Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Fun or Summer Craziness?

Our July has been insane. In. Sane.

We belong to a golf club, and they offer junior activities for the kids over the summer. Swim team, swim lessons, tennis, golf. We've been involved in some way since Madison was about two and took swim lessons, and added another activity every summer since. First we added tennis, then golf, then doubled gradually until both girls were doing all three sports. It never felt overwhelming. Madison had dance team twice a week, Reagan took a dance class, and they dabbled in gymnastics, but even with that, we were ok.

This summer, they added swim team, and it nearly broke me.

It was only ONE additional activity, and yet it took our July from easy going to going crazy.

Ok, dance sort of took off this summer. Madison doubled her hours from last summer, and Reagan started the intensive program. Between tumbling and dance, Reagan has four hours and Madison has almost seven. That's a lot.

We were running from one activity to the next, in the sweating July heat. We were changing from bathing suits to tennis dresses back to bathing suits to collared shirts for golf and then back to suits, jumping out of the pool to quickly switch gears to buns and leotards. We were jumping in the car to run over to Target for more sunblock or to grab lunch or to drive to the next place, and I was constantly checking my phone to see where each kid was supposed to be and hoping I had them in the right outfit with the right gear. We became experts in cooling the car down quickly, so we didn't melt in the time it took to cross town for dance (actually, that's a skill I'm glad to have). We were getting home, dumping wet towels and sweaty socks in the washing machine, and collapsing into bed, wondering what the next day held and if we had to go to our pool, a mere three minute drive away, or if the meet was somewhere else. And if we had to be there for warm up at 8, or not until their race at 10.

Confused? I am too.

During July, as the month steamed on and I stressed, drenched in sweat, I wondered if it was worth it.
We were NOT relaxing. We were running. The other moms and I started talking in those "never again" voices. We were NOT saying yes to everything next year. These kids needed freedom! Rest! Relaxation!

But do I regret it?

The thing is, Adam feels very strongly about the girls taking golf lessons. If we're going to be there, they need to know how to use it. I think tennis is a great lifelong sport. Play competitively, play for fun, but it's great exercise that you can do in a league or alone! Dance is never going away in our house. And swim...well, I'd love to say we'd cut it out next year, but they've become so much stronger in their skills simply by practicing every day for a month. Last year, Reagan could barely dog paddle, and this year, she's doing a full length of freestyle. I don't regret giving that skill a boost.

For a lot of kids, July is full of summer camp. Days that include running from sports to crafts to swimming to games and back again. They come home with laundry and collapse from exhaustion, but that's a great summer. The issue with our particular activity schedule isn't what they do, it's that we, the adults, are doing it with them, whining about the running around, and they're hearing that. If they were at camp and I were blissfully ignorant about their schedule, I wouldn't stress nearly as much, and I certainly wouldn't be going through the camp schedule, looking for activities to cut.

The fact is, they have fun. They're with their friends, they're playing, and they're in the pool.

The craziness is there, but I think there's plenty of fun there too.
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