Thursday, September 25, 2014

A New Season, and Doing Things our Way.

It's officially fall.  I'm on board now.  Especially because mother nature has brought 80+ degree weather along with its arrival.  This week we've been getting the beautiful changing colors of leaves as well as hot, sunny days.  This is a win-win in my book.  Getting outside to take advantage of this unseasonably warm (two of my favorite words) weather every chance we get...

We are also one month into the school year.  Settling into new routines and the world of 2nd and 4th graders.  This will be our fifth year doing the school thing and every year I find myself questioning my parenting when the year begins.  Throughout the summer months I feel very confident with the decisions I make as the mom.  I'm comfortable with our lack of participating in summer camps and don't have to hear others talking all about the activities their children are in.  I feel happy with a summer full of playing, hiking, camping and the only play dates being with cousins.  I never question that these memories we create throughout the summer months will stick with them long into adulthood and shape in a positive way who they become.  

And then school begins.  The inevitable questions of "what sports are your girls playing...oh, none?  They must be doing dance or gymnastics then?"  This year it actually began earlier when we ran into some friends one week before school started and she mentioned her kids had already started soccer practice.  I felt the familiar feeling of...are we doing this all wrong?  Are we holding them back by not getting them into all the various activities that are available?  At that point it still felt very much like summer and I was planning a final camping trip, not thinking about the fact we already missed soccer sign ups.  

I do think five years in I'm getting better at feeling secure in our parenting of school age kids.  I remind myself if either girl expressed a desire to do an extra curricular activity we would be the first ones to encourage it.  But, I can't find a reason to push it on them when after a full day at school they just want to play.  Of course, many kids version of play is going to basketball practice and that is great.  I just have to remember each year that it is okay to go against the grain and not participate in everything.  To know it's okay that our weekends aren't filled with soccer games.  We tried that once and now no one is interested.  Our weekends are instead free for us.  To decide as we go and if that means three hikes in three days then so be it.  Instead of games we get this-
Friday night, after dinner sunset stroll...
  
Saturday afternoon hike to a waterfall...

Soccer games are fun and all, but this is beautiful...


Sunday spent on another hike because why not?  The mountains will be full of snow soon so now is the time for us...

I say all this with no judgment.  No one is making me feel this conflict, it's all on me.  My own insecurities of we only have one go at this with these kids and I don't want to screw it up.  Hearing after school chatter of how other parents do things brings these questions up.  Most often I feel so confident in our parenting style.  I'm getting better about knowing we may not do it like everyone else when it comes to the school year and this is okay.  I have to do what feels right in my heart.  And these moments together doing family things feel right.  And that is all that should matter.  They may not be athletes or gymnasts or future ballerinas but they are happy.  They have imaginations and each other and to me this is priceless.  Every school year these questioning voices may start in my head again.  I simply need to politely tell those voices to be quiet.  I'm doing it my way and it's all good.

Happy kids.  That's all any parent really wants, so we do the best we can.  And try to be gentle with ourselves that this is enough.  

No comments:

Post a Comment