From Houston Mom, Jennifer:
I have a teenage boy; to be precise he turned 13 last month. I feel like we are always driving each other crazy. He is a happy, friendly, sweet boy who can laze around and let life come and go as it does. He has the maturity to understand that mom is my biggest critic but also my biggest advocate. He is someone who knows when to hold his ground, but there are very few situations when he really feels the need to do that. This one time he wanted to pre-order a video game with his gift money and easily gave in to my guidance that he could only play it when he got all A’s!
One time, when he was just 4 years old and I was having a hard day, he came up to me and said, “Mom, nothing really matters.” I had a jaw dropping moment wondering how I could have possibly given birth to Confucius!
I on the other hand, as you may have gathered by now, am a hyper-active, multi-tasking mom. I have a significant career but also have a real curiosity for all things around me - cool activities for kids, latest events, restaurants, books, opera, broadway, cooking, you name it. Twenty-four hours simply are not enough! So in the process my super-calm-saint-of-a-kid and I are often on different planets when it comes to how one leads their day.
I see him as this balanced guy who has a very calm reaction to most things, including things 13 year-olds typically find interesting. We’ve tried many activities in this relentless search for his passion. Football, soccer, tennis, basketball, cricket, robotics, drums, piano, cello, guitar . . . you name it. Finally we stumbled on fencing through iQuriousKids.com.
He proactively started asking if he can take private lessons, and that is when I realized I need to find out more about this sport.
Fencing is an Olympic level sport. There are three types of swords one can use and it so happens that one of the best fencing schools is right here in our backyard. Alliance Fencing Academy, where Sid trains, has been the most personable experience we have had. The coaches here have a real passion for the sport and the atmosphere is so friendly and thoughtful.
I did not say this earlier, but one of the reason’s I took keen interest is because of Sarah – who manages Alliance but is also a mom who has both her kids well advanced in this sport. She gives me constant advice as a working mom. A few months after joining Coach Sergey, pulled me aside and shared that I should consider various tournaments for Sid and that he would speak with Sid to gauge his motivation.
“It is a sport that takes a lot of practice and so we need to make sure Sid wants to do this,” he said. In that statement I knew that he had picked up on my boy’s temperament. It’s very personalized and it feels great to know that my boy seems to have found the right match. It’s clear to me now that it’s not just about what he likes or where he has potential, but actually what he likes is highly dependent on where he finds an encouraging environment - where he feels setup to do well.
As a parent, this journey of giving the best possible to our kids can sometime drive us in many scattered directions. To find the right match of interest, skill, and most importantly an environment that works lock step with your child’s personality is an art. This is why a few parents started iQuriousKids.com, a website for busy parents to find the most comprehensive and well-curated, by parents, single place to search for activities that are best for your child.
Please know that despise my critique, Sid is my role model and inspiration. But I have also come to terms with the fact that I could never be him as he could not be me. So moral of the story – Realization is the first step to Reconciliation and Happiness. I am still at Step 1!