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June 30, 2010

Holding Firm...or Not

DSCN3283 My husband and I do not see eye to eye on all parenting issues. Sometimes I am the heavy in the argument. The one who pushes my agenda down his throat. Occasionally he is the one who is insistent on an issue. There is one issue that we agree on. One issue that we both declared was a topic not up for discussion or consideration. Contact sports.

As a young couple -- we met when I was just-21 and he was almost 20 -- we quickly moved from getting-to-know-you conversations to deep discussions. I was a senior in college, while he was a junior. We weren't engaged. Nor had we dated long. It sounds strange to think about now, but we did talk about marriage, kids, and even death.

We talked about what we would name our due in the distant future kids. We tut-tutted at the way a couple at our health club brought their young kids to late night wallyball game. (Wallyball? I am dating myself now...big time. Wallyball was played in a racquetball court.) Sports was a big topic of conversation for us.

My husband is a sports nut. Nowadays he plays sports, watches games, coaches our children, and plays video games. As a kid, he played very few sports due probably to the long hours his dad worked and his mother's health. I have never played a team sport, except for P.E. classes. We both agreed that our children would play sports. My husband was excited to coach the kids in ANY sport. I wanted my children to have something that I missed out on -- the experience of being part of a team. We liked the idea of our future offspring being a part of a team.

In our musings about our future sports stars, we were adamant about one thing. No child would play a contact sport. For my husband, it came down to safety. For me, football is an aggressive game. I'm from England, the land where soccer stars in the 80s regularly stepped on the field with perms, highlights, and gold medallions. It was not unusual for a professional soccer play to get knocked down, writhe around in agony, then hop up a moment later. No kid of mine would play a contact sport.

After watching two little girls, play soccer, basketball, tball, and now volleyball, we assumed our son would take the same path replacing t-ball with baseball. He played soccer for two seasons, but didn't love it. Basketball was not his thing, Neither was t-ball. What would his sport be I wondered?

This past winter during our snowbound quarantine, he and his dad watched lots of football. He talked about playing football many times over the winter. I said but you're playing soccer in the fall...you're too little for football... To be fair he is very tall for his age. At 7, he is as tall as many 9 year olds. 

Football -- in England we call it "American football" as soccer is called football -- is an aggressive, full body contact type of sport. Injuries. Concussions. Broken bones. You name it, I worry about it.

My son would not agree to play soccer. We compromised by signing him up for flag football. Only we had one small teeny tiny problem. He is too old for flag football. What to do, what to do?

After many discussions. e-mails back and forth to moms and dads of tackle football players. Much hand wringing we agreed -- reluctantly -- to sign him up for tackle football. He's 7 and tall for his age, but the decision is still a weighty one to make.

Jill blogs at Musings from Me on sporty kids, preteens, teens, and even husbands, which is funny because she is not sporty at all.

Original post to DC Metro Moms.

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