Yes, after going on a tangent and convincing myself not to enroll my oldest child in extracurricular activities/sports so she can spend more time with me and make my life a little less hectic, it appears I have done just the opposite. I enrolled Olivia in an art class through the recreation department because she enjoys it. Me? Not so much.
But while I am not trying to push her into doing something just to keep her active, I do recognize her abilities and want her to enjoy more time doing something she loves. The class is only a couple of hours each week in a studio that is less than a mile from my house, so it’s not as if I’m transporting her to several events all around town.
Although, when I look back on my decision to enroll her, I now say, “What was I thinking? Here I go spending money (really, not a lot) and time (also not a lot).”
However, as my girls are getting older (and, I would like to say more mature) they are becoming a tad easier to deal with, although maybe I’m also just becoming more familiar with my role as “Mommy”. As my girls are still young, perhaps it’s a misconception to expect them to act differently; more mature, making my life stress-free.
As the art class offered is only a few blocks from my house, and is considerably cheaper than an athletic sport, I find the class to be not only a tool for her to hone her skills, but a tool for me to hone my skills and responsibilities as Mommy. I am able to get dinner ready without distractions, clean and organize and mentally prepare myself in preparation for picking Olivia up from school or her after school activity. .
On the walk to school the following morning and having thoughts about my decision, I catch a glimpse of the light in Olivia’s eyes and the beam in her smile as she sees her friends’ faces. I give her one last hug for the morning and watch her make her way through the crowded hall of students filing in. A tear wells in my eye as she gets further and further from me. I am suddenly reminded there will come a time when she will want to be far from me. However, in six hours she will be just as excited to see me greet her when she steps off the bus and into my arms once again.
I may have been acting against my own words in Kids and Sports, by enrolling Olivia in art class, but I truly will never want to miss the hugs and kisses, the warmth of her smile and the light in her eyes. If both parent and child are happy with a decision, the happiness is all that matters. After all, life is short and one only lives once.