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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How often a week did you say practice was?

I harbor a silent guilt. My kids don't do sports.

One tried lacrosse when he was 5 and spent the better part of "practice" performing some form of interpretative dance on the back 9 (I could have gotten a cut and color or three for what we spent on that helmet and stick).

Soccer happened at one point for two out of three of them, but nobody liked Gatoraid or running.  

My oldest child, a daughter who is now a Sophomore in high school, has signed up for track because "even if I drop out I'll be looking good in my size 6's by summer." That's the same kid who did dance classes once a week for a few years.  I pulled her out when the dance moves started to look more like a "shimmy" strip tease than ballet plies. (Younger daughter may never forgive me for keeping her out and away from those sequined $100 outfits but Coyote Ugly in the under 7 set rubs me the wrong way and always will.)

My son gave football a rip one fall.  We drove all over the countryside, hours away to games where he played for five minutes and I learned the hard way that you have to take the foam things OUT of the football outfit thingee before you wash it.  I also couldn't watch as my kid got crashed into and battered about. I think he would play again but worries about what a helmet would do to his current Justin Bieber hair-do.
You know how people are all "I run my kids everywhere like craaazy" well, I don't.  When other moms start ranting about their insane schedules and how their husbands have to leave work early to help them get kids to "extra-curricular activities" I nod sympathetically.  They never notice my watery smile or the lack of sport related bumper stickers on my mini-van. 

I'm okay with not being a super mom.  The kids and I never really got into the sports/lessons habit partly due to one kid who had a lot of doctor's appointments. Our after-school hours that weren't in doctor's offices were spent deciding what to snack on, wandering aimlessly, sitting in the creek, volunteering, wandering the vineyards, playing video games together or trying to figure out what the dog ate to make it's barf smell so ripe.  Yeah, we do "other" stuff.

My youngest, age 11, 6th grade, joined Drama Club this year.  She's a "cook" for Augustus Gloop in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.  So she has been staying after from 3pm - 5pm a lot.  I miss her.  Also, going to get her in the cold really sucks, especially on top of the fact that the dog ate $20 worth of the chocolate bars she was selling for the play and I'm still really pissed off about that.  

I've received an email request to do hair for the dress rehearsal and the play. Short of manning the book fair, or a field trip getting back late, this is officially the most after-school effort I've ever been asked to put in, and my kids are 11, 13, & 15 all soon to "age up."

I picked my 15 year old up from mid-term biology review today....

Total Tangent: my kid was the only kid who went can you believe that? Oh and the young bio teacher who is quitting her teaching position (in THIS economy???) to join the air force discussed her divorce...due to "dishonesty" with my kid...weird right??? Not so appropro...  My lazy river child tends to be a person people confide in, but JEESH...TMI creepy bio teacher... please prepare her for the exam and leave discussing the merits of divorce with her in MY lap... am I right here? Am I???

And we're back; So, I pick her up at 5pm and there are sweaty sports kids leaving too.  I had this moment of guilt...maybe I should have pushed my kids into sports...isn't PARTICIPATING like...super important?  Those kids look so sporty, exhausted and sporty (I wonder as I type this if sports practice was why there was only one kid at Bio mid-term review...hmmm).  Then I looked at my girl, who will be 16 Sunday, with her cute hair-do and her artistically devised, yet modest, "outfit of the day" and pondered as she told me all about her bio teacher's "fresh start."  I realized she IS participating.  She participates in being my kid and a great sister and apparently she's such a great listener that a 27 year old soon-to-be-divorced future Air-Force pilot can confide in her.  She's really close with her family and that's pretty cool for an almost 16 year old.  She's A okay, and hey maybe she'll like track and while I wait for her turn to run I'll get some knitting done.

Truly though, I've spent more time with my kids due to skipping out on after-school sports...than anyone I know.  Seriously, the hours I've had to teach them to cook, sew, or stop fighting and bickering with each other...my God, one day memories of those things, those life lessons, might even be precious to them. Here's hoping.

So, I guess this summer when everyone is running their kids to sports I'll be sprawled out on the lawn with mine.  While other parents are yelling "hurry up or we'll be late and you'll have to run a lap" I'll be sitting in the sun eating a Popsicle asking my kids if they want to go for a swim in the lake, before or after we visit grandma, and the kids...well they'll probably be busy trying to see if the dog will eat ants covered in melted Popsicle juice...while recording with a DSI for later uploading to Facebook.  It's really no wonder why everybody else's kids want to come stay at my house. It really isn't.

Best wishes,


  1. Um..I want to come stay at your house...and good for you..!! do it your own way..Thats what I always thought...dont conform...my kids liked sports so we did it...but they werent the top notch of the team...they just liked it....until they didnt and then they quit...I wasnt so happy when my younger quit baritone horn though...they were both very musical...jazz band..band and all the rest...many instruments...and they were very good...my eldest kept up with it till senior and the youngest stopped at 9th...just wasnt fun anymore...it sounds as if youve got it going on...lucky kids you have...Ive missed seeing you...I dont really blog like I used to ..just doing my art now...and trying to keep up as much as I can...Thanks for stopping by...I loved reading this...Ill see be back soon..Take care..!

  2. Oh thank god I'm not the only one! I live in a small town and the pressure from everyone else to sign my kids up for soccer/t-ball/hockey from the age of THREE has been hellish. I know the other mothers are looking down their nose at me, but the one and only time I did give into the pressure, my 4 year-old sat on the grass picking dandelions while all the other 4 year-olds chased a soccer ball and got seriously screamed at to go faster and play better by their parents. Meanwhile, I was chasing my other hellion around the field because my husband wasn't around to share in the organized sports fun. Not worth the hassle at all! Now he's 7 and wants to do martial arts, so I'm looking into that for him. But frankly, my kids are just as happy in the kitchen helping me crack eggs.