Warning: This is a Mommy-Bragging Blog today.
I’m not even sure how to define “IT.” But we’re pretty sure Little Guy has IT. He’s always been a pretty smart fellow, picking things up, the “how to’s” fairly quickly and easily. A lot of people attribute that to the fact that he has 2 older brothers. Yeeeesssss, I’ll agree, but only to a certain point.
And although he is brain smart (I loved it when he was 2, 3, and 4 yrs old, and he’d say something amazing and I would ask “How did you know that?” and his response was “My big brain told me.” ), I’m writing today about his athletic IT.
Over the last few years, I have observed Little Guy play sports–usually on the sidelines– while his brothers were practicing/playing with their teams. And he would do amazing things. At age 6, he can throw a baseball farther than his bros (or other 9/10 year olds). He can throw a perfect football spiral. He can hit a golf ball farther and straighter than me (Ok, that’s not saying a lot). And then there’s soccer….
While we were in England, and T&M were in school, Little Guy and I would kick a soccer ball around the driveway. We did it just about every day (when it wasn’t too soggy in Jolly Ol’ England) from age 18 mths to 3 years of age. His kicks back then were powerful and precise. He just *knew* how to kick the ball around me to score a goal.
Last year, we were fortunate to enroll Little Guy in a soccer league in a neighboring town, because in our town a kid can’t play until spring of Kindergarten year. The teams were 5-on-5 (or 4-on-4, depending on number of kids who showed up). There wasn’t a goalie position–all the kids were “on the field.” My Little Guy would kick the ball, pass the ball, sometimes kick so hard to “pass to himself” and score. And when he was on defense, he would run towards the goal to play goalie and stop the other team from scoring. He just KNEW. He wasn’t told or taught to do any of it. (and he surely didn’t get this from watching his non-soccer playing brothers)
Last spring, just after he turned 5 yrs old, we were at the driving range while T&M participated in School Vacation Week golf lessons. At this particular school, you have to be 7 yrs old to participate in the kids’ group lessons. I had brought Hubby’s clubs with me, and we went to the storage shed to “borrow” a small driver for Little Guy. Mind you, I’m pretty sure that Little Guy hadn’t golfed any before this day. We shared a bucket of balls. Thwack. Thwack, Thwack went his driver against the ball. Each ball was hit on the first time….and flew…about 25-50 yards. The Golf School Manager, Mr. B, happened to be walking by, stopped, and watched. He was clearly amazed at Little Guy’s consistency. He came over to me, and asked how old Little Guy was. I told him 5 yrs old. Mr. B. told me that if I wanted to sign him up for summer golf lessons, it would be no problem. (Yes, he was signed up the next day….didn’t want Mr. B to forget his kind offer).
T&M have played Little League baseball for 3 years now. Last year’s coach had a 5 yr old son as well. Little Guy and Coach’s son would play catch and hit the ball on the sidelines (Hubby played with them). There was one practice where only half the team showed up, so Coach allowed his son and Little Guy to participate in practice. They got to play outfield and take batting practice. When it was Little Guy’s turn to bat, he hit 7 out of 10 balls. And I can say, most of the kids on the team didn’t do as well.
At yesterday’s baseball practice, Little Guy was full of energy, and he wanted to play too. Hubby played some catch with him, but it clearly wasn’t enough (I wasn’t feeling too well, otherwise I would have played with him). He wanted to go out on the field. I wasn’t sure it would be OK, since this was only the 2nd practice of this season, and we didn’t know the coaches. Well, the team only had enough kids to play the infield. One asst. coach was in the outfield, behind 2nd base. Little Guy grabbed his glove and stood in the right outfield. Yes, he fielded some balls and threw them straight-as-an-arrow to the first baseman (twice) and once to the asst coach (Little Guy had to run further into the outfield to chase one particular ball). Asst coach was amazed at his throwing ability. Then…batting…..Yup, he was allowed to bat, and both times at bat, he hit a ball towards 3rd base, and he ran to 1st base safely. Each subsequent hitter also made base-hits. When Little Guy ran from 3rd to Home Plate—everyone cheered.
One more trip to the outfield…..this time, he wanted to play 3rd base. Hubby didn’t think this was a good idea, so Hubby grabbed his glove and went to stand behind Little Guy “Just in Case.” Hubby told me later that Little Guy sensed when/where the ball was going to go before he did and moved in the right direction to catch the ball.
It is so much FUN to watch this kid play ANYTHING. He’s just a natural. He has great instinct. Great body control. Great hand-eye coordination. He’s short/small for his age, but clearly it doesn’t seem to matter. Hubby is trying go make me stop gushing over him–so he doesn’t get a big head and so his brother’s don’t feel bad. I get his point, but it is so hard not too, because I am so excited and proud of Little Guy (and YES, I do praise T&M very much when they play sports). As long as he keeps his grades up, I will let him play 2 sports/season if he wants to. Can’t let IT slip away.