I am not a naturally active person. Even as a child I was an “indoor kid,” preferring to read inside, no matter how pleasant the weather. I have to consciously make an effort to move and exercise, no matter how much I enjoy the way it feels or the results. For those reasons I’ve regularly attended yoga class for three years and started up the Couch to 5K program again after quitting in the fall when it became too cold outside.
CH is also naturally an indoor kid, preferring to listen to music, make art and read. He had an active yoga practice in the past, but has been a runner for more than a decade. He is also graced with some fantastic genetics. Not many people can eat bagels and cereal before bed and look as good (in my opinion) as he does.
Before we had Miss Red, or before we had any kids, I would joke, “Ug, what if our kid wants to play SOCCER.” It would mean standing outside, in the heat, cheering for other kids with runny noses. Obnoxious, right?
Miss Red had been a cautious child physically, until recently. We’re weren’t worried. She was a late walker, is slower to try new items on a playground and generally takes her time with new pursuits. That’s fine. One of my favorite stories about CH as a child is when he climbed a tree. According to my mother-in-law, he first looked at the tree, then climbed a few feet and came down. Then climbed a little more and came down. Then a little more. And a little more, until he had reached the top. It’s very much how he is now, approaching and tackling new challenges by slowly attacking them.
Last fall we enrolled Miss Red in a toddler soccer class. I know, I know, but it was at the nearby Goodman Community Center, and we wanted to get her involved in sports in case she was indeed an indoor kid and needed a sample of something else. We shouldn’t have been surprised, but she really, really liked it. Granted, her attention span, and the attention span of others in the class was typical of their age, with kids resting in goals and wandering around, but she had lots of fun. Since then, she’s embraced more activity. This spring she hopped on her trike and peddled away, confidently. She started climbing on everything at the park – reaching the highest rung of the climbing structure, or balancing on different areas of the playground.
I know that much of this is due to her age, but seeing her fearlessness unfold has been so fun. I remember being a fearful child, somewhat risk adverse and embarrassed by my size. Seeing this smiling, swinging and balancing redhead is just the activity I needed all along.