My Son, The Generalist
In a world of pre-teen Mandarin speakers, coders and lacrosse gods, our columnist makes the case for just goofing off.By Jill Kargman
For birthdays, he was gifted baseball mitts, a Hess truck, a onesie with a bulldozer on it. It could have all been purple flowers and glittering faeries and it wouldn’t have mattered. He was a little thug. He had ants in his pants. He had untamable energy so I figured I would follow the herd and shove him into sports.
Around three, he started a little soccer class. Let’s just say I didn’t have a budding Beckham on my hands. At tennis clinic in his little whites the neon ball smashed him in the ween. He got winded and didn’t want to run around during basketball. Okay, I thought. Maybe he’s not college recruitment material. This is New York City after all, who cares? I’m not shackin’ up in the 203 aka Connecticut where that bullshit is a big deal and your sport is part of your identity. Moving on!
I signed up for music class at Diller-Quaile, which is Manhattan’s kiddie-Juilliard. He was so wild he almost burned the place down; there was no crisscross-applesauce to be had for the glockenspiels or drum song. Acting? Barf. Cooking? Snooze. Spanish? ¡No, gracias! Fletch wanted none of it.
Read the rest here.
A public confession of the fact your kid is not [name of concert hall, space lab, or sports arena] material qualifies as a shock and a balm these days.
Most kids are not heading in LeBron’s footsteps, or Einstein’s. Recognizing the beauty of a childhood with lots of time to just be — not train, not get ahead, not pad the resume — is freeing for both generations. And summer is a great time to experience it. – L.