Hey kids,

Mom just want you to know that it’s been a blast taking you here and there for sport practices last Fall. Not saying that Dad didn’t, but you guys know who’s doing it the most. He heh
Now that it’s all done (except for your tennis, Davi),  I just want to recap what I’ve learned so far in terms of how you guys have done and also some other obsevations. I’m very proud of you both in keeping your motivation up to keep going to practices no matter what. After a tiring day at school/preschool, you’re still excited to go to soccer/gymnastic/tennis practice. I’m sorry if for most days, I looked like I don’t want to do it. Long day at work, was mostly my excuse. Nasty patients, not-so-helpful nurses, and picky doctors. But as soon as I see your faces when I pick you up, to see you running towards me with open arms, gave me a burst of new energy. What a good feeling!

Now, son… about soccer.

Oh my… what a terrible, horrible, no good Fall season we had last one, son. Your soccer practice was, of course, outdoor; twice a week. I could say that 90% of those time, my butt was freakin’ freezing! I did wear a coat, but it was no help. My hands were so cold, they were almost frozen. I know I shouldn’t trust those weather forecast people! They said sunny with the high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit, turned out to be overcast, windy, and only 60. Some parents brought blankets with them, sitting on their lawn chair ever so comfy with hot beverages on their hand. I tried to bring a lawn chair along, but it’s just too cold for me to sit for the whole hour. Tried walking around to keep myself warm, but Mommy’s work shoes aren’t exactly made for grassy soccer fields, you know…

Son, being a first timer in a more ‘official’ soccer team, I could see that you were shy and not totally comfortable doing it in the first two weeks. Your teammates were more experienced, I noticed. Like any first timer, you were doing the moves awkwardly. Your attention was also not quite ‘there’. In the middle of a practice, you’re doing something else. Instead of dribbling the soccer ball, you were doing cartwheels (got a big ‘Whoa!’ and laugh from the other parents). In the middle of a scrimmage, when all the kids were running to one direction to chase the ball, you were on the other side of the field, picking dandelions for me, “Put them behind your ear. You’d look pretty, Mommy!” I thanked you and received your hug, heard some ‘Awww’  from the other soccer moms around, gave them a fake weak smile, then hustled you back to the field. While you were doing a game the other day, you stopped in the middle of the field to give a [girl] friend a hug. I admit it, by then I got a little frustrated. I yelled out your name and made that look —get you little tushy back to the game! Then I got to remember, you’re just five and a half, like most of the other kids, and just want to have fun.

Having said that, Mom couldn’t understand why some parents are taking it too seriously. I noticed a dad was pacing back and forth on the side of the field, yelling to his son, giving instructions or correcting them. I mean c’mon, that’s what Coaches are for, right?

There was also an older gentleman (a grandfather?) who would get all worked up and yell, “No! No! David, go back to the left field. John, kick it back to David! Nooo…. not to Julie. Argh!!” I was almost certain that John’s parents or Julie’s did not appreciate that. Not to mention the Coach.

Gymnastics.

I personally think that you’re more comfortable with this, son. You’ve done it numerous time before, even when you were two and a half year old. But we didn’t go to a professionally-run center back then. It was a program through the city and a lot cheaper. Instructor-attendee ratio was a bit big. No, that one was definitely not a ‘serious’ one. I must admit though, you were liking gymnastics so much, I think you were like the instructor’s pet a little bit. Some parents extended their fondness to you. Still, it never made you bratty and stopped listening to your instructors.

When you finished all the levels for your age group (and above), we moved to this one because Mom and Dad both thought you deserve the best. You like doing it so much, so why not go ‘official’? Little that I know, they’re all reaaally serious group of gymnastics parents. This place has so many different classes and teams, seeing 18 months old to teenagers. I noticed some girls -who they called ‘Hot Shots’- were behaving like VIPs. They have their own little lockers to keep their gymnastics necessities with eah girl’s name on it. They’re all so prissy and very aware that everybody’s watching their moves. Their moms were always so busy with cell phones, laptops, competition for schedules, etc.

However, I do give them this. Those girls are hard workers. They were on a Saturday morning, for 4 hours, to practice. Repeating one single move over and over again, until Coach say it’s good enough. Not to mention the warm up ‘drills’, looked very exhausting to me. But then, you know me, son… I’d be out of breath only by running up the stairs.

And I learned something new by coming to this place. You see, I’ve always been curious about the leotards’ situation. Have you noticed that some of the girls didn’t have their undies showing under their leotards? Eew? I know, I’m sorry son. I was just curious. Were they wearing thongs? Maybe the teenagers, but can’t be the 5 year olds. So I asked a fellow mom next to me, and she said, “They’re not wearing underwear.” Oh. I see. That was the secret. Leotards are worn like the swimming suits, then. Hm.

My daughter, about tennis…

For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what triggered us to enroll you for a tennis lesson. Oh, I remember! It was because of Wii. When we got it about a year and a half ago, it came with Wii Sports game. You were liking the tennis one, where you’d kick my butt so many times. Then you asked us to get you a ‘real’ tennis racquet and to take you out to an outdoor tennis court. After playing for a while, we enrolled you to summer tennis youth program run by the city for about 6 weeks. The instructor was actually from here and he offered us to enroll you into their youth program. At first we went with the Level 1, which is for the K – 2nd grade and we went once a week, every Saturday morning. After a while, the instructor asked Mom and Dad if you could be ‘promoted’ to Level 2 which is actually for 3rd – 5th grade and practicing every Saturday morning and Monday afternoon. You wanted to do it, so we did.  

I must confess though hon, Mom and Dad got a llittle carried away with all of these compliments from your instructor who by the way, looks like Hillary Swank’s twin sister. We both dreamed that you’d be real good at it, we’ll sacrifice to have you sent to Florida for the ellite tennis academy, get into pro, win a lot of tournaments, , sign a contract for either Nike or Reebok, make us real rich, so Mom and Dad could retire early. Hey… if Martin Luther King could have a dream, so could we.

Since this is a ‘serious’ tennis program, Mom can’t really blame those hardcore parents. Yeah, maybe I should dress you up in a matching tennis outfit; you know… the one with the skort thingy. What the heck, you’re comfy with gaucho and silly T-shirt like ‘My brother drives me bananas!’ with a picture of a monkey on it. Why spending money on unnecessary stuff like that? When you’re practicing, I like to watch you from the balcony behind the glass windows. Some parents were around too, but I hardly ever conversing with them about why my kid didn’t swing her racquet properly, or why you couldn’t run fast enough to return the tennis ball, or why was your volley not good enough. Gosh!

I have faith in you both. You both are good listeners, so what if you have a little fun during practices? I know some parents think since they’ve spent money already in practices/lessons, the kids better be super serious about it. But first of all, why having your kids do something they don’t like? That’s why they’re attention are not there and they’re just goofing off. Other parents would object to this, saying that parents want and know what’s best for their children. That is true also. But forcing your child to do football just because the dad didn’t make it in the past? I personally want my daughter to get in to gymnastics. I’d love to see her doing flips and all. She was taking gymnastics lessons (and was pretty good too) up until she found tennis. Now she’s not interested in gymnastics anymore. Oh well…

So there you go, kids. It’s a long confession, I know. Sorry. Don’t forget, we’re proud of you guys!