Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mommas who Inspire me - Froggy and the Mouse

We still have family in town, so I am bringing you the next installment of the Mommas who Inspire me series. Today I introduce to you Tottums from The Froggy and the Mouse.

Tales of the Mouse

Tottums is my hero. She has a full time job, two adorable little boys, and somehow finds the time to blog (and look fantastic, by the way). I read her blog religiously because I love the Momma-of-boys perspective.

Picture 179

Jocks vs. Nerds

I read a really GREAT ARTICLE today. An article that I think a lot of parents should take note of, whether they're raising boys or girls (or both).

As a boy mom, it's inevitable that more than likely, at some point in their life, my kids are going to become obsessed with sports. I am ready and willing to accept this. I know that at some point my weekends are going to be filled with soccer games, tee-ball practices, and swim meets. I know that soon, all of my extra money (lol at 'extra money') will go to football pads, and running cleats, and cups. CUPS. And really, I'm okay with that.

Here's the thing though, I live in Texas. And while I love my state (as any decent Texan does) here's how things work: if you are a boy, you're almost EXPECTED to be an athlete. Friday Night Lights is not a myth, that's how things work here. If you want to be anybody in the middle school/high school/college social hierarchy, you need to play sports, and more specifically, you need to play football. If you don't, well, then you're a nerd. A dork. And even worse, a nobody. And not just to the other kids, to a lot of adults as well.

Every time I turn on the news these days I hear about the crappy state our classrooms are in. How there are 30+ kids to a teacher. How our text books are being written by POLITICIANS. And hell, I can barely talk to my mother these days (who works for a school district in San Antonio) without her ranting about our governor and his crappy budget cuts and lack of education spending. Yet somehow, school districts can spend $60 MILLION on a high school football stadium (no really, a school near us is in the process of building one).

I have no delusions that I can change how things of this nature work in our school systems and society before my boys become old enough to understand them. It starts SO early. From the moment you realize you're having a little boy, and visit the baby boy clothing area in any store, and get to choose between a onesie that says, 'Daddy's little All-Star' or 'Number One Slugger!'. Hell, tee-ball starts at THREE YEARS OLD here ... so to a lot of people, the Mouse needs to start playing tee-ball and flag football NOW if he wants the edge. My kid, the kid who can't even sit through an entire episode of Dora the Explorer, should be taught how to catch a ground ball and sit in a dugout and wait for his turn to hit, and then go sit in the dugout again after his three chances to hit the ball.

(insert hysterical laughter here)

Admittedly, I am not the most athletic person in the world (understatement of the year). For a while, I was a swimmer (50m Free in 30.78 right here, yo!) while in high school ... but that only lasted as long as I could participate in swim team, and still be in band. I have no grand illusions that my boys have received any type of athletic gene from me. I hope they've received my passion for reading. My love of writing. My husband's love of music. And both of our artistic abilities. But neither one of us has any astounding athletic skills we're passing on here.

This doesn't mean I don't want them to play sports. There's nothing wrong with sports. In fact, I think they're a great confidence booster and help kids develop a lot of skills (like sportsmanship and team play) ... but they will never be a top priority in our household. I want there to be a good balance between the two. I want my kids to come and ask me to read them a book, and then go outside and play catch with each other. I want them to bring home 1st prize from their science fair, and then run out the door for soccer practice. I want them to realize that even though they are absolutely inundated with the idea that in order to be anybody who is worth anything, you must be a 'jock' - that this is not the case. That they are worth more and can do more with their lives than even the best sports 'heros' can.

So the next time you need to buy a little boy a gift ... and can't think of what to get him ... buy him a book. Buy him a butterfly kit. Buy him some paint and construction paper. Buy him a puppet. I promise, he already has enough footballs.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to check out more at The Froggy and the Mouse.

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5 words of geekdom:

B.J. said...

Sah-weet! I'm following her now! Now that you mention it, the mother of boys perspective has intrigued me as well since I have no boys. A childhood friend of mine has 3 boys and they came to visit several months ago. After that visit I was bound and determined that I would never have a boy. LOL Maybe I'll change my mind. ;)

Heather said...

This is a great post - I live in Texas as well -- I didn't grow up here, but I quickly found out the seriousness of sports down here. I grew up playing sports, but my teams were not very good - we were not in a good division, etc - so it was not a huge deal . I don't have a boy {at least not yet}, i have a girl - and i hope she will play some sports, but I will not make her eat, drink, sleep, live sports {unless she makes that decision} - its crazy!

i will make sure not to buy any sporting gear for baby boy gifts! {i have a newphew!}

anyway - great post - i'll be checking out your blog more often now!

thanks for hosting mama g!

Kristin said...

Couldn't agree more.

Raising Warriors said...

I agree!! I'm determined to make sure sports aren't everything for D. I'm from a small town where sports were just about everything and I don't want him to miss out on learning. And having fun while doing it. Cause sorry jocks but the nerds and geeks shall inherit the earth. ;)

Also this made me really glad I started following her yesterday. ^w^

Stephanie said...

I love this post and totally agree. I also love the first article you linked to. It's a great perspective. It's true about boy's clothes and "having enough footballs" and the crazy thing is that even if you want to take a stand against it, it's hard to not have everyone else in your family/friends buy into that industry (same with things like licensed characters) without being viewed as an a-hole because you told them what and what not to buy. It's quite the quandary.

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