I’m still working on convincing Robbie of the importance of football. Though many would argue that there are far more important life skills to be teaching a one year old boy, my focus on prioritising such aspects has always been a little off key.
I can’t wait to be writing all about our first real sporting memories together from the first match we attend all the way to Robbie’s winning goal in the World Cup final but, for now, fellow sports fan and Father Oli Harris has kindly stepped in to share his stories. Take it away Oli…
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Sharing Sporting Memories with someone who might not remember them
My son is only 4 and a half, and has a number of wide-ranging interests, which are largely non sporting.
He of course loves Dinosaurs, and can pronounce most of them better than we can, and is very familiar with the numerous shapes, sizes and characteristics of his favourite prehistoric creatures.
Then there are the more popular interests such as Power Rangers, PJ Masks, Annoying children playing with toys on YouTube and so on. I am not particularly discouraging of his interest in these and I like him to choose his own likes and dislikes.
Maybe one day he will share with me my passion for sport and exercise, in the same way that I did with my father, and based of a couple of examples, I can be positive in that regard for the future.
Football Shirts – Not a lot of choice about it
When we first set up a proper bedroom for him, I surprised him by decking the whole thing head to toe with his favourite toys, colourful posters, play mats and pictures on the wall. He was thrilled and his room has long been a place that he knows he is safe in. One memory I hope he will keep and be fond of however was the arrival of 5 old football shirts.
When digging around at my old house I found 4 Spurs shirts and one I bought in Barcelona some time back. As a young man I bought the shirts whenever they came out, whereas now, although still a fan, I never buy a shirt. I thought perhaps my son might like to cover up a bit of white space on that big empty wall… Or at the very least I thought it was probably a good idea!!
So I put the 4 spurs shirts on hangers and hammered a few nails into the wall, voila, a tribute and something I can share with him at the very same time.
He seemed to like then and he loved hearing the stories of how and when I bought them. Our first football memory together without him knowing it!
Tennis – Playing better with people watching
I play a lot of tennis and as such my son knows that a couple of nights a week I am off to training or to play matches. Although he doesn’t understand the rules, he knows what is roughly going on and often asks if he can come and watch.
I always say yes, as long as Mummy doesn’t mind driving you as I can’t play and look after you at the same time. He often frowns as I think he’d like to come along just with me but there are some practicalities we can’t get around!
It was one night last Summer though when he and his Mum surprised me in the middle of a league match by showing up at the tennis club to watch. He was fascinated with all the people playing and I loved looking over to see them both sitting there snacking on their picnic whilst watching us labour to a painful victory.
I have always played better with people watching. With my family watching I play better still. Wonderful memories for me and I hope that in the future he will remember coming to watch me play with fondness.
Make memories now, treasure them later
Although it is early days in terms of my son’s involvement in sport, we already have created some lovely memories that he probably won’t remember. However, if you make them now, it’s possible to look back on them later on, so I urge you to do things with your kids that make you feel good now so that they can share in the experience when they are ready and able.
Oli Harris is the founder of The Sporting Blog and is a slave to a 4 year old boy and a 4 year old dog. In the time he has spare he likes to write about his life with them, and what he hopes to do with them in the future.
Disclaimer… I had no idea that Oli was a Spurs fan until I saw his piece. Too late to back out now though, thanks Oli!
There’s a definite theme occurring that I can’t help but dispute. Almost each and every time a member of the public stops to talk to Robbie, they refer to him as a ‘little angel.’ Of course, I always give the typical parent reply of “you should see him at home” or something along those lines.
So here we are back in lockdown and to be honest, I’m looking forward and hoping the next few weeks are better than the last.
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