Wednesday, March 20, 2013
During the Summer 2012 Olympic Games my daughter, Lily, got very interested in gymnastics. She became enamored with watching the girls with ponytails and shiny suits flip and twirl. Shortly after watching the Olympics she started asking to take gymnastics. Her requests became more frequent and more insistent after a summer vacation with close family friends where she watched our friend do flips and cartwheels with ease. I found a gym close to our home and enrolled her in a pre-gym class that was held once a week for an hour.
The first class I nervously left her at the gym door and headed up to the parent’s observation area. I sat in the front row of the bleachers with my nose nearly pressed to the glass and watched Lily clumsily try to follow the instructors direction. As the weeks went on, Lily became more agile. She began to develop balance and started looking coordinated. She would beam with pride at me after she’d successfully completed a round off or a bridge. I was cautiously excited for her. I firmly believe that extracurricular activities should be the child’s choice. I refuse to be one of those parents who force their child to participate in something they don’t enjoy. With all that being said my heart sank when Lily began telling me recently that she wanted to stop gymnastics. Thoughts raced through my head, “you can’t quit now, you’re just now getting it,” I thought. “If you quit now you’ll have to start all over if you decide to do gymnastics again,” I tried to persuade. I asked her a million questions fact finding the reason why she didn’t want to do gymnastics but she simply just didn’t want to do it anymore.
This is where I question, “am I making the right decision, to allow her to quit?” How do I know if this is one of those times when Mommy knows best and I need to make her push through? In the end, after much soul searching, I decided to let her make this decision. Today I submitted her two week withdrawal from gymnastics and as I sit at the gym now, in the parent observation area, I question, was this the right decision?
Only time will tell.
Mindy Seals works in the information technology division at Texas Health Resources and is balancing work, married life and raising two kids.