One mom is disappointed when her kids drop activities.
Homeschool Mom: My daughter has decided after over two years that she no longer wants to take horseback riding lessons, and I feel disappointed. What the heck? What do I care? Less money, less time spent on extra activities. No more choking on dust watching her ride. I should be saying "Hallelujah." Last Christmas she had been thrown from a horse and broke both her wrists and cut her chin, which then required stitches. It was traumatic, to say the least. I had nightmares for weeks after, replaying the whole incident in my brain in a terrifying loop. She actually bounced when she hit the ground face-first, and her legs went backwards up over her body at an angle that made me fear for her neck and back, but she was okay, compared to what might have been. The weird thing was that she wanted to continue riding. I was done then. I didn't want her to ever ride again. But I didn't have the heart to say so, and she went on to ride for another 10 months, until now. She doesn't want to anymore. It might be that she is fearful or maybe just tired of it because she knows the next step, a horse of her own, is beyond our means. I don't really know. But the weird thing is, I am disappointed.
It has been my job for these years to take her to her lesson, hanging in the barn making friends, connecting with horses and other parents for several hours every Sunday afternoon. She has friends too. She has horse posters all over her room. I'm sad to see it all end, and besides, it is what I did when I was young, although I had my own horse. Maybe I'm a creature of habit, or maybe I am vicariously living through her, I don't know, but I'm sad.
This got me reflecting on the fact that there have been other times when I have been disappointed because my kids stopped activities. When the same daughter was almost three, I bought her tap shoes and ballet shoes and adorable tulle skirts and signed her up for dance lessons. After about a month, she said, "No. I don't yike it!" I was outraged. "You don't yike it? Too bad. I will take away TV, friends, your favorite toys. You will dance, and you will do a good job. You don't yike it. Mommy doesn't yike forking out money ..." Needless to say, she quit dancing.
After much soul-searching, like five minutes, I think I know what it is, really. The truth has two components: A) Carting my kids around to various activities is my job right now, and so I get most of my social contact through these activities. Much like people who have jobs make social contacts through their workplace, I just happen to be in a barn or backstage. B) I like the picture of my children being active. "Oh yes, they surf, and play in three different bands, and horseback ride, and swim, and take ballet." And ... really, part of me likes it because having renaissance kids makes me look like a good parent. What it all boils down to is even when I try to be selfless, it's still all about me. Bummer.
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|