Monday, August 25, 2014

"One Tennis Camp"

Emmett's First Communion Day in May

Emmett had his first tennis camp this summer!  He went Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 10:30 over at Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro.  It is a great program sponsored by SWAT (Staunton Waynesboro Augusta Tennis).  I have been waiting for Emmett to turn 7 for about 7 years now just so I could sign him up for this camp!  Hey, don't judge, at least I am not forcing him to be a doctor or lawyer. haha

Finally the time came, and boy what a stressful time it was!  If I had known how stressful it would be, I would have not wished the other time away!

OK, why was it stressful? 

Why it was stressful for mom:
  • Letting go of my child ever so slowly.  He had to listen to other instructors and be around other children.  I dropped him off and went on my way.  For this controlling mom, it was hard.  As I drove away, I kept looking back at him ever so lovingly from the van.  I didn't see the speed bump and pummeled over it.  But Emmett!!  Come BAAACK!! Mommy WUVS you!  
  • Wondering how he was doing at camp.  Was he getting along with other children?  Was he able to hit the ball over the net? Was he that annoying kid that drives every teacher and kid nuts?  Ugh, being a former teacher is a blessing AND a curse.  
Why it was stressful for Emmett:
  • This was his first experience with formal sports lessons.  There were a lot of growing pains this summer.  He learned about winning and losing, not always doing well, how to have good sportsmanship and how to focus on his own ability and not get distracted by other children.  You must remember that he is homeschooled and doesn't know how to socialize.  He sits in a small room at our house and I don't let him interact with me OR his siblings.  If anyone comes to the door, he has to look away.  I NEVER let him talk to the mailman or even the street sweeper.  I make him think that no one lives in our neighbors' houses so he won't be tempted to interact socially on our street.  I got it covered, people!! heehee  I couldn't resist.  The homeschoolers and lack of socialization argument doesn't hold water.  I am sorry, it just doesn't.  Every homeschooling situation should really be considered on a case by case basis. 
Emmett and I had lots of talks after lessons and I was able to see a lot of my own parenting style reflected in his experience at camp.  I learned a lot about myself and about who Emmett is as a person.  I learned things about him and he learned things about me.  It is a truly amazing experience watching your child slowly make his way out into the world.  I have to say, as well, that it is also a struggle for me.

For example, quite frequently over the years I always remember one moment with Emmett.  It is this...

I am in New Hampshire with Emmett (we lived there his first three months while George was on a travel contract).  I was in the little exercise room in the apartment complex walking on the treadmill.  Emmett was in the little Winnie the Pooh baby carrier right on my chest.  He was about 7 weeks old.  I could see us in the mirror, but I couldn't actually see Emmett's head because he was so curled up asleep.  There was a man on the treadmill next to me and I remember thinking, "this guy can't even see the little tiny miracle that I have on my chest.  My new little baby.  My beautiful creation."  The joy I felt is a joy I will carry with me forever.

I remember this moment so often because, in my opinion, parenting is exactly that.  It is a closeness and a bond.  But at the same time it is a letting go and it is constant change.  

So this summer, my first born Emmett took one more step out into the world.  

Here are a couple of videos of his tournament he had at the end of camp.  He played two little matches in the 7 and 8 year old category.  He played 8 year olds in his matches and he held his own, by golly!   He lost both games but kept tying it up.  Here are a couple of videos.

Well, Emmett, I honestly do look forward to many more of your steps out into the world.  It may not seem like it at times, but bear with me.  That little baby in the Winnie the Pooh baby carrier is still close to my heart.  

On the bright side, the pain in the center of my back has subsided since I stopped carrying you in that thing!  

Til next summer...

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