Yesterday was the first day of school. I’m so sad. I know everyone is saying it, but I just don’t know where the summer went. What I’ve realized is that it is not just school starting that I am sad about, but that it signifies the beginning of the Great Activity Merry Go Round. Soccer. Scouts. Basketball. Fencing. Music Lessons. We pretty much drop out of activities during summer, so there is some culture shock when we have to dive back in in the fall.
I have a love-hate relationship with activities. Of course, it’s good for a child to be active and find sports that they love. Of course, scouting teaches kids many useful skills and they do lots of things that build great memories. Of course, being able to play an instrument is a skill that enhances your life. And I don’t think that any one child feels overscheduled. But I sometimes do. And that’s where the downside comes in.
I mostly don’t like what it does to family dinnertime. It’s important to me to all sit down together most nights and eat a home cooked meal. But that gets really tricky when one child or another is gone from 5:30-7:00 at practice. I’ve talked to other moms about it, but it seems that many people have given up long ago on family dinners. Everyone just grabs whatever they want- eating either convenience food or fast food. But I don’t want to go there. As they get older we will probably move dinnertime later to a time that everyone is home or we will just continue sit down with as many family members as we can.
Since they are growing up so fast, it’s important to me to hang on to these precious family gatherings, like dinnertime. Not that dinnertime is always so delightful, but the overall tradition of it is. And hang on to it I will.