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And So It Begins

Well, it’s official: I’ve begun my transition from mother to chauffeur. Last night was the beginning of this year’s Awana program at our church, and Joey is now old enough to participate. And that’s great, on the one hand, because it’s a terrific program and the kids have such a good time. He has been excited about going to “school” all week. (I was a little less excited after trying to work on his verses with him. Apparently, he needs to twirl and jump around the room in order to process new information. My apologies to the workers in his group.) Besides, it’s church! How can you deny a child a church activity when they’re so eager to go?!

And that’s how these kids suck you in. It’s all clear to me now, how you end up driving around and around all afternoon and evening, cramming in THE ACTIVITIES. They get all gung ho and look at you with those big eager eyes, just daring you to dash all their hopes. This is only the beginning, too, because he’s already campaigning for soccer.

Soccer? At three?

Is it wrong of me to be happy that the 3-5 year old soccer program is not available at our local Y at this time? Because, I won’t lie, I was sooo relieved (not to mention shocked that I found a program at all in his age group). Hey, but what’s with all of this two season sport stuff? Soccer in the fall and again in the spring? Come on! Still, I figured (if they’d offered the program, which-darn the luck-they did not) that two activities wouldn’t be that bad. Then I remembered that I wanted him to take piano lessons at some point. Not yet, but maybe in a year or two. But look: that brings the count up to three. I was trying to comfort myself with the rationalization that Awana is right before church, though, and we’d be going to that anyway, so that doesn’t really count, but it does count. It all counts.

Clearly, I am not destined to be the cool mom; not with this attitude, at least. I’m really trying to work on my resentment toward the idea of so many obligations. To a certain degree, that’s part of parenthood. At the same time, I’m also trying to work on my resolve in the face of having to pick and choose which ones will stay and which one will go. I’m a big believer in the idea that a child can be over-scheduled; I really do not want that to happen. I just didn’t realize how easily it could happen, you know?

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6 responses »

  1. i know exactly what you mean. it’s a slippery slope!

    Reply
  2. those days are about over for me now…but you are so right…the pressure on you and your kids to have them do it all and be in everything is huge. i watched so many kids burn out as their parents pushed and pushed. hold on to your hat!!!

    Reply
  3. Welcome to the realm! Hey one good thing about young age soccer . . . it’s not as competative. Not to say that it isn’t, but it’s NOT AS! Anyway, they can try it and if they’re not a star, it’s no big deal. Plus you can always pray that they forget about doing soccer when that second season runs around. But just know that you can set limits!!! If you don’t you’ll be exhausted and bankrupt.

    Reply
  4. It is very easy for it to happen, and it’s almost a mark of “coolness” to see how busy and crazed you can become. We’ve had to step back many times to reevaluate the boys’ activities. You just can’t do everything (at least I can’t) and I’m not willing to sacrifice ever being home together for a constant whirl of activities, even if they are good activities.

    Reply
  5. Last year was our first year at Awana and it was awesome! I was so good for my then 3y/o son to be with other kids and learn about the Bible. For my girls, I was amazed at the volume of verses they memorized over the year – it’s incredible! And they still remember a lot of them. As far as memorization, we picked a night that was verse-learning night instead of reading books at bedtime, then we did it again later in the week.
    Good for you for taking a stand now with overscheduling. It is VERY hard not to just do everything, but it’s so much better to pick just a couple.

    Reply
  6. It does get super busy and some days are tough! However, it can be really rewarding and fun too!

    I always get sad thinking about the day my son will be grown and I have no one left to chaffeur around 😦

    Reply

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