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Driving Mr. Big Guy

Submitted by on Monday, 23 March 2009 No Comment

big_guy_baseballLast weekend was one of those overload specials: Magic show at the library Saturday morning, birthday party Saturday night. Stop at the house to sleep briefly before a fun run Sunday morning – at least I didn’t have to run.

No time to breathe today either: School, homework and then karate lessons start for Big Guy. I’m wondering about the wisdom of the latter. Does he really need to learn better ways to bludgeon his brother?

And I’m wondering when I became just one mini-van short of a “real” soccer mom – whatever that means. And baseball mom and karate mom and library mom and who knows what else. We haven’t even signed up for basketball, guitar or swim lessons, three other things Big Guy’s begged to do.

I suddenly find myself looking forward to 10 years down the road, when Big Guy can chauffeur himself to his various social and professional obligations. Then I slap myself silly. “What are you thinking, crazy woman? You actually want this wild man behind a wheel?”

I never wanted to be one of those parents who keeps their kids’ lives so jammed up they have to track them with DayPlanners.

It’s easy to quickly become delusional on that front.  I once knew parents who had their kid playing two sports at the same time plus taking lessons for two musical instruments, but they insisted the child wasn’t over-scheduled. Maybe the kid wasn’t, but by my count that’s two games, two practices and two lessons a week. On the seventh day he rested?

It’s hard to say “no” to Big Guy, particularly when he’s so relentlessly curious about so many things and wants to explore as much as possible. We’ve been lucky so far because none of his major activities has crossed into each other, though there is a slight overlap between karate and baseball.

But when does exploration become overload, both for the parent and the child? When does hopping from one organized activity to another cut into unorganized exploration, which should be another key component of childhood. Does that even exist these days? I see scant signs of it in our neighborhood.

I suppose all this early childhood busy-ness is the equivalent of majoring in general studies your freshman year in college. There’s not great harm in taking the time to figure out a major or what your major interests are.

Unless, of course, I reach the point of having to buy the BlackBerry just to keep the kids’ schedules synced. Hmm … maybe that’s a good thing, too.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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