It is a constant source of amusement to me how very different Ruby, my somehow-now-12-year-old daughter, is than I was.
In school, I loved English and struggled with math; she is the exact opposite, making high marks in math and science while eschewing books as boring. I have always been a textbook introvert; she is the very definition of “extrovert.” I had limited interests – none of which were sports-related – in middle school while Ruby joins every sport and club she hears about – and then runs for office. She loves sleep-away camp, goes for three weeks, and calls it her “happy place;” even as a kid, I would have had to have an Ativan drip to make it through three days. She will never choose chocolate, always vanilla; I will never choose vanilla, always chocolate. She just wrapped up an intense performance of “Li’l Abner” at her school, executing a choreographed song-and-dance number with five other girls, and can’t wait until the next show, while I am much happier in the audience. Before I had Ruby, I would always look around in wonder when I’d be at some kind of show and they’d ask for volunteers for the audience. “Who are those lunatics who actually want to get up on stage?” I’d wonder while also trying to make myself invisible. Now I know who those lunatics are. They’re people like Ruby.
Her latest obsession, which is definitely not my obsession, is roller derby. And if you have a kid, boy or girl, between the ages of 6 and 17, she would like you to consider letting them explore the Crescent City Crushers. Yes, she had to sit out their entire scrimmage yesterday after busting her tailbone during warm-ups, but instead of sulking, she spent the time writing a list of the five things she loves best about doing derby.
5 Reasons I Love Roller Derby by Ruby Crawford aka Ruby Bruiseday:
1. It is so fun and challenging (but mainly fun)!
2. It requires giving your all, unlike some other sports. I can’t just get 25 laps in 5 minutes not trying, after all!
3. The coaches are super-nice, even though they may seem intimidating at first. They are all sweethearts, and they want you to feel safe because you are.
4. You go super-fast on wheels! Like at least two times faster than you would running.
5. You meet amazing people like my best friend, Hailey, and they don’t get bored of you talking about it because they love it too!
If you think your kid might be interested, you can check out their Facebook page or stop by their next bout on April 27 at the Lakefront Arena.
And if you want to start a support group for exhausted introvert parents of energetic extrovert kids, send me a message. We’ll hold meetings at the library or somewhere else quiet, and we don’t have to talk to each other at all; we can just read books together and sip tea and maybe send each other encouraging texts from across the room.