gu is good and have potential, but the fact that he is way younger and doesn’t know the basics yet means that he delays the group a little. Maybe he said it just to be nice, but he think that by January Gustave might be able to catch up in skills and maturity and join the team again.
That was sad. Disappointing. And more sad.
My son wasn’t good enough. Yup. I thought about that.
And the fact that he would have less gymnastics. And not with those boys anymore. Even though I knew he would keep his coach. And that it would be more ‘level appropriate’. I thought about how he would not automatically have the summer camp…even thought for me it would be more convenient for work all year long. And how it would be less expensive. Even though for Gustave there would be no pressure of being ready for competition in April when the kid have a hard time to understand the real concept of a goal…
I thought about how hard it would be to say the news to my son.
And others like my family, friends and coworkers.
My son was not good enough to make the team.
Yup. That made me really sad. And embarrassed.
I think I have to say it again… Even though it was not about me, I was embarrassed and made it about me.
When I finally got myself to say it to my son, he didn’t seem upset about it. I’m not really sure how much he understood of the whole thing, but he seems ok. No big deal. He’ll still have gymnastics and be with his coach.
Today, he didn’t cry when they did the stretching, he let his coach push is leg very high and he was able to do a better split and could even do it without bending is knees. :)
Apparently, that’s what was important for him. He repeated it to me 3 times.
What happened today. How proud he was of himself.
Isn’t it amazing?
While I was caught up in some kind of dream for my son (and yeah, I admit it, an ego trip for the mama in me) then worried about all kind of things like what would people say… my son was just happy of what was happening in the now.
He was happy with himself. He knew he had a good day. That he gave himself 100%. That he improved compared of the other time. And he simply enjoyed the time he spent doing things he loves with people he loves.
I hate when people say that our kids are our best teachers. But I have to admit that once again… it’s true.
It’s always a lot easier when we stay in the present.
It would also be a lot easier if I was not mixing my worries. I mean, I thought I was being a good mom and worrying about what was best for my son, trying to make the best decision and not wanting his feeling to get hurt.
But the truth is: from the beginning, it was my worries. My son was just happy to go with the flow and have fun doing gymnastics. In fact I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really know the difference between a class of 1.5 hours and 4 hours. He just have fun.
Once again, I’m pretty sure it’s all gonna be for the best. The Universe have our back!
If Gustave is meant to be really good in gymnastics, I’m pretty sure he’ll be back with the recruits pretty soon. I have faith in him and in his coach too…
I just need to keep my ego in check! ;)