Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Ever since Ronan first rolled over, showing off his amazing core strength, everyone in this house pegged him as the one true athlete likely to come out of it. I have no idea where he gets it, but Ronan is seriously built. He's got a six pack, sculpted shoulders, the whole nine yards. Pretty sweet for a 4-year-old.

Declan, on the other hand, was never much of an athlete. So when he started devoting his life to dress-up, we weren't too surprised. When he (and I) suffered through one season of soccer and he vowed, at the ripe old age of 4, never to play it again, it wasn't much of a shock. And so we guided Declan toward the activities a child of his nature might enjoy: Art. Drama. Guitar.

But apparently Declan and Ronan never got the memos on what their respective roles ought to be. While in Ireland earlier this month, Declan got bit hard by the soccer bug. And the running bug. And jumping bug. Before Ireland it was the swinging bug, and he would hang from the rings on the playground, flipping himself over and over and over until he was dizzy from the effort. Now Declan never walks when he can run and begs his father to take him outside after dinner each night to kick the soccer ball around.

He has become, dare I say, athletic. Or at least, athletically inclined.

Ronan, on the other hand, has become... not-so-athletic. He joins his brother and father on the soccer field, but instead of chasing the ball down the field, he practices his superhero poses. Ronan is now the child constantly in dress-up, pretending to be Superman. Why run after a soccer ball when you can fly?

I'm constantly reminded of how wrong our early expectations of our kids turn out to be. Anyone who met Erika at the age of 3 would have seen a girl constantly in frills, destined for ballet classes and braids. But 9-year-old Erika has no patience for such things; she wears yoga pants and t-shirts daily and must be reminded to brush her hair each morning. Hilary has long seemed most at peace with her nose in a book; exerting any further effort seemed to exhaust her. But now she's fallen in love with soccer as well.

I'm confident that Ronan will outgrow his obsession with dress-up, just as his brother did last year and his cousin did years ago, and look to more age-appropriate, costume-less pursuits. He may not be the athlete we all predicted him to be, but then again, perhaps he will. He is playing Tball this season, with enthusiasm if not expertise. After all, in baseball you get to dress up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. Your site is great, and I was glad to discover it through reading your latest article in the back of Kiwi Magazine. I was hugely disappointed, though, to find you refer to your son by name--Declan--so many times in the short article. My son's name is Declan as well. If over publicized, it risks becoming a hip fad name like so many others! Yikes! Protect your cool choice.