At some point, Maggie started dancing and then played basketball. In high school she was in track. Will was in Scouts and cross country. Mal did dance. On Mondays, they all went to religion class and in the summer they took swimming lessons.
Besides the expense of extracurricular activities, I hated the driving. Dropping off for an hour practice and coming back and waiting for them while hoping my dinner wasn't burning at home made me pissy. We were fortunate to live on a street that had more than thirty kids, and so they preferred to run the hood with their friends after school playing kick the can, ghost, hide-and-seek or tag.
This felt like my childhood and that's what I wanted for them. Outside making things up. Laying in the grass looking at the clouds. Running like gazelles when they heard the ice cream truck coming.
I often felt like an outsider in these thoughts, but over-scheduling my kids over-scheduled me and that didn't work. I might have mentioned a time or fifty to Mark that how-busy-your-kids-are must be the new status symbol.
He gets it. The house could fall down around him and he can sit forever on the back porch with a glass of wine looking at the birds. He knows them all by name, makes sure their feeders are always full and they sing to him their gratitude.
That makes me crazy - for as much as I never wanted my kids to be busy, when it comes to this house I can think of a hundred things that should be done on the weekend before you sit down with a glass of wine and do nothing.
I'm working on that especially hard this year. Maybe if I ignore the peeling paint, grab a book and a glass of wine the birds will sing to me.