My kids are seven, almost eight. And sometimes, I suspect I’ve already completely ruined them.
I remember when they were toddlers and would gobble up anything they’d put on the tray in front of them. I smugly assumed I had naturally great eaters, andplusalso I was an amazing mom who gave them a variety of foods. And then about five minutes later, they put down their forkful of broccoli couscous casserole and never ate anything that wasn’t brown again.
And then I used to read them stories every night. Every night, that is, until they moved out of cribs where they could be contained, and into beds and have you ever tried reading a story to three 3 year olds at once? It ain’t easy. My lap is only so big. So nightly storytime ended, for the most part. This summer, we watched all of the Harry Potter movies while the books grew dustier on my shelves.
My dreams of having child prodigies in sports and music evaporated when I realized they were five and I hadn’t put them in any extracurricular activities. Logistically and financially, I just couldn’t even consider it. And surely five is already over the hill, right? Well, we put them in t-ball at five, and it swiftly became clear that the talent that was going to make them millions had already withered away from disuse, or wasn’t there to begin with. (But dang, it was adorable.)
Sometimes I look at them and think, maybe they’re not completely ruined.
They’ve started eating more lately. A little kale here, a bit of brussels sprouts there. Why, they will even allow me to put butter on their toast now!
And though they’ve been learning two languages for the past several years, they’re reading like champs. My shameful neglect of storytime doesn’t seem to have done too much damage.
And after a year without any sports, they have all become obsessed with soccer. And a teacher at school even remarked that one was good. Pelé good? Probably not. But seven year-old good.
They may not end up as foodies or bookworms or international sport stars. But they’re kind, generous, and sweet boys. I guess I’ll call that a win.
Now I’d better go pick up a book to read with them.