Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cheerleading and Basketball and Band, oh my!

Once upon a time, I read the article "The Overscheduled Child" and thought, I will never let this happen to my girls. MY girls will only do one extra-curricular activity at a time. MY girls will have plenty of unstructured play time to be free.

And then, Sylvia started sixth grade. Suddenly, I have a cheerleading schedule, a basketball schedule, and a possible band schedule to manage.

It started off innocently enough. Sylvia started a new school this year. When she expressed an interest in joining the cheerleading squad, I thought it was a perfect opportunity for her to make new friends and be involved in her school.

Then she had a drumming circle as an elective in her first quarter, and I was duly impressed at the band concert. Her school has an excellent music program. I was also pleased that Sylvia, of her own volition, approached the music teachers about possibly joining.

A few weeks after that, when I picked the girls up from their after-school program, I couldn't resist yet again when Sylvia asked me to talk to the coach of the girls' basketball team. It's only a couple of games, after all, and yet again, I was impressed by her initiative.

Except now, I'm having to remember that on Mondays and Wednesdays, I pick her up at 5, Thursdays and Fridays at the after-school program at 6, and oh yeah, she needs basketball shoes, and a change of clothes for cheerleading practice, and what time is the game next Thursday?

Also, she's planning to run a 5k with her granddad in December, and she needs to train for that. And oh yeah, the holidays! When is our department holiday gathering? And then there's the family get-together. Plus we got invited to that cookie decorating party. Let's not even worry about scheduling Xmas shopping time right now. And I have another kid here somewhere...

So that's how I went from a mom who vowed to only involve her child in one activity at a time to juggling three - no four - after-school activities. Yet another mom-myth shattered by reality - of knowing your child only has one childhood.

Originally posted on LA Moms, Dec. 3, 2008

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