My youngest son loves the Phillies! In the spring, he started really watching the games. We thought he was using it as an excuse to stay up late. But then he began turning on Comcast Sports Network first thing in the morning to see updates on the Phils or to see how a game turned out if he had to go to bed before it was over.
He started learning all the players and their stats. He became opinionated about when relief pitchers were put into the games, yelling at Papelbon. He started arguing (through the TV) with the umps over “unfair” calls.
He began playing my husband’s MLB game for the PS3 more than he was playing Pokemon, Mario, and Minecraft. As his birthday rolled around in July, he asked for MLB13 since the one he was playing was from 2009 and didn’t have the current players on it.
As he’s played MLB and from watching the Phils, he’s also learned the players on the other teams. He can hold an intelligent, informed conversation with adults about the season. My mom gets tickets from work and so he’s gotten to go to 4 games this year.
And my husband LOVES it! Jeff is a sports guy. He loves all the Philadelphia teams and Penn State. When he became a father of sons, I’m sure he pictured himself having catches, spending Saturdays watching Penn State football together, spending Sundays watching the Eagles together and of course watching the Phillies together all summer long.
My oldest doesn’t have much of an interest in sports. He’ll get into it at the game, but other than that not so much. My middle son loves sports, but would rather play than watch. Jeff loves getting out back and playing with him. My youngest likes to play too, but like I said this year, it’s all about watching the Phils. And it has really brought him much closer to my husband.
He can’t wait for Jeff to get home from work to tell him about a trade or some other Phillies news. They play MLB13 together. And they have a great time going to the games, just the 2 of them.
But what happens when you don’t have any shared interests with your kids? My oldest is all about Minecraft … that’s all he wants to talk about. And Jeff and I really have no interest in talking about it with him! I really could care less about mining for gold or diamonds, or creeping, or which server to go on. I don’t want to sing or listen to all the Minecraft parodies … really I don’t. Actually, all 3 love Minecraft, but the other 2 will at least talk about other things as well.
So what do we do? Do we just not talk with our son because that’s all he wants to talk about? Do we force him to talk about other things? Or do we join in on the conversation?
I remember back when Jeff and I were first married. Remember I said he’s a sports guy? That’s what he likes to talk about. So on my way home from work, I’d listen to sports radio. Not because I cared about the latest trades or rumors of trades or injuries or whatever. But because my husband cared, and I loved him. I wanted to be able to talk with him about things he loved. So I would listen on the way home and at dinner we’d talk sports.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing that, and I’ll be honest, I often now tune him out as he talks sports. Perhaps, I need to start listening again so he knows I care about him and love him!
But also perhaps I need to start playing Minecraft, or at least reading up on it, and actually listening to my oldest when he talks about it. Because I love him and I care about him and I want him to know it. And, I love that he talks to me at all … I don’t want him to stop. I’m reminded of something I heard once from Catherine Wallace (I don’t know Ms. Wallace or anything she stands for, so I’m not endorsing her … but I agree with this):
In an ideal world, my sons and I would love the same things. They would love sitting around the table doing crafts with me. They would enjoy going clothes shopping. They would read the books I love and want to talk about them. I would always enjoy being around them and we’d have fun doing things together that we all love. But it’s not an ideal world, and I suppose that means I need to make some sacrifices to build the relationships that I want to have with my boys … even if it means talking about Minecraft~
Pressing on Together (&
enduring enjoying endless conversations about Minecraft),