Now that Caroline is walking and talking, it’s time to start thinking about what extra curricular activities she is going to participate in as she gets older. This discussion has created a certain parenting tug of war in our house. Do we want Caroline to become the next Jennie Finch, or a future Miss USA (like Austinite Kandace Krueger Miss USA 2001!)

In the end, it will be Caroline’s decision on which direction she goes. But, as parents, we have a lot of influence and personal interest in that decision.

So what’s it going to be? Athlete or Diva?

Growing up in my family, we all played sports. Whether it was baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it. My brother, my sister and I were all very active in athletics. It’s not to say we were destined for a athletic career, but our involvement was a major factor in how we grew up and the people we are today. We learned how to work with a team, the importance of practice, and how to handle positive and negative feedback.

These are all things that I want to pass along to Caroline. On top of that, being involved in sports at an early age teaches great lessons on fitness and nutrition. Being active and eating right are important things to learn at a young age.

Okay, so those are the boring reasons as to why I want Caroline to be involved in sports. Part of me wants her to play soccer and basketball or whatever because that is what I did. I want to be able to teach her how to shoot a jump shot and how to kick a soccer ball. I want to coach her teams and go watch her play in tournaments. Playing and watching sports has always been a big part of my life, and I’d like to see that continue through my kids.

On the other hand, she could play an instrument, or dance, or want to be involved in pagents. All of those are great activities and can teach valuable lessons. But, what do I know about playing the guitar or ballet? I gave up on the trumpet after the 7th grade, my singing would be considered horrific, and Toddlers and Tiaras scares me.

If you ask Vanessa, she is on the complete opposite side of this discussion. Sports were not a big part of her childhood, and she only cares to watch now because she is married to me. She was into pageants as she got older and would probably love nothing more than for Caroline to become the next Miss Texas USA.

At the end of the day, I think we both want Caroline to do what she will want to do. We will give her the freedom to try soccer and basketball and ballet and any other activity she wants to try. As she gets older, she will know what she wants to do. And, we will support her in whatever direction she goes.

Just don’t expect me to buy her ballet shoes for Christmas this year. I think it’s time we take a trip to the sporting goods store for that first baseball glove.


  1. Great Blog Matt! As a child, I took ballet, played the piano, and played softball. By allowing me to try a lot of things, we learned that I was not very graceful, could play piano well, and enjoyed playing softball. I ended up taking ballet for two years, played piano for seven, and softball for 16. I don’t mind pageants, but as a teacher, I see the negative connotations it puts on young girls to be pretty, and I see others isolated because they might be a little different. I think if a teen or young adult wants to be in pageants, great! They should go for it! I just don’t like it on toddlers and tiaras when the little girls have no idea what or why they are competing. I think that you and Vanessa are great parents who will do what is best for Caroline! And who knows? She might be the first Miss USA who also plays on the USA Olympic team! So go ahead and get the glove!! But ballet slippers wouldn’t hurt either!


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