Hello mamas and papas!
Do your kids have a passion? Something they live and breathe, talk about all day long, read about and fantasize about? Have their passions caught fire with you?
For my boys, soccer occupies them day and night. They love to play, watch, and talk about soccer. More often than not, I’m tearing soccer balls away from them lest they break yet another lamp in my house. They play on teams and with each other, and know which games are being broadcast well in advance so that they can ask Mommy whether they can stay up late and watch. When the finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup were broadcast here in Spain at 3 a.m. last Saturday night, my boys were bitterly disappointed when I told them that it was just too late. “Mom,” they insisted “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” That the U.S. team won was cause for much joy the next day — and for hearty criticism of Mom for not allowing them to wake up, stay up, and watch!
While in Barcelona last summer, we visited the Barça, the world-renowned stadium for Barcelona’s home team. While figuring out what to do in Madrid earlier this month, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium sat as #1 on the boys list for Madrid sites to see. I was pleased to learn that his stadium for Real Madrid soccer (or football or futbol) boasts an impressive museum filled with historical artifacts and interactive experiences for kids and adults alike. Watch my little video to see some glimpses of our visit.
One great thing about seeing your kids develop interests of their own is finding yourself swept up into their interests. Although I grew up in a family that was passionate about basketball, I never personally felt the pull. Now here I am in my 40’s developing a passion alongside my boys for soccer. Soccer is a fun sport because it is so international and involves so many different countries; in learning about soccer, my boys are learning about the world.
As we strolled around the Real Madrid stadium, I thought about the importance of passions. It’s so crucial to create and nurture hobbies and interests as an important part of our lives. Interests and passions enliven us, connect us to others, and fill our lives with joy and meaning.
Moms and Dads, as overwhelmed as you might be with the work of caring for young kids, never ignore your passions. Whether your passion is sports, art, reading, exercise, or spending time with friends, nurture that passion. Passions enrich our lives. And as families, we can enrich each other and connect to each other through our passions.