Millennium Mom

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The flood gate has opened

One of the tips in my book is to avoid too many organized activities for your children at an early age...particularly team sports. I am such a fan of team sports, played nothing but them my entire life. They teach you lots of things from coordination, to sportsmanship, sharing and working together towards a goal. I just don't think they are the best way to teach three and four year old. Arnie shares the same philosophy, so we "pledged" early on that we would try to hold Ben out of these activities until he was six.

We did enroll him in other activities that we thought were a bit more necessary in our mind - swim lessons for one. From the time we moved back to the states Ben was in swim lessons, first with us in the pool and then with a teacher. The girls followed the same path. We thought it was really important for them to be comfortable in the water. I am not very comfortable in the water, just don't enjoy it, and didn't want that to be my children. We would also enroll them in zoo classes on weekends as a family activity.

Believe it or not, we resisted all temptation and pleas from the neighbors to have him play. He was officially the only child above four not playing soccer in our neighborhood (those most never went back after their first experience). When he was five we gave him ice skating lessons for his birthday. He had told us he wanted to play Ice Hockey as his sport of choice when "he was old enough" so to prep him for this we enrolled him in skating lessons.

On his sixth birthday he was officially enrolled in "learn to skate" Cincinnati, run through the Cincinnati Amateur Hockey Association. The first session we only enrolled him in the learn to skate lessons. From November on he has been playing games as well. So each Saturday he has a game (now plays in back to back session, as he is getting better and okay to play with the bigger guys) and each Sunday he has his learn to skate session. So...our floodgate has opened. Thankfully we still have our family dinners each night and the entire family goes to the games. Even the girls (if it is at "the warm place" of the rinks is much colder than the other, so thankfully this session both games and practice are at the warmer of the two) head out on average every other Saturday. If I have errands to run I will take them with me and give them a weekend off.

Sunday is time for dad and son. The often go out to lunch after and have some bonding time. It has disturbed our Church schedule. Up until this session practice was late Sunday afternoon, which worked out great. They would walk in to dinner on the table. But this session it moved to 12:30, and we go to Noon mass. So now we try our best to get there on Saturday night at 5:30. If we don't make it the girls and I go as normal on Sunday, like today.

For better or worse Ben LOVES it, and is doing quite well. The downside, is as I look at my peer at work who sons play travel hockey, every other weekend seems to be out of town at a tournament, sometimes heading to different cities than his wife as they split which son they go with. We will cross that bridge when we get to it, as only God knows what is in store for us.

We did sign Ben up for coach pitch baseball and Claire for t-ball this spring. I thought for sure she would say NO WAY but she didn't, so we will see how she does. Our floodgate is open and we will try to balance the load. The important thing for us is we do it as a family and it doesn't get overwhelming to any one of us. If it does we will re-evaluate and make some choices. I'm just so glad it didn't start until now as I look back at the incredible memories we made as a family on random weekends over the last two years versus shuttling from activity to activity.


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