It’s Possible to Break the Patterns of the Past and Open New Worlds for Your Children

“Andrew, you should come out for cross country.”

One day I ran home from school, about 1-1/2 miles, and along the way I encountered a classmate running with the cross country club faculty advisor. They were in running gear, I was in my street clothes, and wearing my knapsack.

We ran together, chatting the whole way and the teacher suggested I should come out for cross country.

I didn’t.

Cross country was not the first high school athletic activity I declined. I’ve never been much of a joiner, not even to things I’m good at and like.

I look back on those years and think I would have had a better high school experience if I had just gone out for things like this.

In September, with an actual, proper school year in front of him, my oldest was presented with the list of clubs and activities. He asked us to pay his activities fee, because it included the yearbook, and he wants a copy.

Thinking back on my own experiences, we made a deal. If he joined 2 clubs, one intellectual and one athletic, we would pay his fees.

The first club was a no brainer, he joined the STEM club. Then in second semester, they started a chess club and he joined it, but still nothing athletic.

Last week his best bud told me that he and kid 1 were trying out for the varsity soccer team. Maybe that’s what I needed, a friend to lean on me a little to join something outside my comfort zone.

It’s too late for me. But watching my oldest, who is so much like me, put himself out there in a way I never could has made me very happy, and very proud.