We Don’t Do Sports. We Do Geek.
By Andrea Moreau
My husband and I are not sports people. We did not participate in sports as children and were never interested in sports growing up. My husband and I read a lot of books as children and we both got into computers when computing was new. We were…“geeks.” In the 1970s and 1980s, it wasn’t cool to be a geek.
As we entered the world of parenting, we thought it was important to instill in our son the love of the game (any game), teamwork, physical fitness, and sportsmanship to add to his education and upbringing. My husband is a computer technician and I am a teacher and librarian. Both of us have spent most of our free time with our noses buried in computers and books. So that, along with the absence of anything sports-related in our lives, undoubtedly led to the fact that our son had no interest in sports either.
While all our friends were putting their five, six and seven-year-olds in soccer, T-ball, and a variety of other little leagues, my husband and I felt the pressure of getting our son to try out a sport. But he wasn’t interested in football, baseball or basketball. When he was nine, we did manage to get him briefly interested in karate. He participated long enough to earn the yellow belt but refused to compete. Meanwhile, all around me, wherever I went, no matter who I was talking to, the subject of kids in sports always came up. I listened to parents complain or rave about their children’s participation in sports. Whether exhausting or rewarding, it seemed as if every other parent and child had sports in common.
We just didn’t do sports. Instead, we dressed up and travelled to Renaissance Fairs and comic conferences in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We played video games together. We did robotics after school. We collected Nerf guns and hunted them down at every secondhand store and flea market we could find. We built webpages and learned computer programming languages. We were geeks, and we were having fun.
Now our family has grown by two, and somewhere along the way I’ve lost the pressure I once felt to get our children into sports. They all have their very particular and unique interests and enjoy tremendous benefits from each activity. The tween does piano lessons, gymnastics (a sport!), and draws Anime. Our biological teen son modifies Nerf guns, fights Nerf battles with the South Alabama Nerf Club (running!), plays Dungeons & Dragons and plays electric guitar. Our oldest teen draws and paints on canvas, paper, and his iPad; is very active in theater club; and sings, plays piano, ukulele and guitar.
We all have our noses buried in computers or books. We are all gamers. We all have unique interests. We geek out together and separately. We’re family. And we don’t do sports; we do Geek.
Benefits of Geeking Out:
— Learning for the sake of learning
— Being an expert at something
— Creativity enhancement
— Requires you to think “outside the box”
— Provides outlets for a variety of social interactions
— Increases circle of friends
— Provides for unique experiences and opportunities
— Teaches lifelong usable skills: reading, researching, programming, networking, arts appreciation, etc.
— And finally, geeks always have the best tech.
Andrea Moreau lives in Pass Christian with her husband and three children. She is the author of “I Mustache You to Read with Me,” through Brother Mockingbird Publishers.