Boo is an enthusiastic player. I mean, that boy knows how to play. Anything and everything. I am so grateful. I've had parents tell me they had a second, third or fourth child so the kids would have playmates. I assume there was more to it than just that. As an Only, I can't help but feel that parents pity him a bit, pity me a bit.
We were told by his foster family that even as an infant, he loved the water and being outdoors. Neighbors may see him in our yard, playing with sticks and stones and water and running through the grass, making piles of dirt and collecting bugs. At the pool, he is busy pretending and making up games, swimming and squirming like an otter.
Although not particularly athletic, he has great balance and we took off his training wheels before his fifth birthday. We are not a particularly athletic family, preferring the outdoors, the arts and culture. On the other hand, he never showed much interest in sports until recently.
Until It Hurts: American's Obsession with Youth Sports & How it Harms our Kids. I heard an interview on NPR with the author who was a "soccer dad" type and how he drove his kids to perform. There was a time when kids didn't start sports until they were maybe 11, 12. Now of course, you start at 5 with tee ball. That is not the life I wanted for us. Given Boo's history, we wanted as much family time, relational time and bonding time as possible.
I also wanted him to "be a kid," like we were when we were young. Not out of mere nostalgia but because of the rich benefits we derived from wandering around, feeling different textures, smelling all the smells, discovering God's handiwork. And yes, even sometimes, getting bored. It turns out that our brains develop from all the sensory input by being around nature.
Because of how our culture has become, it is a natural question to ask if Boo is involved in sports. I find myself explaining, almost apologizing for not, as if I were a bad mother. It's not that I think they are judging me; they are just making friendly conversation. But I do get that question a lot and I haven't been able to find a gracious way of replying, without apologizing, without explaining all of Boo's neurological weaknesses, without sounding righteous.