Thursday, February 9, 2012

To a T

I signed Sophie up for t-ball today. Its a league run through the county rec center, games start in April. When a friend from my moms' group first forwarded an email about it, I honestly didn't even really consider it.

Up until now, all of Sophie's activities have been uni-sex. Swim, tumbling, crafts, nature center; there was no question of their interest and appropriateness for both boys and girls. But we're getting to the age where I would like to get Sophie involved in team sports. She's a very physical, active kid and we think that organized sports will be a good outlet for her.

Despite that, when the idea was floated of t-ball, I almost dismissed it without a second thought. Unconsciously, I had separated it out into a "boy" activity. But I saved the email. And as other friends responded to the thread either affirming that they wanted to register their children or that they weren't interested, the idea germinated in my mind.

Sophie is very good at hitting a ball with a bat. She can reliably hit a pitched ball and can hit the stuffing out of a ball on a stand. We played baseball in the back yard with the neighbor boys for two summers, hitting and catching and running bases. And she loved it.

When I was just a little older than Sophie is now, I wanted to play in Little League. I think I was a lot like Sophie when I was a child, exuberantly athletic. At that time, in my small town, Little League was the only team sport available for kids my age. But it was only for boys, so I couldn't play. With the abundance of team sports available for both sexes now, it seems insane that just 30 years ago, things were so different, but they were.

I think of myself as a fairly progressive parent. While I do think there are areas where one or the other sex is stronger, I don't necessarily think that means that children of the opposite sex are barred from that activity. Which is why it surprises me that I dismissed t-ball at first. I'm a modern mama. But some things are rooted deep and perhaps that early experience with baseball tainted my views today.

But the more I thought about it, the more right it seemed. So I signed her up. She will likely be in the minority, but I know there will be at least a few other girls. But even if she is the only one, I know she is going to be an all star.