Go, Ryan!

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By Heidi Hess

Everyone is cheering loudly.  I’m chanting “Go, Go, Go!”.  Ryan (my son) and his friends are on the court getting ready to compete. He looks at me and gives me the evil stink eye.  I give him the “I’m your mom and there’s nothing you can do about it” look.  

It’s a little surreal.  This is the gym of the high school I graduated from.  And now, here is Ryan on the court competing.  It’s probably even more surreal for my husband.  He also graduated from this school and played basketball on this floor.  

Only now,  Ryan isn’t playing a basketball game… he’s competing in the Mouse Trap Car challenge for SECME. So, if you haven’t guessed the acronym by now it stands for Science, Engineering, Communications, Mathematics, and Enrichment.  The kid that can’t stand team sports is competing.., on the basketball gym floor… with a car he built.  He’s not a jock.  He’s a science nerd.  

I couldn’t be more proud.  I mean, would it have been neat to have him take an interest in sports?  I guess.  That’s more of his Dad’s thing.  And this makes me pause… what other unwritten expectations do we have for our kids?  How many times did they do something simply because we expected them to?  

I’m watching Ryan.  He’s on the floor tending to the car.  He took the lead on this project.  Is there a greater gift than to see our kids in their element?  To watch them thrive even if it isn’t exactly the way we thought it would turn out.  Absolutely.  

In a way, Mark kind of got his wish.  Ryan is here, competing on the basketball gym floor.  He’s not a jock.  He’s not really even a science nerd.  He’s exactly who he wants to be and that’s pretty flipping great. 

Go, Ryan!