My three-year-old is a jock. She’s fearless and eerily capable when it comes to climbing, throwing, catching and kicking. I, on the other hand, am a cross between Charlie Brown and Arrested Development’s George Michael when it comes to athletic prowess (i.e. awkward).
Her hand-eye coordination has been called superior, while mine is best described as…lacking. The first time I golfed, in high school, I pulverized a classmate’s hand on my back swing. I was once removed from a ski hill on a stretcher (granted, I slipped on a french fry in the lodge, but still – skiing accident!). I’m like Jerry on that Seinfeld episode where he’s forced to re-run a big race: I choose not to run. Or, um, catch…or throw… (You get the picture, right?)
My seven-year-old is a fish in the water and was scouted by a swim club when he was five. On land, like me, he’s a bit of a disaster (seriously – he can’t walk five steps without ending up flat on his back with his shoe in a tree), but in water he’s strong, graceful and assured. Same goes for his daddy, who’s like Aquaman (minus the waterproof leotard) and has a black belt in Krav Maga, but never really played football, basketball or hockey. The last one could’ve been a deal-breaker (I live in Canada, people), but my fella’s foreign, so he gets a pass.
Plus, I’m not one to talk: we once went snowshoeing in the majestic Rocky Mountains and – after traversing what we assumed were many kilometers – we stopped to rest for a brief moment, ended up gobbling our lunch, and decided to summit an upcoming crest before turning back for the car. Peeking over the drifts of snow, we realized that, rather than exploring the untouched wilds of the Canadian Rockies, we had yet to leave the parking lot. No, I’m not making this up.
So where did my little angel pick up her mad athlete skillz? I’m guessing my sister, who is also a jock and my daughter’s doppelganger: they’re both blonde-haired, blue-eyed Nordic-types, while my boys and I look like extras on the Sopranos. When I go out with my sister and daughter, many assume I’m the mother aunt.
This bodes very well for my daughter’s athletic development, but if she follows my sister in other respects, we are so screwed when she hits puberty.