Son Number One said the funniest thing he's ever said the other day. He asked his mom if we had any weights.
“Weights?” she asked, while trying not to laugh directly into his face. “Like dumbbells to lift?” *partially stifled snort*
“Uhh... Yes we do. Why do you ask?”
“I want to start working out. I need to work on my core. I can't even do a sit-up.”
*red-faced, snorting cough and quick turn away* “That’s great, honey.”
Please don't misunderstand. We are not normally in the habit of laughing at and mocking our children. I mean, not unless they do something incredibly stupid. Then, they’re just bringing it on themselves.
Anyway, this wasn't one of those times, so we were fighting very hard to keep straight faces. You see, the request for free weights and a workout routine would have seemed completely normal coming from Son Number Two, and would have been odd but believable from Number Three, but Son Number One? He doesn't like to move.
If you want to get him to groan, moan, whine, and complain all in one sentence, just wait for him to be sitting and then tell him he needs to get up. Want to hear him howl? Ask him to come upstairs to talk to you. He’s only eleven years old and he already sounds like he’s ninety.
Very early on in his first season, he asked his soccer coach if he could just go ahead and be goalie all the time, because as he put it, "I don't really like to run much."
Years later in his athletic career, Son Number One was told by his mean parents that he would be on his elementary school's cross country running team. After an intense period of whining we answered his main recurring question of “Whyyyyyyy????????”
“Because we participate on school sports teams and cross country is the only sport at your school.”
The other obvious reason was that his parents are all about any school-sponsored way to keep their kids out of the house for as long as possible, but we didn’t mention that part.
Son Number Two was told that he would be on the cross country team as well, and his response to the news was different than Son Number One’s, although it did involve him.
“I’m going to beat him!” was all he said.
We had very little doubt. Number One’s love of running had not yet blossomed at that point. Still hasn’t as a matter of fact.
At their first cross country meet, Son Number Two’s goal was to place in the top twenty runners. He met his goal. Son Number One's goal was, and I quote, "to not come in last." He also met his goal. By one runner. He was second to last. I think he beat a kid who was walking the course while playing Minecraft on his iPod.
It’s not a lack of ability. He can run really fast. I’ve seen him chase his brother when he’s angry. The boy’s got some jump. It’s just a lack of drive. That’s what makes baseball the perfect sport for him. The running is very short and far between episodes.
So given his eleven-year-and-counting streak of not wanting to give too much effort, we were more than a little surprised when he asked us for workout equipment. To his credit, we’re on day three of workout mania, and he hasn’t abandoned the five-pound weights yet. But I will maintain a cautious level of optimism, based on this conversation this morning:
“I just did a hundred curls on each arm.”
“Hmm... really feeling the burn, huh?”
“Well, A) maybe we need to get you bigger dumbbells, and B) I’m pretty sure that didn’t help your core. You should do sit-ups.”
“That’s the problem, I can’t do sit-ups very well.”
“What do you mean? I don’t get it.”
“I know you don’t son. I love you.”
“Whatever. You’re weird. Can I go watch TV now?”
“Sure. Find something really funny. It’ll help your core.”
See you soon,
Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen
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