Nurturing Individuality

Not me

Not me


As a child I was never good at sports.

While all of my friends played jump rope during recess, I sat with my other non-athletic friends eating snack and talking about boys (since it was an all-girl school).

I tried playing dodge ball- that was our grade’s thing to do (6-8thgrade). At the time I attributed it to the fact that I was already fully developed with c cups at the age of 12/ 13. I was also never a skinny girl who was light on her feet. I was definitely someone- still am- who tripped over her own feet.

But the funny thing is, the best dodge ball player on our team was MUCH heavier than me.

I remember feeling left out when it came to sports. I wasn’t picked last because I was semi popular. But I always wished I knew how to jump rope like all the other girly-girls.

I have no coordination.

I cant swim, I cant dance, I cant play a sport- hell, I can hardly walk in a straight line.

I haven’t been into the whole 2008 Olympic hoopla thing at all although I did watch women’s vollyball  over the weekend. It looked like such a fun sport to play. I just know that I would not contribute anything to a team I was on.

But what I WAS good at was art & music.

I remember when I was a child a friend of mine bribed me with cash to draw a picture on a card for her mother that was supposedly made by her. I think she wanted a skunk on the card if I remember correctly. I drew it- and took the dollar.

I took acting classes and painting classes as a child. I did it on the weekends, and my mother  would leave my brother at home and the two of us would travel into the city for the courses. That is one thing I can say about my mother- she did nurture the artistic side of me.

Speaking of which- my aunt is amazing. She has three boys ages 15, 11, 10. Her middle son has always been a bit effeminate. As a child he only wanted to play with dolls, had a phase where he wanted to put on make up, wanted (and had) many girl-themed birthday parties. He (until today) doesn’t have any guy friends, but has several girl friends. He has always been into dance and theater. Now, many parents seeing these qualities in their son would try to steer them toward  what society labels “boy activities” such as karate, soccer, baseball. Not my Aunt. She has always nurtured her children’s individuality. Instead of signing him up for karate with his brothers, she took him to dance classes and to theater classes. I know he will grow up feeling loved and accepted- no matter who he is.

Back to me…

Once I realized what I was good it (art etc)- I kind of gave up on the parts I wasn’t, and that’s OK.

So no matter what my children decide to do or NOT do, I will nurture what they enjoy and not force feed them what I want them to do. Just like my aunt.

5 thoughts on “Nurturing Individuality

  1. Rachel

    The olympics have made me reflect on my childhood as well. I LOVED sports. I was always glued to the tv when gymnastics was on and was the only girl in my grade to play soccer at recess with the boys. I was good but my parents (who both worked) were too busy to notice or care. Lack of money and time meant I could not join any athletic teams. To this day I still resent that they did not nurture that side of me. Who knows, maybe I could have been in the olympics. I take this lesson and apply it to my daughter because I never want her to wonder what she could have accomplished.

  2. Sugar & Ice

    While I do love watching the Olympic gymnastics, diving, swimming, and a few track and field event, I was never much of an athlete myself either. I was also more artsy. I do wish my mom had put me in dance earlier or even gymnastics when I was a tot so I would have had more confidence in athletics. I plan to put LG and the twins in dance, gymnastics, soccer, music, swimming, etc until they’re old enough to figure out what their own preferences are.

  3. heather...

    You totally hit the nail on the head here. Everyone has different talents and interests – I was more into team sports and music and my brother was into art and running. My parents encouraged us to be the best we could be at our chosen interests. I think that’s the key – as long as our children CHOOSE, we can’t go wrong.

  4. KJandthekids

    Good for you ! I love your aunt.
    It’s much easier to do this with girls. For a girl to play softball and soccer it’s COOL, it’s moving forward. For boys though it’s the making of a wimp and not a good thing.

    I’m also proud of you for finding something positive about your mom 🙂


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