I think that’s what’s happening with A. She enjoys hockey but would enjoy another sport just as much if she was surrounded by her friends. Hockey just requires total dedication and a lot of time, so it affords her an opportunity to solidify her friendships. The fact that she’s pretty good helps to give her some clout, and she’s a very sociable person. Consequently, she’s made some good friends, and has even made a best friend.
N is a little more complicated. Maybe it’s a boy thing, but he’s a little more reserved, and tends to sit quietly on the sidelines and watch. He benefits from being a good athlete, so he earns credibility from his peers, but that’s not always a foundation for long term friendship. I was a athlete in school, and hung out with jocks, and looking back on it, I never really felt a close connection to any of those guys, especially the alpha-male leaders. I had a similar experience being in a frat in college, and wonder why I put myself into these situations.
Either way, I think with N it’s great that he loves sports and we will support him in any way as long as he enjoys it, but I wouldn’t mind steering him in other directions. I’m thinking something more cerebral and thoughtful that he can immerse himself in and find other kids that think and operate like he does. As good as he is at sports, I don’t think he fits the jock mold. I could be projecting my own neurosis (what else is new?), but the jock crowd is filled with aggressive and vindictive guys who can be bullies and treat women poorly. Being a sensitive and thoughtful person doesn’t always bode well in that environment. I know this from firsthand experience.
Besides, as much as I want him to enjoy sports, I don’t want him to become a “jock” who can’t think for himself and goes along with whatever the crowd does. Even though these are the kind of guys who go on to become CEOs of big companies, I would rather that he think for himself and chart his own course. Plus, hockey gets so fanatical, and I succumb to it, even though I look at it like complete insanity.
With that in mind, we begin the search for N’s new gig. Truth be told, I think it will somehow involve computers, because he, like very kid his age, is fascinated by them. This process, however, will not include video games or social networking, but something more along the lines of programming or computer science. Then again, when you embark on a journey of discovery, you have to keep your mind open to all the possibilities.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Michael Dales for the pic.