Big decisions for a little guy

Up until yesterday I/we have been making all of the big choices for our 7-year-old son.

In our community (and probably most communities) it seems like sports are a really important factor. I had no idea HOW important. Recently, I learned that we have house sports and we have “travel” sports. Travel was a term that I thought only pertained to vacations until I moved to Lincolnshire. So, what was the talk of Star Wars among kindergarten boys has now become the discussion of playing/watching sports — soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring and the summer and of course, hockey. Travel has become a word used daily between the boys and for some reason travel has become cool, the Guess jean of the ’80s, the end all be all of life. “Are you doing travel?” has become almost a weekly question.

Three weeks ago, I was driving four boys home from house soccer practice when the three on the travel soccer team started talking about how hard travel soccer was and how my son — the only one in the group not on a travel team — couldn’t handle it. My heart sank. But at 7, he has to learn to fight his own battles. So, he did, but he put it on me. He said that I didn’t let him try out and that it was my fault. I kept my mouth shut — until the boys left.

A few days later, the message arrived for baseball tryouts for the travel team. My son decided he wanted to tryout. I told him it means playing five days a week and reminded him that he also wanted to hockey, baseball and yearbook. I don’t say anything else.

I decided to let him make the big decision.

A few nights ago I sat down with him before he went to bed and talked about his choices. He wanted to answer right away, but I told him to think about it. What do YOU want to do? I asked him.

He made his decision yesterday. He wants to wait until third grade to see if he’s interested in travel baseball. He said he really wants to do different things. And, while I am glad (and relieved) that he chose this path for this year, I am more proud of him for making a decision. A real one. Like an adult. Or, maybe just like a kid. It was a big leap for him to take this ownership.

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