I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Group sports

I know that organized sports aren't for everyone. We choose to participate in them for several reasons. For one, we homeschool so we are home a lot and we have some really social kids. Kids who went to school for a few years and have some good friendships from that time.

We don't write homeschool on the school line at sign-ups. Not because we distance our kids from homeschoolers but because we want them to be on teams with kids they already have friendships with.

The twins are particularly gifted when it comes to athletic ability. For obvious reasons they feel so different than a lot of kids. Having confidence and being known for their ability when we go to events helps them to feel like they belong. 

That comes with challenges, too. We have lots of conversations about humility and where our identity truly lies. Sports shouldn't be the place they find their value. It is a part of them, something they love, but if they didn't have sports they would still be valuable.

The twins were both selected for select traveling teams this year. We have been crazy busy and it has been somewhat challenging. But these two light up and are in their element when they are doing stuff like this. It wouldn't feel right to say to them, "We aren't a sports family, that's too busy," when it has such positive effects. We try to balance it and time and family are important factors to consider. The younger three love to participate in sports or other activities and the twins will be there cheering them on when it's their turn. It's a mixed bag. The older they get, the harder the lessons become. Attitudes, emotional growing pains in addition to dealing with coaches and teammates can be difficult but we value the opportunity to help them navigate those situations when they are young. Each season we weigh the pros and cons and make the decision what to participate in. Everyone knows just because you play this year doesn't mean you will next year. It depends. We always put family first and I may be going out on a limb here, but sometimes the greater good is doing what works best for someone individually. I wouldn't be honest though if I said I wasn't looking forward to an extra curricular activity free summer. But that's just my story and I'm sticking to it.

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