Today my boy turned 14. He is taller than me, funnier than me and has a sharp wit. The male between my girls. It is hardly surprising he rarely gets a word in, but that suits him. He is quiet but thoughtful. I enjoy spending time with him and he is a fountain of football trivia and constantly shares this with me and his dad.
Dylan is consumed by football. He plays for a local team every Sunday. Saturday afternoons are spent watching our local Cheltenham Town with his friends. With a packet of chips in hand, he stands and chants with the best of them. Many games are watched on the TV and when he can persuade his dad they trek up to watch the Villa at home.
Yet I sent him to a school governed by rugby.
When he started secondary I encouraged him to join rugby. He refused. Point blank. He also refused to go to football training. He doesn’t like new situations. The transition to secondary was not easy for him. Not only is it a rugby school but I sent him to a different school to his friends. A Catholic school that his friends were not able to choose. He found it really hard and I coached him (every night) to make new friends. As a mum that was a tough time and I questioned whether I had made the right decision in sending him there. To see him unhappy and struggling was not easy but I kept positive I told him it would get better. In time it did. He got in with friendship group he wanted he became one of them.
Then Dylan started growing early, I mean he was never tiny – he was 9lb4 born, but puberty hit early. He is now in year 9 and I had given up trying to get him to join in with school sports. I took consolation in that he played football outside school, and therefore that was enough. Then a funny thing happened.
He came home from school last November and shared that he was playing in a rugby match in the second team because the team was short and his friends had pleaded with him. I had to quickly get a mouth guard and the right socks and off he went. They won and he enjoyed it. Next thing he was training twice a week. Last weekend it was another game except he was playing for the 1st’s. Still I wasn’t allowed to watch.
Tonight at his birthday meal he casually drops in that he has been selected for a 7’s tournament. One team- from his year and his name was on the sheet. It meant little to me until Chloe told me that this is a pretty big deal. That it is really only for the best boys. That being selected for this stands you apart from the rest, it shows that you have been noticed. Most of those picked will have been playing rugby for quite a while. Yet Dyl admitted he still doesn’t know all the rules! He knows what the backs do but doesn’t have much of an idea of what happens in a scrum!
I had pretty much given up on him doing school sports and once again he has surprised me. I certainly never imagined it would be rugby.
What’s the point of this post? I’m not really sure but it should be about not taking things for granted. Realising that you can change track at anytime and finally don’t underestimate kids. Give them time, let them go at their own pace and you may be surprised along the way.
I don’t pressure my kids but I do give them lots of opportunities. I know Dylan only commits to things when he is ready. I’m glad he has found his feet.