I admit it, I’ve neglected my littles terribly when it comes to extra-curricular activities. See, I know a secret that many younger parents (or parents of younger kids) just don’t get, especially here in New England: Your kids will not be failures if they don’t get started in every conceivable activity before the age of 4. With a few exceptions for kids who just really want to try something they love, or who have such an obvious natural affinity and love for an activity that it seems cruel to keep them away from it, my opinion is that most kids ought to wait for most activities until they are 5ish and it’s at least partly their idea to get involved.
Swimming is an exception. All good parents should teach their kids to swim at the first opportunity. That’s why I’ve been so on top of things. That’s why Claire is by far the biggest kid in her beginning swim class, and the two other kids in class with mine are still in swim diapers. What can I say to excuse myself when what it really is is that stubborn Posey streak in me. I’ve just refused to play that whole suburban-mom-with-a-dayplanner-dedicated-solely-to-the-preschoolers’-activities game. Shame on me.
I’m sorry kids. But you WILL learn to swim. You’ll probably learn it passably within a couple months. I’ll sign you up for a week when we’re visiting Archbold this summer and you will learn in five days (for $25) what it would have taken months and months and hundreds of dollars to learn in hectic classes full of frenzied moms and overprogrammed toddlers.
When the right time comes, I’ll drive you to remote places for club soccer, and fencing, and orchestra, and ballet. I promise to get so hopelessly lost on the way home from an indoor soccer game that we have to pull over and pray. I won’t have another baby to tote to a filthy, freezing gym for fencing club, but we’ll find a way to make it challenging. I promise I will drive carpools with your teammates and teach you (after we drop them off) that it is very rude to ride with someone for 45 minutes and not say a word. I promise I will NEVER leave the vehicle’s DVD player running for little kids so long during warmups that the car won’t start after the game (in some remote spot 70 miles from home). I promise to have a car big enough to carry four friends, their sports bags and instruments, and your embarrassed sibling between sports practice and musical rehearsal.
Really, I’ll let you experience it all. Just not yet. Please?