Today at work someone was asking for suggestions of a musical instrument for their young daughter to take up.

I am the wrong person to ask.

I am a chronic quitter, always have been.

When I was in elementary school I took gymnastics classes. Within weeks I was told I was “too tall” to be in the tumbling class and “not advanced enough” for the next class.

me gymnast

What I did instead of gymnastics.

So, I quit.

I took up the flute, but learning how to read music gave me the same kind of panic attack as those timed multiplication charts.

So, I quit.

I took Jazz dance with a friend of mine from the ‘hood and couldn’t memorize the steps to save my life. Not to mention that I resembled a knock-kneed skeleton on crack.

dancing skeleton

So, I quit.

I was an aspiring artist for awhile, until I had a teacher who was a tad too touchy feely in middle school. I figured if I started drawing like a kindergartener, he’d keep his man paws off my bony shoulders.

me dolophin chalk

That is one crappy dolphin.

So, I quit.

In 6th grade, I was forced by my mother to audition for a play. (there were tears, refusals… much drama, how apropos) I screwed up my lines the very first night of the run and… wanted to quit.

But, the lure of the stage was too great. The chance to be someone else, so that even if you DID mess up, it was almost like it wasn’t you anyway, so who cares?

nerdy theatre

Theatre DORK.

No groping theatre teachers either, for obvious reasons.

In retrospect, I would’ve excelled at soccer or swimming. But, those weren’t given as options back then.

me swimming

Everything was clearly delineated by gender.

My big brothers played football, soccer, did karate, track and even golf.

me soccer

Relegated to soccer spectator.

I… played in the backyard pool and read a lot of books with my door shut.

Now, I am at a loss when it comes to how to go about getting my children involved in extracurricular activities.

I tried to offer my daughter every possible sports option, even the clearly masculine ones like football. (I did forget about wrestling, but I don’t even want to watch my son wrestle. I don’t want to watch anyone wrestle)

She immediately expressed an interest in dancing (which I’ve mentioned is not going to be her strong suit) and horse back riding. (which could kill her)

My son’s obsession with balls and in particular kicking them will make soccer the likely choice.

huck soccer

But, how does a quitter teach their children not to quit?

How does someone with zero aptitude or athleticism ensure that their children lead healthy, well-rounded little lives?

I see other parents generally pushing their kids toward their favorite activities.

The hockey dad puts his son in hockey.

The Capoeira mom puts the kids in Capoeira. (Hi, Lissette!)

inti capoeira

So, what does the mom who writes news, reads and drags herself to the Y to workout put her kids in?

“Honey, I am signing you up for boredom on Saturdays and Mediocrity on Sundays. Wednesday nights are for slovenly laziness and if the spirit moves you, perhaps a vigorous stroll.”

kids chilling

My kids will excel at chilling.