It feels like nearly every week read an article on how lazy today’s kids are, how the average kid spends XX hours a week in front of a screen or how kids these days have forgotten how to play.
I’m well aware that we live in an environment that fosters physical activity, overachievement in sport and general outdoorsiness (I just made that word up). On a typical day here, you’ll bump into an ultra-runner at the grocery store, cross paths with an X-Games athlete out walking her dog or drop your kid off at daycare alongside a former Olympian. Pemberton is not your average neighbourhood, that’s for sure.
Reading those articles, I am alternately thankful that I live somewhere that allows me to use the backyard as a defacto babysitter (with mixed results, I might add), smug that my kids don’t care all that much for digital distractions and sad for the kids who don’t get to experience the ‘joy’ of holding a handful of worms or ripping around a pump track in the rain after school.
There is no doubt that physical activity is a huge part of our daily lives and I often wonder, when observing these 3 very different little people play, how I’ll manage their strengths and weaknesses in the coming years.
We were having dinner a few nights ago and I ran out of 2% milk (“pink milk”) so I gave the kids skim (“blue milk”). This was cause for much concern in the under-6 camp: “Muuuu-uuuum! Kids drink pink, parents drink blue. Wait… Why don’t kids drink blue?”
I explained that kids need the fat in pink milk, which was now MORE cause for concern for the under-6 camp: “FATS?! Muuu-uuuum! We don’t want to be FAT!”
Who said anything about being fat?
And besides, YOU’RE 6, beanpole. And 3, stickboy. And 2, peanut. Who cares? Especially you, mouthy 2 year-old.
This shifted our dinner discussion to fitness, sport and being healthy. I’m the lucky minority in that my kids love salad (well, the boys love salad. Anja loves to suck balsamic dressing off the leaves). We had a long chat about how food makes you strong, exercise and sport is good for you but reading is also good for you and so is colouring, playing cars and building Lego. I digress…
Out of curiosity, I asked each of them what their favourite sport was.
Will: “I want to bike and ski super fast”. (hello – cardio king).
Rory: “I wanna do JUMPS!” (hello – mother’s heart attack)
Anja: “YES!!” (ok then.)
I am amazed that these 3 very distinct little personalities come from the same gene pool. That being said, they were bang on with their responses.
Will can easily bikes 20K, he ran a 5-K race when he had just turned 5, and has an engine that goes for hours. He’s FAST. Rory refused to run the Teddy-Bear trot despite being bribed with gummy bears but uses the pool at the skate park as his own private vertical slide and in constantly trying to wheelie anything. He’s FEARLESS. Anja… let’s just say she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with no matter which direction she chooses. In her little life, she’s bled more than her brothers combined, is louder and runs everywhere her little pigeon toes take her. My guess is she’s going to be fast AND fearless.
I’m starting to feel like each one of them pulls a little harder in their separate directions… I wonder how I’ll feel in 5 years. Do you think by then a cloning machine will have been devised so I can take each child to mountain bike/skateboard/basket weaving camp at the same time? Or do I put my foot down and put everyone in the same activity or no activity at all? I wonder if they’ll still be into sports, or if their passions and obsessions with take a 180 degree turn. I suppose only time will tell. First World problems, indeed.
In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the chase.