At the 8 year old birthday party it was a SPORTS party, organized play held at some fancy sports place for people who drive their kids to be CHAMPIONS or whatever.
They were playing kickball - which seemed innocuous enough to me.
He steps up to the plate when it is his turn, grins at me and shouts "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE DOING!"
I shouted back "KICK THE BALL!" thinking - that can't be right. He can't have NO idea what they are doing.
But it was true. He didn't. So he KICKED the ball. And then he just stood there and grinned. At which point they ran over and tagged him out. He giggled and ran back to the dug out.
I strolled over and whispered - "It's like baseball, you run the bases after you kick the ball."
He smiled and says "But I never played baseball."
Sigh. Parenting FAIL.
His second time at the plate, he kicked the ball and ran to first base. But then didn't know to run to second when he could - he went back to the dug out.
I had this supreme moment of frustration that the school system hadn't taught my boy and sort of sports fundamentals, and then anger at myself for the same.
Then I started watching the field.
Kid after kid comes to the plate - and looks up in the stands while their father barks orders. KICK IT HERE! KICK IT THERE! The kids nervously kick the ball. Their parents are barking and pushing them - and we're just playing for grins.
My kid is running around like a lunatic, joyously enthusiastic.
No fucking clue what he is doing.
But he's having a blast. He's talking smack. He's giggling and laughing and just totally throwing himself into whatever it is that he THINKS they are supposed to be doing. And he's infectious. The other kids start goofing with him, and laughing with him - not at him.
They like him.
And I'm kind of glad I haven't been rushing him to sport after sport after sport. Because at the age of 8 he still knows how to play, how to be silly.
Yeah yeah, the boy needs to learn some fundamentals. Can't have him being anti-social. And he needs to learn the value of competition. I'm all for that, don't get me wrong. But, I was kinda glad to see how happy he was out there once I got past freaking out about my 8 year old not knowing how to play kick ball.
I'm going to teach him.
And I'm going to kick his ass.