The Beast has been the source of much focus over the last few weeks, what with it being the summer holidays and his birthday etc. I’ve sat back and watched him grow. He is still too obsessed with Spider-Man for my liking, but luckily his obsession has grown to Turtles, other super heroes, Lego and motorbikes (OVER MY DEAD BODY).
He’s always been sporty, very co-ordinated, and has a mean left kick when it comes to football, but if we’re honest his size, and desire to not be hurt has put him off. At football lessons I saw him withdrawing, and losing confidence. He loves swim, although for me his swimming lessons were more about confidence and being sociable rather then him learning to swim – as an ex-swimmer I knew he’d swim and he’d been fine, but I wasn’t going to push it.
But one day not so long ago, he, The Chunky Monkey and Mr Aimee were all out in the garden playing. I was meant to be upstairs working, but I’d ditched it off to grab a glass of wine and watch this.
The Beast had come in to find out what I was shouting at, and sat with me totally absorbed, cheering when I did, noting that he liked how Murray wore his socks (I KNOW). He looked at me slightly puzzled as I shed
loads a few tears, and then as he held the trophy up in the air he said to me.
“I’m going to win one of those cups. I’m good at tennis you know? Actually. I’m going to win two. One for me, and one for you. You can put your wine in it if you like”.
Now. Let’s ignore the rather telling point of a not-even-five-year-old at the time acknowledging that Mummy’s drinking habits require this:
And let’s ignore the fact I would probably be doing the same kissing thing too.
Let’s focus on the fact he’d decided he wanted to play tennis.
“You’d have to work really really hard to get there…it took him a long time darling”.
“Yeah. Took Peter Parker a long time to learn how to spin webs too”.
That was when my mind saw me in the audience, proud and clapping. So I did what all pushy mums did, and researched classes.
I asked a friend who was like a properly amazing tennis player (still is but you know what I mean), and she gave me some numbers. I tried a couple of times, but getting phone call time at the moment is tricky what with my children being louder then a…er really loud thing, and one day fate popped up. I was googling something, and the website address for where I’d learnt tennis briefly as a child popped up. On a whim I emailed and it turned out to be my old coach running it. I booked The Beast in and to say he was excited as an understatement.
We turned up, and my usually timid child (with other people not me), said to the coach:
“I’m going to beat you”. I have a feeling she looked at the little squirt of a thing and wondered if he’d be able to hit a ball.
This was his first lesson. I’m no expert, but I think that’s a promising start?
The week after we turned up and there was a bigger boy playing on the big court, he was wearing his football kit (including socks), rallying with the teacher. Within minutes of The Beasts lesson he’d started playing with one hand, even though we’d agreed that with his little hands he’s stronger with two. My mum was there at the time and I whispered “I bet her wants to wear his football kit next week”.
Sure enough, before we left the house the following week we had a twenty minute discussion about how he was so not going to wear his spider-man socks pulled up to his knees…it resulted in me playing numerous Murray clips and googling images of him to show that his socks aren’t pulled up to his knees. In the end we’d had to compromise and have them half slouched (thanks Andy). I know some of you are thinking just let him wear the socks pulled up, but if you’re thinking that you don’t know me well enough to know that’s never going to happen.
Anyway, when we got there I warned Kate (his lovely teacher), that he was in awe of the previous weeks player just so she had a heads up. Sure enough, after a few practice hits she asked what they should do next and he pointed to the big court and said “play on there”. They compromised and they had a go at rallying.
Since then we’ve had to draw tennis courts out in the garden, I’ve had to practice my serve, and he’s super impressed that the watch he got for his birthday is very similar to Kates. I’ve already seen a massive improvement in the four lessons he’s had, but she won’t commit to if he’s going to make any money for me or not yet.
Anyway. If you push aside my hopes of living through my child (oh don’t tell me I’m the only one, Mr Aimee wants him to drive an F1 car too), the one thing I can’t get over is his confidence. He’s got an air of self belief about him, which I’ve felt has slipped into the background a little bit when he’s been trying new stuff or meeting new people.
So we’re starting to play on Saturdays as of next week. He’s not allowed a racket until I know he continues to enjoy it, so perhaps for Christmas, but the key thing to me
after making me rich is that his confidence and self belief grows.
It’s so nice to see him inspired by something real.
There – sorry for the proud slushy mummy post. Normal serviced resumed next week when I air punch at him returning to school.