My son is a klutz. He will trip and fall while walking on a completely flat, paved surface. Watching him run is like riding in the passenger seat with a drunk driver, constantly waiting for an accident to happen. My husband and I like to take walks in the evenings on a paved trail that runs through our town. On average, my son runs into at least three people during every walk. This is not a joke. He walks directly into them, usually hitting them with his head first, which can be unfortunate for some unsuspecting men (my son is a little over three feet tall and has a very large head). I’m not sure how this happens. It isn’t as if he is looking behind him or beside him. His eyes are forward and open. How does he run into 150 pound, 5-6 feet tall human beings so often?
I am usually unable to relax and enjoy the walk because I am so worried about my son’s safety and that of those around him. I have to constantly remind him to watch where he is going. He doesn’t enjoy this very much and gets pretty defensive. “I am watching where I’m going.” Usually, three to four seconds after he says this, he runs into a pole or a person. This is just when he is walking. Running is an even more perilous activity.
My son’s lack of grace is certainly not high on my list of concerns. He may have to work a little harder at sports and he probably will not get chosen first when the dodge ball teams are picked in P.E., but that’s OK. All of these fall into the, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” category. After all, I was usually one of the last three girls picked for dodge ball in grade school. In high school, I wasn’t good enough for the tennis team so I became the team manager. I even played the flute in the marching band and I turned out OK.
Obviously, I would prefer that both of my children have a positive social experience in school but do I really want them to be the most popular kid? I think not. Unchecked popularity and social ease only contribute to the sense of entitlement that our kids are destined to have. I’d prefer that my kids have some obstacles to overcome. Instead of bragging to my friends about my son’s game on Friday night, I think I’ll be quite content to say, “My son may be a klutz but he’s a computer genius. You should see the PC he built out of a paper towel roll and some clothes hangers.”