July 5, 2012
My apologies for anyone that actually came looking for a post on Monday. It was a holiday weekend for me and Monday night, I simply forgot it was Monday. Sad, I know. I’m back on track and hopefully won’t do that again.
Tuesday night was baseball night. The regular schedule is a little mixed up this week because of the holiday weekend. Normally, baseball is on Sunday night and then another away game later on.
This night it rained almost the entire time. Hot, humid, rainy and of course, the millions of mosquitoes that eat me alive each and every game. It doesn’t seem to matter how much bug spray I put on, they just keep on coming.
When buddy first moved in, she had dropped a bunch of her interests and had taken up sports that the previous family she lived with wanted her to take. That’s because it was easier for them to have all the kids in the house going to one location at the same time. Wouldn’t that be nice but that kind of defeats some of the purpose of encouraging kids to get involved in extra-curricular stuff. You don’t need to be involved in a million things all the time but letting your kids try things so they get a chance to see what they like, what they don’t like and what will stick is really important. Over the years I’ve had kids who have played baseball (most found it boring but made them stick it through to the end of the season), played soccer (that was the big favourite around here), tried dance classes, gymnastics, cheer leading, horseback riding, swimming lessons, guitar and / or drum lessons, down hill skiing, snowboarding, girl guides, karate (another big favourite for a few years), got into skateboarding and trick biking stuff that was popular for awhile (don’t know what that’s called); they’ve been in plays and performances, in bands and even some volunteering like relay for life and other such fundraisers. They’ve held part-time jobs at different locations and all have managed to have some kind of social life on top of it. I’ve probably forgotten a few things although I don’t think there’s much left.
I’ve even brought all the girls to flying trapeze class with me at least once where they got to try swinging on the bar and going to a catcher.
There gets to be a point where you feel like all you do is drive them around nonstop. It’s brutal but it’s also good for them. They didn’t have more than one or two things going on at any given time, but most kids don’t know what they like or don’t like until they try it. So, you let them try it. It’s how they learn about themselves and at the same time, it starts exposing them to different social groups and different community adults. That is good for them. In fact, the whole process is important. There’s nothing wrong with having kids who want to do everything but teaching them how to prioritize and pick what they think they will like best is a good learning experience.
You don’t have to put them in baseball, soccer, dance, book reading club and swimming at the same time just because they’ll be disappointed if you don’t. They’re learning.
They don’t have to be the star or the very best player. They’ll learn a lot from the people they’re exposed to and the experiences – good and bad – they learn how to live with. These are like “practice runs” for bigger things later on in life. Let them learn how to deal with disappointment or not being the best or the star. Those lessons will be so valuable as they move to adulthood and they can be so easily lost when parents miss the point of all this stuff their kids are doing.
So what if they pick something just because their bff picked it. Maybe that year they’ll learn the value of picking something that is important to them in the future versus what someone else wants to do. And just maybe, they’ll learn how to take risks and feel brave and like they’ve accomplished something along the way.
Buddy isn’t the star of the baseball field anymore than oldest girl-child wasn’t the star on the soccer field. It’s all good though because they get to feel like they’re part of a group outside of school where their value is measured in a totally different way.