Sunday, July 27, 2008

Striking the Set

Today is Drama Girl's final performance in her play. Attendance at yesterday's matinee was dismal. Everyone on the planet is on vacation right now. My heart breaks for all 54 kids on the cast and their parents and all the hard work that has gone into putting on yet another enormous show.

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, because my child has 23 lines. Some kids have two or three. And for this, they rehearsed for hours every day all summer. We parents each put in 20-30 hours of volunteer time.

Why do we do it? Why not just say no to all these activities? Especially when her commitment means my commitment as well.

Because it's about love. Because when we have kids we get the whole package, whether that means driving them to ballet school 10x/week, or spending hours at the sewing machine making dozens of costumes for a community play, or being a scout leader. It's part of how we demonstrate our love.

Because it's about doing the right thing. When we were kids, school districts could afford P.E. and drama and all the "extras" that aren't available now. So we fill in the gap. Because we know there is a lot more to learn and experience than classrooms can currently teach.

I wont lie. I'm really glad her show is over today. I told her honestly I don't know if she can do the Fall show. Jungle Boy wants to do the Nutcracker, which will mean even more driving to rehearsals. The twins are starting middle school, which will mean a whole new landscape of homework for them.

Wasabi Girl ran to me after gymnastics class this week with a letter in her hands and a smile on her face; "Mommy! I made the team!" I had sudden flashbacks to all the workouts and the all-day competitions Jungle Boy used to have when he competed. I paused to think, and drew a breath. I had visions of the expense, the driving, the time involved. I looked her in the eye.

"That's great honey! I couldn't be happier! Congratulations."

11 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Cheryl Lage said...

You know, I'm becoming more and more convinced daily that those characterized-by-exhaustion early days of motherhood are merely preparation/practice for the years that follow.

Hang in there (RedBull, RedBull, RedBull)and know you are a TERRIFIC Mama!

Lidian said...

You are a fabulous mom! That is a lot of work for you but yes, it is so worth it - your three are lucky to have you!

noble pig said...

And your kids will never forget it! Good luck!

eileen said...

I will reassure you this.. it is ALL WORTH IT! You are definitely doing it right.

Jocasta said...

I'm hoping that all my girls will like to do the same things!

Good N Crazy said...

I'm so down on kids doing SO much. Partly the expense, but partly the part where they don't have time to be kids and come up with their own schedules...

Course, I don't have middle schoolers...yet, talk to me then.

Cheryl said...

My kiddos are 26 and 29, and I remember all those days of driving, dropping off, practices, games, recitals......now looking back I wouldn't trade any of it and have to say I even miss it!! With grandbaby boy due to arrive any minute I think we will get to do some of that all over again! You are making wonderful memories. You are a great mom :-)!!!

angie said...

What a great mom. I don't know if I could have mustarded that smile. Congrats to Wasabi girl for finishing the play, too.

eileen said...

Could you email me? so that I have a return address? :-)

Laura said...

You are an amazing mama for doing all that running and volunteering. My mom did it all for me and I cherish the memories we had, even if a lot of it was time spent in the car chatting or my excitement over a new accomplishment. You are doing it and your kids appreciate now (even if they don't tell you) and they will appreciate it even more later, when they have their own kids they are running around.

Tismee2 said...

Thanks for hopping over to my bog - even if it is in disarray! Glad you like the award - I told my son about using it and he thinks he famous now!

I'm in awe of Moms who seem to do all of that and everything else. I have a 9 year gap and as one set of football training trips etc fades, another is just starting.

Will be back to read more of your blog after work.
Gail

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