This month, our lives got a little bit busier: both the kids are now enrolled in classes. I firmly believe that it's a mistake to spend the precious hours of childhood running from activity to activity, and I really want to avoid getting on a slippery slope that would lead to over-scheduled, stressed out kids (and, by extension, over-scheduled, stressed out parents). I believe it's my responsibility as a parent to help my kids avoid the pressure (social, cultural, and otherwise) that insists More Is Better. Whether that's more classes, more clothes, more toys or what have you. (Though anyone who has seen our play room would probably take us to task for a little "do as I say not as I do" here... the consequences of having two parents who are avid thrift shoppers and who have trouble saying no to a good deal! Plus, I make an exception where books are concerned. You can't have too many books.)
For now, we're limiting ourselves to the extracurriculars currently on the calendar, and it is working well -- and the kids are having a lot of fun, which is what matters most
BB is continuing with her gym class once a week, and she still enjoys it very much. She seems to be getting stronger and more confident all the time -- doing the balance beam (the high one!) All By Herself, pushing herself towards handstands and cartwheels. It's really neat to see. Plus she got her first Real Leotard for Christmas. I suppose it isn't surprising that the one she picked out is shockingly orange and covered in flowers.
She loves it! Here she is showing off her "pike position."
And of course she wanted to show me how good she was at balancing!
I swear, when she's running around in gym class, all decked out in her new leotard, she sometimes looks about six years old. My little girl ain't so little anymore! (Sniffle!)
She's also taking ballet class now, much to her delight. Here she is at her first class -- she's the one in the center of the picture, looking up at the teacher who is on her right.
The class is very sweet and gentle. It's such a contrast from the blaring, overwhelming energy of the first dance class we tried out more than a year ago now. Plus, BB gets to spend some time with some of the girls from her preschool. (Preschool is going much better, I'm happy to say, and things like this class are definitely helping!) This little clip is a pretty good sample of what the classes are like -- just really calm and flowing, with the girls (and the one boy) enjoying themselves quite a bit. In the video, BB is the one in the middle who gets helped by the teacher early on to correct her foot positioning:
Lest one think that it's All BB All The Time, let me assure you that BJ is getitng his fair share of educational enrichment. There's kindergarten, of course, which is going really well. And his rehearsals for the upcoming school play would "count" as extracurricular for sure. But at the moment he's most excited about the K-2 science class that he is taking. (I was excited too when I found it! Thank you, Internet!) This past Saturday was his first session, during which the kids each performed five experiments. He was bubbling with excitement about it all weekend long and can hardly wait until the next class.
So our weekends have become more challenging -- it's a bit of a shuffle to get everybody where they need to be -- but so far, so good!
And something must be catching, because I've really been itching to take a class or two of my own and seeing the kids in their classes is just making that urge more intense. Part of it is New Year, New Stuff -- the annual desire to learn new skills, try new things. Part of it is getting older and having some serious carpe diem moments. Time's a wastin', and there's so much I still want to do and learn: metal smithing, PMC, glass work, weaving, photography, garment design and construction, crochet, accounting, tap dance, web design, writing for children, woodworking, illustration, playing the guitar...
So the question is, what kind of class? (Not to mention, when?)
I know I'd rather feel full of enthusiasm and possibilities than otherwise, but it does get frustrating... happily, as a professor's wife I get tuition remission and there is a wealth of opportunities for classes, here on campus and elsewhere. Just gotta decide what, and figure out how to make it happen.