As a father to a young son, I’m not sure which is worse: Isaac’s complete disinterest in watching and participating in sport, or his current obsession with dancing (specifically ballet) and all things pink.
Actually, I do know. I would dearly love him to be as interested in sport as both Heather and I are – I have visions of he and I playing cricket together in the park as I once did with my dad – but at the same time I don’t want to force it on him too soon (or at all, if it turns out to be something he has absolutely no interest in). And I’m very conscious of the danger of trying too hard to relive my own childhood through him.
But it nonetheless saddens me when I see many – not all, but the majority – of his peers happily kicking a football around in the garden, or developing their throwing and catching skills. To date, Zac has rarely shown any interest in kicking a ball, and he has only recently grasped the mechanics of throwing (which, from a tantrum perspective, is no bad thing!) As for catching, well, the less said on that front, the better – as the saying goes, he couldn’t catch a cold.
What he does enjoy – has always enjoyed, really – is a bit of rough and tumble, and so recently I have been trying to teach him to tackle me with an Aussie Rules football. He’s actually pretty good at the running up and hitting bit – although I’m a bit concerned by the evil cackle that accompanies it – but the bit where he remembers to take the ball away remains elusive for now.
More work required, I think. But the prospects of a successful career as an athlete or sportsman of some description to help sustain his parents in their dotage looks unlikely at present. Hey ho. Maybe he will have to be a ballet dancer after all …