And by “wanting it all”, I don’t mean material goods.  We don’t even have cable, and I’m not about to buy my kids an XBox or anything like that.  I am a worrier, and I grew up uninvolved with my community, uninvolved with any type of sport, and no talent such as playing an instrument.  I want my kids to do all of these things, because at thirty-something, I’m still scared of getting hit in the head by a ball in many different sports!

My oldest 3 kids are currently taking swimming lessons.  They are different ages and differing abilities, so they are all at a different stage.  Which is to say, none of them are yet swimming.  (My oldest is getting close!).  I was hoping that my older two could be on the swim team this fall, but now if I’m lucky, my oldest one might come close.  I don’t need them to be Olympic swimmers; I’m mainly concerned with them NOT drowning, but I’d also like them to be good enough that later in life they won’t get laughed at while doing laps. (Yes, this happened to me in college when I signed up for “swimming” class. Apparently it was a class for kids who had been on a swim team for most of their lives, not just those of us who knew how to keep ourselves afloat in an awkward manner).

I also feel like I should have my oldest (or older two) take some kind of music lessons.  Isn’t playing an instrument supposed to be good for your brain?  Again, it’s a talent that neither Ellis nor I have, and wish that we did.  I can keep a beat with a tambourine, but I can’t play a jig on a fiddle or tickle the ivories with some Mozart.

I’d love to have more time available to do some volunteering.  Not that I have a lot (ANY) of free time, mind you, but to set an example for our kids.  I would like them to be able to do something — anything — of this sort, but coordinating something and juggling the kids just always seems daunting.  It always seems like there’s something more pressing to attend to.

I worry, too, about some of the things that the kids are “missing out” on by homeschooling. My oldest is very artistic, and Ellis and I are the engineering type.  How do I indulge and encourage this passion of hers that I clearly do not share?  I can probably find someone to teach art classes, but will have to juggle the expense, effort of shuttling to another event, etc etc.  My second child is very “spirited” (read: out of control, crazy, energetic monkey) who needs an outlet for her energy.

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The balancing act: wanting it “all” for our kids.

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