On Your Mark, Get Set, nope, not yet

Did my last post leave you wanting? If so, it’s because it was just supposed to be a draft that I was working on and not a complete blog to be published. Do over…

I’m at the dentist yet again. This time for Sunshine who has threatened to run, so I’m sitting by the door just in case. I can’t even tell you how thankful I am for my flexible job right now and the overtime I’m having to work since it’s a busy time, but I have other things I need to be doing and that’s giving me some anxiety.

So I was thinking about the parents who over schedule their children. The ones that are busy every single night and weekend, and to a lesser extent that’s me. I just sat for six hours in a hot, humid, rec center watching Tenderheart’s swim meet. I schedule dentist appointments around tennis matches. And while none of them are over scheduled themselves, there are three of them with activities making it more work for me.

For the most part they only have one activity a season, Dr. Phil said that was fine. But Tenderheart has year-round swimming and rec volleyball right now so it makes it harder. And sitting at that ridiculously long swim meet I started thinking of who I am without all that. Who will I be when I have nothing to schedule but myself? Who are you going to be when the kids move out and you’re just left with yourself or your spouse you haven’t liked since 1998 or the spouse you’ve loved dearly and now get to spend all your time with. What’s that going to look like?

From even before my kids were born, I’d heard about how important it was to keep them involved and “off the streets”, and I knew I never wanted them on the streets so I got them involved. Soccer, dance, piano, volleyball, gymnastics, swim lessons, tball, tennis, there wasn’t much we didn’t try just to see if something would stick.

At five, Sunshine started dancing. She did a tap dance to I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. Everyone came for her recital. She was so cute and really liked it. Then we moved studios and a couple of years later she tried out for a competitive team and made it. It wasn’t Dance Moms-style, it was normal people, little to no drama, you know, actual real life.

She quit competing right around her second year in middle school because it got to be too much and then there was a studio overhaul and everyone her age left. But those years of competitive dance are on her resume and have helped her get parts in her high school musicals. So that training was a million times more beneficial than the year of soccer when she decided she didn’t like running or aggression. And even better than gymnastics when she decided the uneven bars were too hard on her stomach. She’s tender.

What I’ve done with all three of my girls is push them to do things I would be terrified to do. Moonshine did competitive dance for one year and went to a competition in Las Vegas. My dad met us there and we had a great time watching her two little dances. But I would never be able to do that. I would never be able to get out on the stage and sing a solo or act or both:

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And while I always say my life starts in exactly five years when Tenderheart graduates, I can’t see it now. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to look like. Will I be interesting? Will I have any friends once our kids have gone their separate ways? Will I sit home every night watching TV? Or will I go out every night trolling for company? Damn, I’ve got to get a life soon. I’ll be 46 when my life starts and while it seems younger the closer I get to it, I need to be ready. On your mark…..

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