Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kids will be kids


Kids will be kids.
Today was 'family fitness day' at my kids school. Now, I was somewhat prepared for some other participants to be overly aggressive and competitive and aware that I tend to go all mama-bear when older kids pick on my little ones. So when Kaiya and Caleb came into a room set up for hockey where there were two boys who were several years older than them, I was immediately apprehensive. Before stepping in with a preemptive 'no'  I decided to see how it would play out. Which is uncharacteristic, but I was feeling adventurous. 
Earlier I had been talking to a friend about how I feel like I'm too cautious with the children and work a little too hard to keep them "safe." I mean. Sometimes you have got to live and let live. Be a kid. Jump in puddles and all that jazz. Then the other kids were slapping the sticks aggressively and calling out "Hey girl! Don't pick up the puck!" (While picking up the puck themselves and dropping it right in front of the goal like cheater, cheater, pumpkin eaters... ) Neither of them would pass to each other but every time I reminded Kaiya to pass to Caleb she cheerfully would. (And to my great surprise he tried to pass to her as well, though sadly he would send it sailing to the other kids or out to the audience.) 
Though here is where my little tale gets kind of cool. Turns out my baby girl is a natural Wayne Gruetzke (I realize he is completely out dated, but um, that's all I got...) The oldest kid, who had to have been like twelve, was completely blocking the entire goal, his big size ten feet and puck making it impossible to score. But then she did. Everyone cheered. I think even the giant footed kid's parents cheered. (It was at this point that my own inner child came out and I yelled out: way to go! How's that for a girl? - yes- I know... I was taunting a child. My bad. Thankfully no one heard me over the cheers.)
This stepped it up a bit and the younger boy, who was still a few years older than Kaiya, yelled out "Hey! Don't attack me!" when she just pushed against his stick to get at the puck. Another dad turned and quipped: "I never heard of a 'no attacking' rule in hockey?" I commented that I had kind of thought that was the point and he agreed. This was the same boy who swung his stick directly where one of my kids' heads had just been when he got frustrated by the way. 
By this point I was done and stood up to yell out for my kids to hand off their sticks to other kids but then she did it again. Ol' Bigfoot was now practically sitting in front of the box and whoosh! Score! I about peed I was so excited. Then she triumphantly marching to the side and with no prompting at all from me she handed her stick to another kid. My girl knows how to make an exit. After some cajoling I got Caleb to hand off his stick as well. 
As we walked to the bathroom I gave a loud object lesson about good sportsmanship and praised Kaiya's good behavior. Poor Caleb was quite sad he didn't get any turns, and I commented that it sure was sad the other boys didn't know how to play nice. But then I reminded him how his sister had passed him the puck many times and he smiled real big. 
The same big sister who earlier when we realized the flag football game was going to be too rough as he was the littlest by far agreed to forfeit her participation in what looked to be a rousing game to have a game with just the three of us instead. We had a ball running around a big tree and tagging each other by yanking off the flagged belts. Not a word of complaint came from her. They walked off to the next event arm and arm. I. Just. Love. My. Children. 

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