I have been amazed lately by how much every single activity that children are in requires "total commitment" from the family. Since most people have 1.7 kids (or 2.4) or whatever the average now is) it is reasonable (in the minds of the leaders of these activities) to ask the family to make a total commitment to that activity.
However, I cannot make a total commitment to anything -- one child and that one activity cannot be our whole lives. Right now Boy Scouts and Competitive Soccer are the activities that we're finding are most insistent that we are at EVERYTHING. And, that just can't be. For example, on June 1st Rand Graduates from HIgh School. That weekend Tony has Tenderfoot Camp and Ricardo has a soccer tournament 90 miles from here. We can't do all three, something has to give.
As you know, in the past 3 days Ricardo has played 5 soccer games and we have travelled 540 miles in these three days to get him there. He is VERY good and has a lot of potential and a true love for the game, otherwise we would have never made this commitment. But if you add the extra food costs, gas, and the fees we've already paid, this is tourning out to be a very expensive, not to mention time consuming venture.
It's not that he's not worth it, it's just the expectation. Why aren't car pools organized? Because what GOOD parent would ever miss a SINGLE game? And so they all drive up separately and most stay in a hotel and eat out all weekend. It's not like our family could afford to do that.
And this is the first time that fellow players and the coach are really stressed when one of my kids can't be at the game -- he's that good. Just wait until next weekend when we tell them that we are completely skipping a 10:30 a.m. Sunday game because church comes first.
I know, I'm ranting a little. . . I get the point and how sports teach values and how important parental support is, and I'm not faulting anyone. But it is just one of our forays into attempting normalcy that shows once again that the life we have chosen is not like every one else.