Saturday, October 11, 2008

Free

Over breakfast this morning, Liam announced that next year "I just want to be free, mommy." He said this in reference to playing sports, specifically soccer, which he's supposed to be doing as we speak- except for the fact that he'd rather be running around the yard with his friends and drawing blue-prints for his tree house.

I see the value of athletics- I never got to play as a child so I have enjoyed going to their games and cheering them on- watching them just do their best and having fun at it. But I also know exactly what my son is getting at, when he talks of being free. When you have multiple children, the very act of getting one or the other of them or all, to the practices or games, is difficult, and frankly, a bit destructive to the family process. You've often got one parent going this way, and the other parent going that way, and togetherness is out the window completely. Not to mention the issue of overscheduling and what the lack of "free-time" does to our kids- I've seen some rather tortured five-year-olds who just want to play and not be a member of five different teams in one season-while the parents beam with pride that their kids are playing soccer and football and hockey and basketball....

There must be a balance, I think, and I've yet to find it. Most times, we (Tom and I and the kids), just kind of want to be.....and busy-ness tends to make us all a little nuts.

So, today, despite my efforts to the contrary, Liam has decided to opt out of his game and run with his buds. Its important for kids to learn committment and a sence of respect for promises you make to "show up" but I just couldn't force that lesson on him today- so he's swinging high into the air, jumping off with pure joy, then chasing the boys around the yard...he's free.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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