Friday, January 30, 2009

The Next Generation

This morning I went to the gym. Normally on Friday mornings I'd be swimming, but since the heater at the pool has gone on strike (and we are all well aware of my aversion to cold), I opted not to subject myself to going numb in that frigid water. Instead I headed off to sweat indoors.

At one point as I was stacking some weights, an older Asian woman caught my attention and paid me a nice complement regarding the muscles in my arms. I smiled and thanked her, mumbling something about being a swimmer. The she said the following, "You know, it's nice to see you young girls here working out. When I was your age, they told me 'you can't do that'."

It really got me thinking. For the rest of my workout I was envisioning Moana's future. She'll never be told 'you can't do that'. In fact, I think the environment that she is going to grow up in is going to be pretty darn cool for her.

I could be totally wrong on this... who knows what she'll be like when she's a toddler or a teenager. But it makes sense to me that kids look up to their parents as role models, and Moana's role models are going to be pretty active people. I'm not going to force her to be an athlete, but 'normal' in her world will be to watch her mom swim, bike, run, lift weights... and watch her dad surf and play soccer. I was also a gymnast and a diver growing up, so she might be exposed to those sports as well. It just makes sense that after watching me finish a 10K that she might want to do that kids race they put on.

And I've heard what a nightmare it is to get your kids to eat their vegetables. But what if mom and dad eat vegetables? What if we eat them not because we have to, or because we're trying to set a good example for her... what if we eat them because we genuinely like them? Won't that rub off on her?

10 comments:

Clare said...

it all makes sense...let's hope it works that way!!

N.D. said...

You 2 are going to be awesome role models for Moana and fabulous parents! I love the onesie/tshirt that she is wearing!

jessica said...

I think you've got the right idea. My Lola likes veggies because they're just not a big deal in our house. We don't force her to eat anything or sneak veggies into her food. I just try to make things that look and taste good, and we all eat the same meals (except where husband has meat and I have a vegetarian protein).

Then, my mother-in-law comes over and goes on & on about how "amazing, just AMAZING!" it is that Lola likes broccoli or tofu. Well, she DID like it until you made her realize she's not supposed to!

Lizzie said...

Michelle -you are so right! When I was growing up both my parents were always active. They played tennis, took us hiking, swimming either at the pool or the beach on holidays, encouraged us to play sports at school etc. When I was in my last two years at high school, long walks with my mum in the evening were the best stress relievers! Now my brother and I are both very active. We also had to eat everything mum made (not in a forceful way, but there wasn't really any other choice so you just did) and because of that my husband (also brought up a similar way) and I eat a wide variety of food and especially healthy things. You guys are such a great example to Moana - not to mention that she's going to be growing up in a beautiful place where you just want to be outside!

Angela and David Kidd said...

I hope your theory about vegetables is correct. The way Zach attacked his spoon last night I'm guessing he won't be finicky eater.

And while I really want Zach to be an athlete I will love him just the same if he's not, but if he's really into drama or band I'm not sure I'll know how to talk to him.

Running and living said...

You two are great role models. Don't set your hopes up with teh veggies, though. My husband and I eat tons of veggies, yet my 3 year old has not touches one veggie in his entire life. I am hoping that once he starts doing sports that will change - this is what happened to me! Good luck, Ana-Maria

Angela said...

Tim and I haven't spared the tasting of any vegetable for either child. They may make a funny face or even spit a few spoonfuls out...I just put it away and try again a few days later. Both will try them all and eat most anything we put in front of them. With the exception of asparagus.

Alicia Parr said...

Kids do want to do what Mommy & Daddy do (until they are teenagers). You'll see this sooner than you think when Moana starts wanting to do the things you guys do (eat with silverware, type on the computer, etc.)

Anyway, your story reminds me of what my Mom used to tell me about being an athlete. She said that I have a lot more opportunities than she did. Title 9 had a big impact and it wasn't all that long ago.

Audrey said...

This is the theory I have for Everett. We eat lots of vegetables, fresh vegetables not frozen or canned. And we have already purchased tons of seeds for our large garden so he will see where his food comes from. I already show him the different vegetables when we are grocery shopping hoping to start those seeds of good nutrition early. *smile*

You look wonderful, btw. And Moana is cute as always.

DC Running Mama said...

I totally agree...I think there are definitely different standards and role models for our generation. I can't imagine my parents EVER stepping in a gym or going for a run. I hope to have an active family...and one that tries new things.