Our recent disagreement with neighbors regarding a trampoline and safety expedited involving our son in his first activity – gymnastics. The idea had been tossed around for months and the trampoline issue made us act.
I admit that I had some concerns leading up to the first class. M’s used to doing his own thing and being himself – how would he respond to being in a more structured environment? He’s also quite shy AND very excitable. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.
I resolved to watch but stay out of his way, to let him handle things himself. The first class wasn’t actually a class – it was more like a little field day with races and a needless reward at the end of the day. Still, I thought that maybe the less-structured start would be a nice warm-up.
Instead of his regular instructor was the owner, who had a display of fossils to kick things off. M was REALLY excited by this, and so was I! It took a lot of self-control to not run over to hold the megalodon tooth. But I had to let M be and he was far from shy. Man – shy is the absolute last word to describe him at that time. He was so excited that kept talking about every little thing, stating what it was, talking over the guy and generally being loud and excited. By the end of the day the owner was visibly tired of M, but M didn’t notice and I didn’t say anything to him.
He did fine for the little races and all and his excitement continued. He talked excitedly, ran the races and such and seemed to have a really good time. Of course, the coot of an owner had to have a boys vs girls race at the end (why not enforce the the notion that the sexes are different? yech.). M decided to not finish his leg of the relay despite people telling him what he should be doing, and that was cool to see. And satisfying that I’m not the only one he decides not to listen to 😛
In preparation for the next class I spoke to him only about being quiet when others are learning and to listen to the instructor, all in the interest of safety. In subsequent classes his maturity has surprised me. I know the other kids are used to being compliant but M is making the choice to listen, pay attention and learn. I admit that I wasn’t sure whether he would be amenable or not – and honestly, whether he could or not. But he’s way more capable than I had given him credit for. Not only that, but he is VERY social with the other kids, who seem to be drawn to the shaggy haired, smiley kid who jumps around at every chance.
Sometimes he sees us watching and waves but the last time he was very engaged in class and hardly looked over. I can’t believe that’s my little boy – the really shy kid who always does his own thing. I suppose I should get used to it 🙂