Extracurricular Activities

Linda Sharps
Healthy Living

The Saturday soccer class wasn't bad. It was only once a week, after all, and a decent way to break up the morning, especially when the weather wasn't nice.

Riley loved it and I had fun watching him. I had to do some last-minute scrambling the week I was on snack duty (providing healthy snacks for eight kids seems easy enough, then you factor in wheat and nut and dairy allergies, the need for pre-packaged items, and nothing Suspiciously Homemade, and you're basically down to those "fruit" things that are really just gummy bears re-molded into Dora the Explorer shapes), but overall, it was an easy addition to our schedule.

Then came swimming lessons, twice a week on Mondays and Wednesday evenings. Well, I thought, I'll have to hurry home from work and dinner will be a little rushed, but we can do this.

As it turns out, though, there's also the ongoing task of making sure the swim trunks and special beach towel are laundered and ready to go. And packing the bag of post-swim clothing. And wrestling a wet kid out of his bathing suit and into dry clothes afterward (a cardio workout on par with Jillian Michaels' cruelest moves). Oh, and best of all, chasing a demented 2-year-old around a GIANT BODY OF WATER for 30 straight minutes during his brother's lesson.

It makes for a hectic evening, that's for sure, but Riley's having a great time and I'm thrilled he's getting over his fear of water. He's doing so well, in fact, that I started thinking ahead to the next round of lessons we can sign him up for, and yesterday I flipped through the little aquatic center booklet to see what was available. 

Seal. Guppy. Minnow. Piranha. Barracuda. Twenty-plus levels of swim training, starting with toddlers and ending in some kind of official big-kid swim team. As long as we're willing to pay and he's willing to go, there's a swim class available.

That's when it sort of hit me, what should've been obvious from the very first soccer class: This is just the beginning, isn't it? I mean, soon enough both kids will be in some kind of extracurricular something-or-other ... and we'll be taxi-driving them to practices and whatnot all the freaking time, right? 

All this time I've been thinking how once the kids are a bit older, we'll have more free time because they'll be past the super-needy stage and everyone will be wiping their own butt and heating up their own bowl of macaroni and cheese, but now I'm not sure that's how it works. I think maybe you just trade in diaper duty for Little League. And homework. And oboe lessons. And ... oh Lord, I'm never going to read a book again, am I?
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