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Passing the Non-Olympic Torch

Growing up, my dad made a point to do father-daughter activities with me. My dad would think of some group or sport that he thought sounded interesting to both of us and ask if I wanted to do it. The first one I remember was Indian Princesses, which was kind of like Girl Scouts, but specifically for fathers and daughters to do together. It was great fun.

When I got a little older, he asked if I wanted to try gymnastics. I always loved tumbling and climbing. I had always had great balance and flexibility. Gymnastics sounded perfect to me. This may not sound like a father-daughter activity, but my dad had done gymnastics when he was younger and understood a lot about the sport. So, he would take me to the gym for my Saturday morning classes, and he would sit up in the waiting area that overlooked the entire gym. After the classes, he would drive me home and we would talk about what I did, what I liked, what I wanted to work on and also what he used to do and like.

And let me tell you, I loved gymnastics! That sport was right up my alley! I had so much fun in the classes, learning all the equipment, tumbling, climbing, flipping, dancing around. But the best part was feeling a special connection with my dad, who not only took the time to drive me there and back, but stayed to watch the whole time. Because he understood what the moves were and how the equipment was supposed to be used, he could relate to what I was doing and give advice when I needed it. It was more than just a sport, it was a father-daughter activity.

Tomorrow morning, I will take my almost 1 year old to her first tumbling class. At this point, since she is so young, I am picking what activities we do together. We are doing a free trial class at Little Gym, and it's a parent participation class so that the toddlers have our help. If she seems to enjoy it, I will sign us up for the rest of the semester and continue as long as she seems to enjoy it. When she gets older, I will not push her into any sport that she doesn't want to do, but I will come up with ideas and give her options I think she will like, as my dad did for me. The Pumpkin has been early with her gross motor skills and loves to roll around and be flipped up and down. I have this feeling that right now, for her and for us as a mother/daughter activity, this class will be perfect.

I am participating in The Parent Bloggers Network's Blast from the Past today. They are celebrating Highlights Magazine's new publication High Five, which is for ages 2-6. Remeber Highlights Magazine? They are celebrating 60 years of publication. If you are feeling nostalgic, you should participate. You might win a prize!


Becoming Mommy said…
klet me know how that goes. I'm thinking of putting Sasha in something after his birthday and I dunno what. But he's been on the fast side with his motor skills too...well, the ones he cares about.
I remember swimming when I was little.
You have managed to remind me that I need to find a dance or gymnastics class for the Toddler. Thank you!
ImpostorMom said…
I'm trying to convince the husband to do a swimming class with Boog but he doesn't really want to. Grrr. I did a swim class with him and it was just too hard to get him there, dressed and in the water without help. I'd rather it be something we all do together. Glad you had a good time at the class and it sounds like a great way to "pass that torch."

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