TEXAS, USA: It’s Time

TEXAS, USA: It’s Time


I remember when we brought my son home, he had the squishiest face, the most delicious chin, the chubbiest thighs and the most beautiful brown eyes that had every looked at me. He was the most precious thing I had ever held, touched or seen.

I remember his “clingy” phase of not wanting anyone else but me. I was so exhausted, but he was so happy to just have me with him. I remember his first days of preschool and the crying fits he had when I left and repeated to him over and over, “Mommy always comes back.” It broke my heart to leave him, but I also knew that it was part of him growing up and that it was time.

It’s funny when you hear that phrase…It’s time. It always means that change is coming… (more…)

Meredith (USA)

Meredith finds it difficult to tell anyone where she is from exactly! She grew up in several states, but mainly Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana which is also where she met her husband. She taught kindergarten for seven years before she adopted her son from Guatemala and then gave birth to her daughter two years leter. She moved to Lagos, Nigeria with her husband and two children in July 2009 for her husband's work. She and her family moved back to the U.S.this summer(August 2012) and are adjusting to life back in the U.S. You can read more about her life in Lagos and her adjustment to being back on her blog: We Found Happiness.

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INDIA: A Sports Club, A Community, and The Boys

INDIA: A Sports Club, A Community, and The Boys

The boys after a game of chess

The boys after a game of chess

It all started with one eleven year old boy’s boredom. He wondered how to keep himself occupied in the holidays which were to come the next week. He talked about it to his friend, and they decided to coach the younger kids in their community. And the idea evolved. Today, Ashram Avenue Sports Club, the one in my community which has over 20 kids, some coaches, some students, some both, in various types of sports have joined in the plan.

So, in my community there is a club, started by tweens. They coach the younger kids (aged from 5 to 10) in football, cricket, badminton, chess, art and crafts. They created a website, a Facebook page. They even collected money from all parents, and appointed a treasurer and are keeping balance ledgers. This money is utilized to buy supplies like balls, sport kits, first aid, etc.

There are two adults who are administrators, keeping an eye on everything they do. Once in a while they check the account books, talk to parents and just about do whatever needs immediate attention. My house is the venue for the chess coaching. An empty plot nearby is the ground for the outdoor games. Yes, they sought permission from the plot owner, and he was kind enough to rent it out to these budding idea machines for no cost at all.

So, during the weekend and holidays, they have a schedule which involves all these games with breaks in between.

I am so happy! That is the point of this post.

The parents are happy with this arrangement. There are a lot of problems, too, but everyone likes this idea. And hence, we are constantly evolving and as and when we face any issues, we try to sort it out among ourselves.

No, these kids are not great coaches. They are not training the younger kids to become Olympic Players either. For that, a few other children are enrolled in professional sports schools. But this is for keeping the children happily engaged and in a good and structured manner.

I do not know how long this will last. It has lasted now for about a month. And it has constantly been evolving into something more meaningful and more effective. This is a good community where I am living. Everybody almost knows everybody else. It has its own positives and negatives. But so far the positives have outweighed the negatives.

As a mother, what does this mean to me? Personally, my son was not an outdoorsy type of person. He was more into intellectual things and not into exploring sports and activities. Well, there is nothing wrong in that, because everyone has their own interests and abilities. But this initiative has made him explore sports. He is familiar with all sports but now he is interested in playing, too.

I do not expect him to excel in sports. I only want him to know and understand the joys of physical activity, sports and games. For that I am grateful to these “coach-children” who made this happen.

Has anything special happened in your community which left you mildly surprised and at the same time immensely thankful?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Purnima, our Indian mother writing from Chennai, India. Her contributions to the World Moms Blog can be found here. She also rambles at The Alchemist’s Blog.

Photo credit to the author.

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

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NEW YORK, USA: Olympic Hopefuls? Probably Not…and That’s OK!

NEW YORK, USA: Olympic Hopefuls? Probably Not…and That’s OK!

As I sit here watching the U.S. Olympic team trials, I am thinking about all the work these hopefuls have put into getting to this amazing place. They are all so young; the gymnasts are 16…mere children! Two of the swimmers competing for the “women’s” 50-free are 14 and 15. Michael Phelps is considered mature – he’s 27!

I smile as a swimmer jumps out of the pool and runs over to hug her mother as she makes the U.S. team. I choke up as the camera pans to a very proud mom who watches her daughter do an amazing floor routine, which seals her fate as a competitor to represent the U.S. in London. As the commercial says, none of them could have gotten to this place without their mothers. It was probably their mom who ran them to the early morning and after school practices, who hugged them when they didn’t win and encouraged them to just do their best. It was their mom who celebrated their victories (I’m sure there were many) as they progressed to get to this amazing point in their career.

I sit here wondering if I would be able to do that for my children. How do you even start your child on the road to be an Olympic hopeful? In New York City, there are so many sports available to children starting at such a young age. My son, who is 5, has already tried  soccer, gymnastics, t-ball, and swimming. He has taken guitar and language lessons, art and music. When he starts Kindergarden in September, he will add martial arts to the list. I keep asking him if he wants to keep doing a certain sport, or try a new one, and inevitably his answer (for the most part) is to try a new one.

They showed some videos of the gymnasts doing routines as 5- and 6-year-olds, which means at my son’s age they were already on the road to the Olympics. I’m not capable of being a mom that “pushes” her children, but how else could they become the best in the world?

Don’t get me wrong. I would be that mom who takes her children to all of the practices, early morning and in the evenings. I would be the one who would console a loss and praise a win, who would mend an injury and be the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines. I just don’t know if I would be able to identify that my child was so gifted in a specific sport that they should seriously compete.

When my son was 3, we joked that he would be the next Michael Phelps. He loved his swim classes, and had a long and lean body. But being in New York, with cold winters, we did not continue his lessons once it got cold out. One thing led to another, and we haven’t really started them up again. I now ask myself, did we miss his chance to realize his full potential?

Now, I’m not expecting my children to make it to the Olympics. What I am asking, is what if there is a sport or activity (dance, a musical instrument, chess club, etc) that they are naturally gifted at, and, as a mother I don’t come across it? How do we, as parents, nurture our children to their full potential if we don’t figure it out?

I know enough to realize that I don’t have the answer.  I want to be able to help my children find their natural abilities; I want them to try everything until they find something that they really love.  And then I hope that I will be able to keep sending them to lessons/practice/rehearsals.  I hope that I can help them be the best that they can be, and help them reach for the stars…if that’s what they want to do.

Have you noticed a natural ability/talent in your child?  How have you nourished and supported them?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York City, USA.

Photo credit to Andrew Evans. This photo holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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