Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lola Meets the Wonderful World of Georgia Bulldog Sports

Throwing a child from another country in the midst of a Georgia Bulldogs game day crowd is nothing short of shock therapy; therefore, I felt it best to introduce Lola to the Georgia fan base on a little calmer level (if that is truly possible). We attended the Women's SEC Gymnastics Championship yesterday. I'm so happy that gymnastics on the college level has become so popular. Each year the attendance at these events gets bigger. Last night they boasted an attendance of over 7,000 people! That's probably twice as many fans as the attendance for the last time the finals were held at Gwinnett Arena! We sat in a middle section that allowed us the best view of the floor and beam events. I pointed out the Georgia team and Lola took it from there. By the time the scores were tallied Lola was cheering along with the rest of the Gym Dog fans! As usual, the Georgia team won - - they did have some pretty fair competition this year, though. Alabama's team keeps looking better all the time and Louisiana State has some pretty amazing athletes as well. We had a very good time and Lola enjoyed people-watching as much as she did watching the gymnasts! The Georgia fans were rowdy, but at this level it was more entertaining than scary. Lola is also very interested in hearing more about the U of GA equestrian team! Perhaps one day soon we will drive to Athens to attend one of their competitions.

A couple days ago Lola went outside with some sidewalk chalk and a package of wet wipes. I wondered what on earth she was up to, so a little later I wandered out to see what her game plan was all about. I found that she had set up stations where she could do a specific activity, such as jump-rope, the mini-trampoline, soccer, then biking, etc. She had about eight activities set up, as well as a grid drawn in chalk on the sidewalk (all in Russian, which was pretty fun to see) describing each activity, the number of minutes planned for each, as well as how many times the activity was done during the time spent at the station. For example, she did the hula-hoop station first. She counted the number of hula hoop revolutions done during a ten-minute period, then wrote them down on the grid. Then she went to the mini-trampoline and jumped for five minutes and counted the number of jumps done. By then she was a bit tired so she decided to continue the next day. The sad thing is it rained yesterday and most of her grid had been washed away.... I offered to help her set it up again and suggested maybe next time she could put it on paper instead of on the sidewalk. That way she could do some of the quieter activities indoors in the event it rained again. It is so much fun to see her imagination in action!

It saddens me, though, to see parents (and other adults) frown upon children doing silly things like playing with their food at a restaurant or seeing how many times they can hop on one foot down the main aisle of Wal-Mart. I think some parents try to mold their children into little adults by telling them some of the things they do are not age-appropriate and then follow that up with a lecture on why can't the child 'grow up' and act their age - - - but they ARE NOT grown up and they ARE acting their age!! I won't get on my little soapbox about this subject, but while I was in college I wanted to do a paper on the subject of society squelching the creative process of the teenage mind during high school and college - - aka kids are still kids and it's ok for them to act like kids!! The human mind is in a constant state of discovery and each person has his or her own way of finding out how things tick! Ok, enough said, or I will go on forever about this...

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