(Maddie showing us her gymnastics pose)
Every Monday night our lives have changed drastically. Once what used to be just the first night of the work week as turned into gymnastics night in our house. We have now entered into the world of sports. The idea of this new area of our lives is exciting, new and well a little sad. I am very excited for Maddie being old enough at 3 years old to be able to participate in a group activity. In each class, she is with kids her own age. She is learning a new skill and learning to socialize with others. She also learning how to take turns, take directions from a teacher and be a good sport. These are all qualities that we view in our household as essential to development. Gymnastics also gives Maddie a sense of belonging . Maddie gets to go every Monday night with her friends and belong to a social group. I was told one time by a professor, “that every child just needs one friend”. (Thanks Dr. O’Ryan!) Gymnastics gives Maddie that opportunity to make that one much needed friend.
There are so many activities that we could have chosen to put Maddie in from soccer, dance or swimming. Gymnastics choose Maddie. What I mean by that is Maddie really enjoyed balancing on anything she could find that resembled a balance beam, she loved doing flips off of things, and summer saults. We felt that gymnastics was a safe alternative to our daughter’s love of adventure. We wanted to develop those skills in a safe environment while allowing her to express her creativity.
We all go as a family whenever we can and watch her. Maddie loves when her family members come and watch her. So far, both her grandmother and her Mimi have watched in her class. It is fun to see her to develop in a new active way. She may never be the next Shawn Johnson and go to the Olympics but as long as she having fun, that is all we care about.