I often get frustrated with my 6 year old son Nic for the amount of times he spills things. From chocolate milk all over his shorts at an early morning eat-out breakfast, to the last precious sips of my much needed glass of pinot.
But he's 6. He doesn't do these things on purpose.
He also likes to engage in another kind of spill - the kind that catapults him onto a hard surface when he's on a skateboard, two-wheeler, or inexplicably, even just sitting quietly on the kitchen bench. So, it wasn't really surprising that our outing to a neighbourhood roller skating palace (why are they always palaces?) produced a large number of wipe outs, stumbles, and banana-peel-butt-cracking falls. With each one, he was determined to get up, shake it off, and carry on careening around the rink. All in the pursuit of having fun.
After the alarming roller skating, we headed home to find my teenage son deeply engrossed in the Euro Cup final. In the spirit of family unity, I decided to watch a bit (me and television sports are like peanut butter and chardonnay, an unnatural combination). At first, I was shocked at the number of real injuries the players seemed to be taking - curled up on the ground, heads held in anguish - until I watched some of the supposed painful incidents on the slow motion replay. These "elite athletes" were the antithesis of the "suck it up and shake it off" attitude I had seen my 6 year old display. On purpose. Divas and divers, almost all of them (except the guy with the bleeding eyeball).
If that's what being a world class athlete requires, I think we'll stick to my original strategy of moving my kids around to different sports the minute they show any proficiency. Seems to take the fun out of it.
And did I mention the bleeding eyeball?