seen all over the internet lately
Last evening after dinner, my girls started a little YMCA beginning tennis class for children ages 6 to 9. It was rough.
Both daughters cried. It was quite a weep-fest, actually. None of the other children were crying. In fact, everyone else appeared to be having fun. None of them knew anything about tennis, either; everyone was just running around being clueless, waving racquets and bouncing balls. My daughters wanted nothing to do with this experience.
Eventually both girls participated in the 45-minute class, but Vivi only when Christopher did the class with her. Yes, my poor husband had to go out on the floor, towering above the 6- to 9-year-olds, and do tennis drills with Genevieve. Otherwise she refused to approach the action. There was still quite a bit of crying and scowling.
The crazy thing is, once the girls got going doing drills in small groups with a teacher, they did pretty well. Like, they were doing far better than I would have done if I were out there trying to hit tennis balls. Their racquets were actually making contact with the ball the teacher was tossing in their direction. And yet, this didn't seem to help. Neither child cracked a smile the entire time, and on the way home and all the way to bed, both informed us over and over again that tennis class was "torture," that they didn't have even one minute of fun, that they hated it more than anything they've ever done, and, in the case of Genevieve, that she is "never picking up a tennis racquet ever again" as long as she lives. This in spite of bribery with candy.
I am afraid I have passed on my childhood gene for Intense Anxiety When Starting Something New. (This gene seems to become muted in adulthood, thank goodness.) The evidence has been clear since my children's toddlerhoods. (Remember swimming? And soccer? And preschool? And drop-off birthday parties? And playdates? And being left with a babysitter?) Had I been forced to take tennis as a child, I would have cried, too. However, I also may have ended up slightly less uncoordinated and un-athletic than I did, because maybe I would have learned a little bit about sports.
Speaking of sports, parenting is an endurance one, remember?