In Dubai, many parents spend a ridiculous amount of time chauffeuring their bubs here, there and everywhere. School drop off, pick up, activities, play dates…..honestly, sometimes it feels endless and in an half attempt to catch 40 winks whilst parked in a dusty, gravelled school car park before before pick up, and preparing myself for the dreaded phone call demanding in that teen-post-school tone ‘WHERE ARE YOU????’ as I watch him (yeah, it’s usually one of the boys and not DD) saunter past my car, head down, eyes transfixed on the hypnotising lights of his phone……hardly even caring about other maniac drivers in the car park…..it is then I feel compelled to roll down my window and admit to the world (and by son’s disgust), my existence; anything to accelerate the process of getting from A (school) to B (home).
In my house, it’s like some form of triathlon…..school pick up, activities drop off, activities pick up. I would like to think we now have it down to a ‘fine art’ but it takes a LOT of communication and scheduling by DH and I.
Yet, although this all may sound hectic and crazy…..some of my most cherished moments with my kids are those when I am with them in the car, Virgin radio broadcasting (for the kids – Dubai Eye all the way for me!), and what has effectively become ‘down time’ between pushing themselves at school and pushing themselves on the pitch/court.
My first activity run tonight meant taking DS1 to football training. Turnaround time from reaching home after school was minimal. Suited and (football)booted we headed off to his training grounds at Kings Al Barsha. Recently promoted to the older age group of his squad he is on a constant ‘high’ of pride mixed with excitement; chuffed at where he is and keen to learn as much as he can and move forward.
It struck me that when, a few years back, he was promoted, on his ability, to an older age group, he was nowhere near as comfortable and confident as he sounded today in the car. Carefully, I raised this with him and we got to talking about another of his loves – karting. For a few years he spent his time racing go karts in Dubai, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Austria. Without going into the details of how he moved from football to karting (as good as he was in both), suffice to say, it came to a point when he had to choose and he chose football. Today he came off the pitch buzzing with an adrenalin high that Redbull cannot match but out of the mouths of babes he credits his strength spent on the pitch to his time spent in a kart……in his words ‘I no longer have fear’. Turns out he was scared to race when he was a novice. I can’t blame him for that….it is super scary. The revving. The start. The jostling. The barging. The intimidation. But it taught him something. It taught him to be fierce; to be fearless; to be the best he can be.
An amazing lesson learned. As scary as his karting ventures sound to a Mum…..it’s also music to my ears for what it has done for him overall and he has his Dad to thank for that.