It's time for March Madness, everybody! Fill out your brackets, root for your favorite team, and get ready for a wild ride!!!!
Oh wait, not everybody is as basketball crazy as we are at my house? You're forgiven. I wasn't really basketball crazy either until I married Lee. I had to learn to be basketball crazy in self defense. Baseball crazy too, but I've got a couple weeks before the season starts. Fortunately for me, it ends there. Lee isn't really much of a football or hockey or soccer fan.
I've really been thinking about the way other people influence our own likes and dislikes, and particularly how that works when parents are the ones influencing their children. So I'm breaking it down into the microcosm of sports.
As I've said before, the sport that I have always liked is gymnastics. I'm also very partial to dance, cheerleading, and figure skating. Notice a trend? I am just in awe of the powerful ways men and women can make their bodies move, the nearly impossible ways they can defy gravity. It's incredibly impressive. So those are the sports I have always liked. But when I got married, I began living with a baseball and basketball fanatic. I had to learn the basics of the games just because they seemed to be always on my TV.
To my great surprise, I actually really, really like baseball. Go Tigers!!! I like basketball okay, too, but I've fallen in love with baseball. And I never would have given baseball a chance without my husband's influence, because I always thought it seemed like a boring sport. So though I tolerate and even enjoy basketball, I still only like it because it's something my husband and I have in common, something we can do together. I like baseball for my own self now.
Meanwhile my husband still really doesn't like cheerleading, but has learned to tolerate dance and figure skating. Plus, he's begun pointing out to me when gymnastics competitions are scheduled to come on TV, and he'll sit down and watch them with me. So we've each influenced each other to like things that we wouldn't naturally have liked.
But I wonder how much influence our likes will have on our daughter. She's only two, but so far, we've already taken her to basketball games and gymnastics meets. She's taken swimming lessons, and we're looking to get her signed up for a gymnastics class soon. She loves the water (I hate swimming), enjoys basketball games (but mostly just likes the giant mascot), and dances every time she hears music. How much of her future likes will stem from these early influences, and how much will be her own personality shining through? It's the nature vs. nurture debate all over again.
Already, we've taught our daughter that the proper response to the phrase "Go Green!" is "Go White!" What can I say, we're big MSU Spartan fans around here. My mother, my father, my grandparents, my stepmom, everybody I know and grew up with is a Spartan fan, so it's no surprise that I am one too. But Lee's dad is a die hard U of M fan, and yet Lee is the biggest Spartan fan of all of us. So clearly sometimes it's nature, sometimes it's nurture, and sometimes it's some combination of both.
I guess the only thing to do is to allow Olivia to make her own decisions when she's older, and not mock her or try to change her mind if she decides to like something different from what we like. In the meantime, it's March Madness time, and around this house that means....