In the book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell claims that to become a success at something you must complete 10,000 hours of practice; whether its music (the Beatles) golf (Tiger Woods) or computer programming (Bill Gates.)
Let’s just say, I think a lot of parents in my town have read this book and are frantically having their kids bang out some hours.
I mean let’s be real people – who wouldn’t want a little Justin Beiber running around their huge mansion that he buys for me house.
So I sometimes get nervous that over here in the Gaga household we really haven’t started chipping away at the old 10,000 hours yet.
We have to find something first.
Tick – tock.
I mean these kids aren’t spring chickens……Michael is already 6.
I think Michael Jackson already had a gold record by then – and McCauley Culkin was probably already nailing his audition for “Home Alone.”
I mean the streets of gold aren’t going to pave themselves…..
So last year – when my then 5-year-old announced that he would like to play hockey – I thought it was a great idea. We signed up for a “learn to skate” program.
Some people said “You are nuts! It’s so expensive! It’s so much travel and you have to wake up at 5 am and go to games!”
I would just look at them knowingly – and explain that it was something that Michael wanted to do – so we were willing to try it out.
(In my head I thought – I am a super-awesome mom and you aren’t! I am willing to sacrifice so that my son can start his 10,000 hours and you are selfish. 5 am game time is no problem for my husband us – because we are great parents ……and you are assholes. Have fun waiting for your short little white kid to get drafted for basketball…..losers….)
So that first day of hockey – my son fell 500 times. It was absolutely heart-breaking to watch him flail about on the ice like a sea-lion.
God love him – he kept trying and he wanted to go back the next time, and so we kept going and he started to learn to skate.
But then I met …….the HOCKEY MOMS. You have heard of the “soccer mom?” These women blow them out of the water…….(possibly with a rifle if it’s Sarah Palin we are talking about.)
I quickly found out I wasn’t the awesome, superior mother I thought I was…….the “hockey moms” let me know that – real quick.
“Ooohhh – he’s just starting now?” one mom said with a sad face watching Michael flail about on the ice on his belly like a beached whale. “My son started when he was 3.”
“Hunter started when he was 2,” another mom said knowingly as her son zipped by us at the speed of light (backwards.)
“Well – Corey started when he was 3 months and now he’s 6 and looking to get drafted,” another mother added.
Ok – I made up the last one – but I think she was thinking it…..
So basically what they all wanted me to know was that at the early age of 5 years old – Michael was too late to start his 10, 000 hours. Not only was I not the best mother in America like I had originally believed I was a horrible mother!!
So as usual – this is what I am up against in this crazy world of parenthood. We ended up doing 20 weeks of skating last year and we were happy with our choice.
This year a lot of parents with kids Michael’s age (who by the way weren’t any better than Michael) – were going to put them on the town team. This meant paying $500, and going every Saturday and Sunday at 8 am from early October until April.
Michael was playing soccer until November and we thought he really wasn’t ready to play on the team (skill-wise.)
“Oh Tucker wasn’t ready either – so I hired Oksana Baiul’s coach. We have private lessons 4 times a week.” one mother told me when I voiced my concerns.
WTF? The only thing I do 4 times a week is laundry and who am I kidding I don’t even do that. If I spent the time and money for those lessons – my son better magically transform like in the Black Swan movie – into Oksana Baiul.
“We did a summer camp where they played hockey all day everyday. They cried every morning that they didn’t want to go – but it helped,” another mother said.
Really – on a beautiful hot summer day -your kids were indoors on ice skates?Meanwhile – we were eating ice cream from the Good Humor man and going crabbing all summer….ooops.
Needless to say – since I am failing miserably in the 10,000 hours department – when we picked back up this week with hockey it was a disaster. We signed Michael up for a more advanced “Hockey Skills” class that we weren’t really sure he was ready for.
He was not. He went to retrieve a puck and got stuck in the net and couldn’t get out and got demoted back to “Learn to Skate.”
“This is our fault! Maybe we should have done the summer camp!” I cried to my husband, “We are horrible parents – maybe Oksana is still available….”
“It’s more important that he had a fun summer and a normal childhood,” Mr. Gaga responded.
What is the right answer??
For now – we are going to work on skating for another season – and possibly sign up for a summer camp to keep up with it …..
(that is onlyif it doesn’t interfere with my “How to turn your child into the next YouTube Sensation seminar.)
JUST KIDDING!!!! OF COURSE I WOULDN’T WANT MY KIDS TO BE TORTURED YOUNG POP STARS!!! ONLY A HORRIBLE MOTHER WOULD DO THAT – SO SINCE I AM A GREAT MOTHER AND A FUNNY MOTHER – YOU CAN CLICK ON THE BANNER BELOW FOR ME!!!! THANKS – LOVE, HOCKEY MOM (not) LADY GOO GOO GAGA