Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy
Change is never easy. I think change is most difficult for adults. It’s harder still for adults to watch their children go through changes.
In my experiences as a coach, a teacher and a mother I have come to see that kids are not as affected by change as us as adults are. Kids can adapt better to the change and move on from it…much faster than we do as adults.
In my childhood I didn’t experience too much change. I grew up in the same house on May Street in Homewood until I moved out and went to college. I went to the same schools as my neighborhood friends. We walked to school together until High School until we had to take the bus.
I remember walking through my back yard and across the street to my friend’s house so we could walk to school together. I even got on the bus at the stop closer to her house. In school, Kindergarten through High School, very few (if any) of my friends moved away.
The biggest change I can remember from when I was growing up was when our next door neighbors moved away – I don’t really remember much. I really only remember their names, and that they moved away – I was young. I don’t even remember how old I was. I remember feeling sad that they were leaving.
Along with that memory was the memory of the new family with 2 kids who moved into their house. I have more memories of their family and they lived next door to us for much longer.
When I was skating, I remember all of the girls who I skated with – they were constants in my life. Every morning at practice we were together, the same girls were there. Every year in June a few graduated and left for college in August – but the next fall the same (not graduated) faces were there. After 5th grade, I honestly don’t remember a lot of girls quitting the sport…or changing ice rinks (there weren’t too many options).
My very best friends from my childhood and the ones I remain closest to now are the same girls I spent all of those early, cold mornings with at the ice arena.
I kind of want the same things for my kids as they grow up in each of their chosen sports. I look at their teams and wonder which teammates my kids will still be in contact with in 30 years…it’s really hard to say.
I feel like there are so many more options out there now than there were when I was ice skating. Back then there was 1 (or 2) rinks and you stayed with your coach…there weren’t many coaching changes…we took lessons – learned new skills, routines, competed in competitions, preformed in shows and repeated each year. This may actually be why I am such a creature of habit!
For each of my kids in each of their sports, this year brings with it a year of change. I might be more worried about it that my kids are.
Soccer had a huge age group change that was brought on by USA Soccer (http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/08/24/18/07/150824-coaching-player-development-initiatives-rel ) Instead of kids playing with their grade level, Cohen would be 6th grade, kids are now required to play on teams with their birth year, Cohen was born in 2005, his team would be made up of any kids born in 2005, which might include 5th and 6th grade students. This initiative set forth by USA Soccer essentially split Cohen’s current team in half. These are boys Cohen has been playing with for the past 3-4 years. Completely split. Add to that a few players leaving to play with e different club…leads to big changes. It will be like we are staring over this year. New teammates – new families…at least my “spirit wear” will be the same.
Dance always brings big changes and this year is no different. Carly will be competing for the 3rd year and will move out of the “mini” category and into the “junior” category. Older dancers with more experiences, and more time in the studio I’m sure – this will be a huge year of learning and growth for her. Add to that her best friend (and my best dance mom friend) leaving the studio and her dance team – to pursue a different type of performance dance. I honestly wish her the best. They will be missed terribly – especially on eyelash field trips, competition mornings – and convention evenings!
As with new seasons come new rules – while Caroline was able to perform a solo last year, this year the studio increased its minimum age for a solo to 9. Caroline is 6. Which means Caroline will not be eligible to apply for a solo for 3 more years. She was pretty heart broken about this – but it is my hope that 3 years will be enough time for her to compete in gymnastics and decide she likes that sport better! Wishful thinking – as I am sure you all know (who have met Caroline) that she has a knack for drama, which makes her quite the performer on stage.
All of the gymnastics changes came at the beginning of summer and has really simmered down a bit. When summer groups were listed, a few of the compulsory groups were split. Carly ended up being split from her friend who had been with her for the past 4 years…though they still see each other I know she misses waiting in line (and being silly) for the vault with her! There were a few new girls added to the group – an new opportunity to make good friends – see, glass half full!! I’m not sure if it was hard on the kids or adults – as I am trying (so hard) to be a drop off/pick up parent and really trying not to ask a lot of questions – this part is SO hard for me!
SO, with changes for my kids in soccer, dance and gymnastics, they will all get to experience so much this year. I am going to try and experience it all through the eyes of my children as they are the ones who deal with changes far better that I ever could.
Really, I look forward to more changes for them as they continue to be more involved in school and sports because the experience in dealing with changes will certainly prepare you better for change as and adult – right?