OMG! He's SMILING!!!

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Harv

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I finally figured out what's different!

After a surprisingly successful first season competing at level 4, the coaches skipped my boy from level 4 to level 6. If any of you had the patience to read my posts during this last year, you might recall that the age difference between my 11-year old and the much younger level 4's had been pretty stressful for him. Nobody's fault -- it' was just a natural level of maturity sort of thing.

Well, a few weeks ago he finally joined the level 6 group (actually, it's a combined levels 6 and 7 group). He was anxious and nervous all at the same time. Although he had watched these guys from a distance at workouts, he never really had much chance to mingle with them, so he felt very much like an outsider encroaching on their well-established territory.

It turns out that this group (and higher) had been observing (and even admiring) him all last season, so he was welcomed with handshakes and slaps on the back right from the start. It was instant camaraderie! :eek: :) :D Suddenly he was with true peers of his own age (he's right in the middle now), learning skills he's been dying to try, and just plain having a good time.

From my perch on the gym balcony, I've been mostly concerned to see if he's up to the challenge of this two-level jump. In fact, I was so focused on that that I was missing the obvious. There was something different about him out there now. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on. It wasn't until we were reviewing the videos I shoot at every workout I can get to that it finally hit me. My little dude was smiling! :eek: Sadly, that virtually never happened all last season (seriously).

Sometimes change is good. :D



-Harv
 
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mariposa

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Yay!! Glad you finally figured out what was different about him and that it was something as wonderful as smiling at gym practice. It is amazing how different situations, whether it be coaching, being in the right level, etc, can make a difference. What a handsome son you have!

And yes, sometimes change can be good, scary, but good. :)

Can't wait to hear all about him when he starts competing again!
 

bogwoppit

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That smile is priceless and says it all, he is in the right place.
 
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BlairBob

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Cool and good to hear.

Maybe he would smile more if they didn't just put a bowl on top of his head while having his hair cut. :eek::D;)
 
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Harv

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Maybe he would smile more if they didn't just put a bowl on top of his head while having his hair cut
I think you're right, BlairBob -- it's probably time for a change. Which of these cuts do you think would look better on him?



:D :D :D

Yeah, we (and his coaches) have been trying to talk him into a more streamlined cut, but in truth, that's a pretty common style at his school. At that age, it's all about image, and that's the one he's chosen. :(

He's high on the honor roll and he won the state championships in gymnastics. Seems like we owe him a little latitude here. Parenting can be a tricky business. :rolleyes:

FWIW -- just yesterday he agreed to try something shorter as soon as school lets out. We'll see...

- Harv
 

bogwoppit

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Let it be on the hair, if he thinks it's cool and his friends don't tease him leave it alone. My son has blue hair this week, don't ask, and you know he is still awesome . Hair is one of the few things they can control, better than tatts or peircings in my book. Way better than being BALD!!!!!!! (like my hubby who I adore)
 
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taximom

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Glad to hear your son fit right in to his new group! He has a beautiful smile and I like his longer hair. My 12 year old son looks like a surfer boy as well and his swim coach keeps after him to cut it to reduce drag but so far he's not buying in!
 
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BlairBob

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#3 and #4 were my polevault mop during my senior year in HS...last century at the tail end. yes, they got in my face all the time but I wasn't able to get to my preferred barber since I was living with my friend and I wasn't gonna let supercuts touch my hair.

#1 and #2 were as I was growing it out. Ze girls preferred it long, and just recently it was wayyyy longer than last summer. However, I went back to high and tight just recently.

I was actually kidding most of my boys today since it was picture day about their bowl cuts. I told them at least it was cheap and easy but that's why they weren't getting the girly attention that Ben ( the other long hair mopped boy ) and I always got. Chicks dig the long hair. All the little girls always loved talking to Ben, which was funny since supposedly he has a little gf at school.

Btw, I claim to have the fashion sense of a rhino. Just as blind and care just as much. If you think my hair was bad, then my sandaltan and surfer shorts+hawaiian shorts probably outdo it.

Some boys just don't seem to care about their hair really and some do. I find it kinda interesting and amusing at times.
 
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Harv

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Thanks for the kind words, y'all! I guess this is a good place to share a smile. :D

The hair discussion is fun. Nice to know it's a common issue, and like bogwoppit sez, long hair is way better than tatts or piercings. (But... blue? :rolleyes:)

Oh, and BlairBob -- I was trying to provide you anonymity by blurring the faces. Now you've let the cat out of the bag. :p And just for the record, my boy's haircut isn't cheap. More like 18 bucks. Maybe 'cuz it's not a true bowl cut, but more of a helmet. His 16-year old sister calls him "Helmet Head". :D Keep the comments coming. I like the way you express yourself. "Fashion sense of a rhino" -- kept me chuckling for quite a while.

And just to wrap this up, I should have started this thread off with a "then" and "now" approach. The difference in my boy's expression last season can be seen here at his most joyous triumph at the state meet, just weeks ago. Seems like it would have been a time for grinning from ear to ear, but instead he wore the same expression he'd had all season, even on the podium. :(

What a difference, eh?



- Harv
 

Blackie6

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WOW! What a handsome guy! I have 3 (DS 13, DS11 and DD8 is the gymmie) and it is great as a parent to see that smile and know they are really enjoying something! My 11 yr old tried a new sport this yr, wrestling. I hated it, but he loved it and what could I do but be amazed at his work ethic & conditioning and just try to deal with meets where he was probably getting put into a choker hold or head lock! As long as he wanted to be there and he came off the mats smiling...it was all good!

Wish you lots of luck, your DS sounds quite talented and sounds like he found his place in the gym!
 

Blackie6

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Oh just read the responses about the hair, LOL, yesh it is an 11 yr old thing. My son is the same way. 2 summers ago I got him to cut it shorter w/the promise of adding some blond highlights. It worked and he loved his hair. Might have to do it again this summer because he dives and spends so much time in the pool it's just easier! I agree though, as a parent you have to give a little sometimes, especailly if they are good kids just seeking a little 5th/6th grade style!
 

CreateMagic

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This hair discussion cracks me up, and I need to add to it, haha. I teach seventh-grade and long hair right now is so "in." At least you can see your son's face! I have some students for whom that is asking way too much :)

What a difference in his expression! I'm glad to hear he is doing well and enjoying himself now...that's what its all about, right? Look forward to hearing updates throughout the season! I'm sure it will be great!
 
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