Monday, May 2, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Kill The Weekend

I am writing this on Sunday to post on Monday.  I am sitting in bed, fully pajamad (that should totally be a verb), and seriously considering texting my husband, who is in the other room, to request that he bring me some tea.  And a massage.

This was one of those weekends that we have desperately tried to avoid, mostly by dodging the topic of organized sports, and other weekend killers, when the arise.

It sounds contradictory, I get it.  I am all about encouraging my kids to follow their passions, just as long as their passions don't ruin our weekends.  In some ways that is true.  My eldest two are pretty athletically inclined, but I have never signed them up for sports that regularly play on weekends -- like soccer or swimming.

At the same time, Rhubarb has taken karate for two years and has never asked to compete at a more intense level than where she is now.  Nor has she ever requested participation on any other sorts of teams beyond wanting to run races or kick soccer balls around with friends, and bike with the family.  So, even though I know she would be good at team sports, I don't offer.

Eggplant once tried an organized basketball camp, but he spent the entire time retrieving balls to give to other kids.  He has never been very competitive.  He is just now starting to take an interest in playing sports with larger groups of people, so he finds kids at the park and shoots baskets with them or joins soccer games at our homeschool park time.  He biked in his first race last summer, having trained accidentally by taking long, leisurely bike rides with the family.  He tends to do well at whichever game he chooses.  And again, I don't offer anything more.

Blueberry loves to bike with us, loves to swim, loves to run hand-in-hand with her sister and brother, but she has never shown any desire to formalize these activities.  And I don't suggest it.

Sometimes I feel guilty about this, like I am betraying my generation of parents, as if my kids will sit around in their college dorm ratting us out to their roommates -- the way I did about never getting to join Girl Scouts.

But then a weekend like this one rolls around and the guilt is replaced by relief.

This weekend had nothing to do with sports.  Yesterday was devoted to cleaning the girls' room and fixing bikes.  Today, we basically shuffled from one activity to the other.  They were all fun activities, all events the kids were happy to attend, but they still ate an entire day, an entire sunny day that could have been devoted to playing at the park, biking up the lakeshore or hanging out at the Botanic Gardens.

Once in a while, this is not a problem.  It is exhausting, but it is doable.  When the events are performances, the culmination of a semester's worth of work, like today's violin recital (one of our activities), they are a pleasure to attend.  But I just don't see us managing a schedule like this every single weekend of a season.  Even though we are afforded a great deal of freedom during the week due to homeschooling, we still have daily commitments that cut into that freedom.  I can't imagine sacrificing large chunks of our weekends as well.

I am not naive.  A day will surely come when one or more of the kids will express a strong desire to participate in an activity that requires regular weekend participation -- and we will support them.  For now, though, since they are not begging, we are not being proactive about any Sunday-sucking activities.

And we're good with that.  So, if you know my kids, try to steer the conversation away from soccer -- at least for a few more years.

My girls, before their recital
(more about that tomorrow)

1 comment:

Kerry McDonald said...

I love this post. I was thinking recently of writing a similar one. Our weekends are such wonderful times to explore and discover the city, that spending them at weekly soccer practices or the like is really unappealing. Also with the long hours my husband works during the week, the weekends are pure Daddy time for the kids. I would hate for organized sports or structured weekend activities to sideline Dad. Thanks for posting about this!! -Kerry (City Kids Homeschooling)

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