Youth day and Father’s day came and went without a moment to actually breathe in and take in the moments.
Our youth day was filled with my oldest having a gymnastics competition. I spent the hours leading up to it, making her a leotard. (I can hear you saying, “you’re nuts!” – so did a lot of other mommies) I’m the type of person that when there’s money to be saved – I’m going to save it! I’ve spent the last few months trying to master the art of making leotards for my girls. The reason being, that when bought off the rack, those puppies are EXPENSIVE!!! It’s like buying a nike shoe for a 6 year old – who is more than likely going to blow through the thing in like 2 months…… this is my exact sentiment towards leotards.So, off to youtube I went and found a way to create a pattern and work with the material that I could find. I remember my first buy was an absolute bargain. I found this material shop that lets you purchase according the weight of material you’re buying and not the meters. I think I spent like R30 for my girls to have two leotards each and some workout shorts. (I’ve still got material left over from that stash) Yes, they weren’t perfect, but my girls absolutely love them.
Unfortunately I’m not going to show case the images of them in their leotards but I will try and take pics of the actual leotards for you to see (if I can find them…. couldn’t find them for this post – but will add them when I do – kids #eyeroll)
So, I learned from that little experience and decided to create more for them so that they could have a leotard wardrobe.
So, back to this weekend. I made my oldest her leotard and didn’t even have a moment to actually think about our country celebrating Youth day. So to those around South Africa that did, what do you do? I feel that my kids are still a little young to actually “grasp” the concept of what youth day has done for them. I think in about 2 years time I’ll be able to really do some meaty projects with them surrounding the topic.
So, she competed and I must admit that I went through a rollercoaster of emotions.
So many different scenarios happened.
- My son was still recovering from his spout of flu
- Aislyn had to get in the head space and compete in her competition
- My parents joined us in watching – with my nephews – which then changed my plans to leave my son at home, so we decided to take him with (BIG MISTAKE!!)
- My husband was caught between a rock and hard place with his work and coming to watch our daughter compete.
- It was the first competition where only the top three get medals. Higher level calls for higher standard. (She’s in level 4 now….Level 1-3 just required a certain number of points to gain gold, silver or bronze. So like, 12 kids could get gold if they achieved a certain amount of points. They are still placed in their respective order, according to score – but there’s a softer landing for them to enjoy the experience of a certain colour of medal. Level 4 doesn’t have this – its first, second and third and that’s it)
Ok, with all of this running around in my mind – I had to try and hold myself together. It’s amazing how each one of the scenarios calls for so many different approaches and each one needs a certain response as well.
Here were my responses (some weren’t pretty)
- I totally didn’t medicate my son properly in order to protect him for when I spontaneously decided to take him out on a rainy afternoon. (I took him to avoid him having to be left at home in tears with my mother in law)
- Normally I like to have a cool, smooth and relaxing way to get ready for a competition – but this was rushed and we didn’t even have a good moment to chat and see how she was feeling. So she pretty much got a high five and a pat on the back – “go get it!” (so sad, because I have higher expectations of myself)
- Having my parents along is helpful especially with the smaller ones and wanting to focus – but when the 3 year old doesn’t want to listen and only I can sort him out…… it’s not easy to stay calm and still try to focus on the actual event. I was so torn and regretted bringing my son along – then the whole mommy guilt stands in the alley way of my mind shaking her head saying, “you shouldn’t be regretting bringing your son along, he might start to feel left out” Silly Mommy guilt! I wish I could just smack her sometimes!
- In the middle of trying to watch Aislyn compete and sort my son out – my husband phones me in his most gentle voice, explaining that he’s running horribly late due to technical problems at the gig he was at. In the conversation I’m not wanting to react badly because he doesn’t deserve that and yet I’m trying to pin my 3 year old down in the process – so needless to say, he got the raw end of me in my response. I must admit that I was disappointed, but this is the life we’ve chosen and I definitely know he wouldn’t do this kind of thing on purpose because he loves his kids. So I just had to breathe it out and try to not let it get to me……. This is when my daughter falls off the beam and is losing her balance – the scene was nuts!
- So after sorting my poor little boy out – it’s not his fault that he can’t keep quiet in a confined space. I should have just let him stay at home for his own sanity (and mine). Aislyn has done her practice round on the beam and fallen off 3 times. My nerves were in my throat – I say this because I know that she doesn’t like to get things wrong, especially when she’s practiced her heart out. So we hold our breath when she does her actual round in front of the judges and she falls again. Immediately I know that she’s not going to get a place medal this time around. In my head I’m trying to decide whether 4th place is to be celebrated or to be given a high 5 and move on. It was such an interesting one, because I think that maturity is important and life lessons are best learned in the most gentle scenario instead of in the big bad world where it can break you. So I’d rather have my kids learn things in small doses first so that by the time the actual big thing hits – it doesn’t smack them for 6. They’ll have the tools to be able to handle it in whatever way they can. It was in this moment that I also realized that not all lessons can be taught in small doses, sometimes you just have to let them fall and get hurt and be there for when they need to get back up again. THIS! THIS my friends, is what I think is one of the harder parts of parenting. The deciding when to teach them, how to teach them or just let the chips fall where they may.
Anyway, That was my Saturday and the repercussions flowed thereafter. My son has had to stay indoors for the last few days (like a criminal under house arrest) with more snot and fevers – poor guy. Aislyn then proceeded to beat herself up a little about the mistakes she made.
And I had to get over the guilt and just be ok with the fact that it was not the kind of Saturday or weekend that I planned to have.
Oh, and I failed to mention that as much as her leotard fit perfectly……. The sparkly things that I stuck on the front didn’t stick and kept on coming off through out the competition. #facepalm
In a nutshell, this all led into Father’s Day with us extremely tired and trying to hold our eyelids open and love on the Dad’s in our lives….. hard one I tell you. I have learned a lot from this past weekend.