In My Town
Some people dream of winning the lottery and moving to a small island. Others want to achieve fame and world-wide recognition.
My dreams are simpler but easier to achieve.
During this crazy season that is spring, I feel like I am living a life that is in direct conflict to many things that I hold to be important. In order for the girls to do the things they love, we are over-scheduled and tired.
In my haze of car pools and preparing meals that can be made ahead, I have come up with a bleary eyed description of a perfect town.
In my town, there would be no homework.
The other day, a gorgeous day, I called Katherine inside to do her homework. “But Mommy! I just want to play!!!”, she screamed. If I wasn’t such a rule follower, I would let the girls skip homework everyday. They need free time to play.
In my town, there would be no standardized testing.
Since March, Caroline has complained daily about the test preparation. She finds it dull and stressful. That’s a pretty terrible combination for a girl who loves school.
In my town, there would be no year round sports.
Soccer in our town is played year round. There are official seasons (with two practices and one game per week) during the fall and spring with training in the winter. For a family that works hard not to over-schedule, this makes exploring other activities challenging. Caroline is playing only soccer right now and misses the chance to do other things. Katherine is dancing and playing softball in addition to soccer and that is making our schedule really tight.
This weekend the girls were like ships passing in the night. Caroline had a scrimmage, a try out and two games. Katherine had soccer and softball. Their time to play together in the yard was limited and missed.
In my town, there would be no sports practices or games during dinner time.
It has become a rare occurence that our whole family (and there are only four of us) sits down to eat dinner together during the week. I try hard to prepare meals ahead of time that can be put on the table quickly after we arrive home from the last practice. The truth is though, this doesn’t always happen and even when it does it hard (and not realistic) for everyone to eat super early or late to accomodate the practice of the night.
So if anyone is handing out magic, let me know. I think I might need some to make these dreams come true.
I agree 100% with you. We are all over scheduled! Just savor those moments when you have nothing to do.
Stacey — I completely agree! What has happened to childhood? It’s a rare day when all four of us eat together as well!
I was thinking about you after we discussed this yesterday. For me I have had to learn to sit with the uncomfortable feelings of not keeping up with “The Jones’s”. It is hard but I feel teaching my kids a healthy balance of one activity per season, downtime, school and family time is much more constructive towards them developing a healthy, happy self. Going from a stressed out childhood and patterns that have been established due to peer pressure and wanting to do it all will carry on to adulthood unless changes are made while they are young. I applaud you for your very clear vision and I think that if we all made our own personal perfect towns in our homes that we will find more like minded people and maybe we can re-write the connotation of “Keeping with with the Jones’s” to be a happy, healthy balance where we are happy right where we are, not wishing for a different sort of life or the future for change. XOXO
I couldn’t agree more! Kids today are over scheduled and over stressed. I am all about balance. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the kids that want to do it all or is it the parents wanting them out of their hair? I personally love when my kids are home. And because I have always controlled how many activities they can do each season, they are also good at entertaining themselves when need be.
I LIKE your town. Not looking forward to my daughter having homework AT ALL.
Amen to ALL of these! Especially homework. I have four kids, but only two have homework now. Cannot even imagine when all four bring home paperwork, etc. Very clever post!
I want to live in your town!