August 29, 2012

Extracurricular Time Suck

I really want my kids to have a rich life.  I want them to be able to try any activity they want to try.  You know, like the spoiled little American kids they are.  I want them to be able to take a rattlesnake peeling class or knit with other fabulous spellers.  I want them to trek Kilimanjaro if they’d like or sort buttons at the local sewing circle.  I believe the world should be theirs.  I believe that they should not be judged for what they enjoy, nor what they choose to believe.  I want them to run the gamet of their own thoughts and identity.

But I really would rather it didn’t take all of my free time to enrich them.  I would prefer that every activity didn’t cost 3% of the GDP of the US in order to participate—for three weeks.  And they can always put you on bill pay, so you can renew with NO TROUBLE AT ALL! 

Or recently, the kids’ school gave us the option of participating in an afternoon club for an entire semester.  I’m sorry, but why would my kid want to do something for four whole months?  We’ll be on to teaching butterflies to swim by then.  So see, there’s no easy answer.  I don’t want to be charged $7,022/month to participate, but I also don’t want a cheaper price that means my child has to actually “commit” to something long-term.  That’s what school is for.  They have to commit to that because, well, I just insist.  And the price is perfect.  It’s free, and it allows me to have a break between those enriching extracurricular activities.

Yes, I signed my son up for some long-term session this morning, and the whole time I kept thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with the other kids for that 45 minutes?”  Oh, that’s right.  I’ll have to do something creative with them during that time.  Or maybe they can just do homework, quietly, without my help, while I read a book nearby.  But we both know that will never happen. 

OK, that’s my thought of the day.  It’s nothing deep or ‘enriching’, but it’s a bit of a rant on the state of my children being enriched, and me, well, not being enriched.  But on we go, because that’s what we do in America, in the United States, we sacrifice, so our kids can have amazing experiences, like really expensive dodgeball.  What the hell am I talking about?