— Violet is trying baseball for the first time this summer, through a very laid back parks and rec league. She is the only beginner on the team, and the only girl, though the league is co-ed. This is the moment of reckoning I kept saying I was ready for.
We did not do t-ball when Violet was 3, or soccer when she was 4, and Victoria was newborn, and the summer was crazy enough. We didn’t add any team sports to the schedule at 5 — Kindergarten was enough to contend with. Then she explored some other things: horseback riding, fencing.
The upshot was that she was 9 when she entered the world of youth sports with soccer, a solid 5 years older than the starting age of average kids of our acquaintance. I have always thought that organizing young children into sports was not a good thing, but I also knew that someday she’d pay for being “behind.” Imagine — just turned 10, in 4th grade, and too old for baseball.
I felt good about our choice all along, but now I wonder — what good is it holding to an ideal if it makes life harder for your child later? Are there times to be pragmatic and go with what others are doing? She has to work hard to catch up with the boys on her team, and I am not hopeful that they will be patient with her, though her attitude is terrific.
*Everyone* we know seems to have kids in sports most of the year, and I do think my kids really need more outlets for physical activity and teamwork. Did I shoot us both in the foot? Too late for regrets now, I suppose. And Victoria is going into her second year of soccer and enjoying karate too — she was not going to sit silently and feel left out of all the good stuff, and lord knows she is often the one to get the shaft when it comes to driving around and fitting things into schedules.
— Tonight we are having a more official celebration of Violet’s birthday, a slumber party with a couple of friends. Since I last posted, tweenhood has roared in with a vengeance. It’s like a switch was flipped, and puberty has Arrived. I have not been bearing up well, but I am working hard on regaining my sense of humor, and poring over relevant parenting books — my solace, if not really much of a solution.
— On that score, we have a new homeschool model. Violet and I meet in the morning, discuss the “must-dos” for the day and the “must-be-done” time — with notes about what mom needs to be around for — and then she handles it. Eventually I will build in more group activities, but right now we both need a little space! There are consequences for not meeting the daily deadline — but no yelling or scolding. Our must-dos are typically math, piano, Chinese, and German, and then some mix of science, history, English (the MCT books), and reading. The rest is her time to write songs, movies, e-mails; play outside or ride her scooter; watch TV or play a video game.
Some days there will be outings to work around, too, but as I say, right now a little distance from each other is a healthy thing!