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Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

beach baseball camp

That sounds fun, doesn't it. Baseball (wiffle ball, really) on the beach. Well, not so much for my shy, introverted 6-year-old.

Yesterday was the first day of beach baseball camp. It was 9-1. But Gareth has such a hard time (a) with new people, especially when he's by himself and (b) when he can't/doesn't do something the best or perfect. Well, there are other 6yo's at the camp, but 6 is the minimum age, so there are a lot of kids who are faster (or whatever) because they are bigger/older. When I picked him up yesterday he was nearly ready to cry. I could tell he was barely holding it together, but he was. When we left, one of the leaders said to Gareth, "I hope you have a better day tomorrow." So it's not that I was totally reading more into it than was there.

We talked about it a lot Monday afternoon. We decided to try again. On Monday I was not able to stay and watch, but we agreed that I would hang out at the beach today. I told him he couldn't come over to me and I couldn't help him, but I thought maybe just my presence might be enough.

It just breaks my heart to see him sad when i know he could have so much fun.

Well, today I realized a few things.

Gareth, although he likes the idea of sports, is not a really physically active guy. I mean, he loves gymnastics, but he's SO not into running to the lifeguard tower and back three times. He likes the idea of baseball, but that is, partly, I think, because his grandpa has such uber enthusiasm for it.

I also realized that the camp is probably better for older kids, or at least for kids who have some baseball experience or kids that have some competitive experience. Gareth has neither. So when his team runs in from the field to line up to bat, all the boys who know what to do are vying for first position to bat and Gareth is at the end of the line every time. There isn't much "coaching", so he is really left to his own devices. And at this stage in his life, those devices aren't made for this situation.

So, about halfway through, we left. It just wasn't for him. He tried. He didn't ask to leave. I called him over and asked if he wanted to be done. He said yes. I don't want camp or the beach or baseball (or anything, really) to be torture. And this was.
Maybe we'll try regular baseball in the fall (or whenever it is). And maybe next year he'll want to try again. This fall he'll be in public school for the first time (first grade), and I think that will give him a lot of new skills.

Honestly, I am glad it's done. We can get on with a fun summer week of playdates. After we left camp, we went to the boardwalk (camp being right in front of the boardwalk), and he rode two new rides (of course pics to follow soon).

Tags:  beach, boys
Aw, poor little guy. It does sound like the camp was geared more towards older kids. I'm glad he tried and you pulled him out before it was too traumatic. And hey, he was left with a good memory of the day. New rides are awesome!
Pam   Wednesday, June 25, 2008
6 is an awfully young age to be put into an unfamiliar situation like that. My heart goes out to him. He should not have to stress out like that at this age. Good Luck
RickMonday   Wednesday, June 25, 2008
You're a good mom for taking him out of it. He will thank you later. You are so right though... playing a sport should be FUN. If it's not, there are plenty of other fun things for him to do!
Betsy   Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Poor Gareth. I'd rather be going on rides at the boardwalk too! That's great that you were right there to observe and recognize that it wasn't for him, at least not yet.
Leslie   Wednesday, June 25, 2008
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