Every once in a while I get reminded to just back off being a parent

Here was my plan for this month: taking the whole family to another soccer game, then attend a Broncos preseason game with part of the family, then attend an Air Force football game. Why did I want to do that? Because I knew I would enjoy it, Kim will probably enjoy it, I thought Jimmy would enjoy it and it wouldn’t hurt the younger kids. And I wanted to share something that I enjoy with my kids (because that’s what we parents do.)

But something happened over the weekend and after some consideration I realized that this plan had a flaw in it. Jimmy just isn’t interested in football at all, and the younger 2 are probably even less interested. I think Jimmy will still enjoy the Bronco game to some extent. But I decided to stop the plan for the Air Force game for now. Because I am not going to put myself through the hell of dragging 3 kids who could care less to sit in a stadium and endure the roughly 3 hours of a football game. If Jimmy gets a lot more excited after attending the Bronco game I might change my mind, but for now? Not going to push my luck.

Well this made me think a little about what my kids enjoy versus what I enjoy.  I enjoy sports, at least watching them, and playing some of them (although not as much as I used to.) So far my kids could care less about sports. Jimmy is mildly interested in watching soccer, but only some what.

And today I read this post from Wil Wheaton, and it made realize something: it isn’t my job to teach/force them to enjoy something, so long as they have some healthy interests (i.e. not complete electronic junkies or other less healthy things that they are still too young to get involved in.) Really my only job in all this is to expose them to as many things as possible and see what sticks. After that, who cares which interests they follow? I can’t control what they like, and I am not sure I would enjoy doing something with them it felt like it was forced.

So, we will all attend the Rapids game so Kim & Danny can get exposed to it, knowing that Jimmy & I enjoyed it. And Jimmy will get to attend one Bronco game as a chance to see what it is like. After that I will throw the choices back to the kids, and not force feed that Air Force game.


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