Growing up, the rule in the house was “If you want to play sports, you have to be in band, choir, or drama club. I’m not going to raise a bunch of dumb jocks.” That was Dad. He had delusions of grandeur when it came to sports, but the truth is that he wasn’t very good at it. He did love a good musical, theater, singing, dancing. His oldest sister was a ballroom dance instructor at the university when he was growing up, so music was instilled in him at a very young age.
Mom’s family, on the other hand, was all about sports. Mom played softball and was a power hitter back in the day. I used to love to watch her play. One of her brothers was a golden gloves boxer. The other one was a basketball all-star. Their dad pushed sports hard on all his kids, and they LOVED it!
Mom’s golden gloves brother wanted his kids to play sports so badly. And they did. BADLY! Not a jock among them! He’d watch all Mom’s kids with this innate ability to play sports – such natural talent – and would be so frustrated that Dad would try and squelch that athletic drive in his kids! We all started up with piano lessons at 7. Whenever there would be a kids music program at church, we’d be there. Wanna pick up a ball and bat, better practice the piano first. He was determined that we would be well-rounded.
As we got older and became more and more interested in sports Dad laid down the ground rules. A or B average in school (even though the school rules were that you had to have a C- average). We had to be involved in something cultural, or something that used our brains. So we did. We would do anything to be able to play sports. I was yearbook editor. I accompanied the choir. I accompanied the band during their Fall & Spring competitions. I did it all. All so that I could play sports. And I was good at it. Not as good as my younger siblings…holy cow, they are all so strong and talented. But I could hold my own in any athletic arena.
BUT…I developed an undying love for music throughout the process. I loved it! All of it! Music soothes my soul. It’s what I turn to when I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I have done my darnedest to instill a love of music in my kids, too. It stuck with some of them. Some are less enthusiastic.
This weekend I took my two youngest into the City to see Wicked. My fifth time seeing it. My youngest has seen it a couple of times and she loves it. My second youngest has never seen it before and I could hardly wait to introduce her to the real, true story of Oz. So I spent a TON of money and bought tickets! Very much worth the cost to watch her react to the show….and the theater! She was enamored with the Fabulous Fox – hadn’t been there since she was about 10 when I took her to see Phantom. But looking at it through the eyes of an adult was way different. She walked through the lobby with her head on a swivel and didn’t stop spinning until the show began.
Dad succeeded in his task. All of his ten children love a good musical.
Mom succeeded in her task. All of her ten children love a good sportsball game.
I’d say they did a FABULOUS job raising their well-rounded, not just dumb jock, kids!!