so, what do you do when you have a kid…let’s call this kid “ruth”, who seems to love gymnastics…who may even have a certain aptitude for the sport, and who turns your living room into something out of an olympic event every chance she gets, but this kid…she refuses, adamantly refuses, to take gymnastics class?
my unschooling philosophy tells me to back off, let her experiment how she will, that she has to come to love it on her own terms and come to want to learn more in her own time. but then there is this other part of me…how can i explain it? i have this somewhat irrepressible urge to try and convince her to take the class and i find myself cajoling, pressuring and trying to convince her.
part of it is that i can’t stand to watch her do crazy flips and spins all over the living room and her bed anymore. i feel like its irresponsible to some extent to let her basically invent her own gymnastics routines with absolutely no training in safety concerns and very little caution about her own physical limits. plus my heart can only take so many sudden spikes in blood pressure.
but part of it, i can’t deny, is that i want her to “succeed” at something in some tangible way. after four years of being home with her, it would be nice if there was something that i could point at to show, “hey, she’s turning out ok, people, see?” purely selfish, and beside the point, i know.
i know i need to back off. why is it so hard?
at this point, we have just confused the hell out of her and possibly turned her off from gymnastics forever anyways. we’ve gone from yelling, to begging for understanding, to bargaining, to odd compromises, and have found ourselves no closer to any kind of peace about the situation.
seems silly, doesn’t it, so spend so much energy and time on something so unimportant? intellectually, i know this. but that doesn’t stop me from flip flopping all over the emotional map about it right now. and ruth gets so passionate about simple things, sometimes its hard not to follow suit. it can be hard to remember i’m the adult in this situation.
one day i’ll figure it out. one day the solution to these issues will be abundantly clear to me as soon as they arise. probably by kid 15.
until then, eternally struggling sputtering me. signing off.