We’ve had a few relatively quiet years drenched in free play and getting used to the routines of school life. Now that’s changing.
It started with Softball. One day last week, a friend of Rio’s from school invited her to play softball after school. They picked her up and took her out for what I thought would be a pick-up game in the park. Or rather, I guess I knew there was some level of organization involved. I just imagined this was like Bring A Friend day at music class – a chance to check out what your friend does at her activities.
I did not expect her to come home wearing a uniform! Which she totally did, leaping about shouting, “I made the team, Mama! I’m #1!” Indeed, her team shirt is emblazoned with a big #1. She’s got a loaner glove from the team and a practice and game schedule that keeps us busy two or three days a week. *poof* The cult of sports is upon us.
I may seem a little snarky about this, so let me be clear: I love softball now. I love it through my kid. Her enthusiasm for the game, for learning what her body can do, for making new friends on the field… all that is contagious. I feel her excitement as if it were my own. I share her disappointment when practice is cancelled due to rain, and her elation at hitting her first run.
Then there’s swimming. We’re planning to spend most of the summer on a lake in Maine. To get ready for that, the girls need to have swim lessons. A Real Mom [tm] would have had them in swimming lessons all year, but I belatedly signed them up two days ago. Luckily for me they LOVE it; they’re both complete water babies who can’t get enough of the pool. They want to swim every day, and are all over having two lessons a week.
Add that to their existing (totally manageable) Saturday morning music classes, and the kids are at out-of-school scheduled activities four days a week minimum.
I want to say this is not what I signed up for, but sign up for it is exactly what I did.
So far it’s pretty good. Everything is shiny and new; no one has had time yet to get bored with a lesson or pick a fight with a teammate. I know it won’t always stay so blissful, but at the moment these activities are a breath of fresh air, giving the kids extra chances to spend time with existing friends and make some new ones. They’re moving their bodies more and watching cartoons less. It’s a win.
I doubt I’ll want to spend so much time ferrying them from one organized activity session to the next for long, but I guess that’s what carpooling is for. In the meantime, I’ve become one of those moms who is busy chasing after her children on sports fields and swimming pools after school every day, and I kind of love it.