When I was seven-years-old, I started playing t-ball. That was my introduction to sports and after-school activities. My daughter, on the other hand, started dancing school at two. Now six, in addition to jazz and tap dancing, she’s participated in gymnastics, soccer, brownies, Tae Kwon Do, basketball, Irish Step Dancing, ice skating, softball, swimming, bowling, pantomime, commodities trading, Bridge, ice fishing, and bonsai tree art. Maybe she hasn’t done the last few, but she might as well have—she’s tried everything else.
The great thing about Lexy is that she excels at most of her activities. She just earned her green belt in karate and can break boards with her feet, elbows, and hands. I’m not sure when she’ll need that in life, unless she becomes the female Bruce Lee, but it’s certainly a confidence builder. Additionally, because of her exposure to all of these things, she seems to learn new things quickly.
Unfortunately, there’s always a downside. Our weekends are now spent bringing her to all of her various activities. I’m also her soccer coach and attend karate class and basketball games religiously. These have become my activities as well. Gone are the lazy weekends where we could just sleep in, kick our feet up and watch sports on TV all day. Okay, that was just me, but still, it’s a bygone era.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to take part and watch her progress –and part of me is extremely thankful I’m there and not home attempting in vain to fix things—but sometimes I wonder if she’s growing up too fast. At the rate she’s currently going, she’ll graduate Harvard by 10, be married by 13, and a mother by 14.
Then we’ll have her 14-year-old husband and my grandkids all living under the same roof. How awkward will that be?
“Uh Dad, can you teach me how to shave?”
“Don’t call me Dad and no, I can’t you teach you how to shave.”
“How about that driving lesson? The twins can’t drive themselves to nursery school.”
“Go to your room and don’t come out until dinner.”
Bawling, he’ll run out of the bathroom. “Lexy, Dad sent me to my room again!”
“Don’t call me Dad!”
“Daddy, how could you?!” Lexy would say.
Of course, he’ll fight with my son over video games and the twins will mistakenly call me Dad. Due to his age, the only job my son-in-law will be able to get is delivering newspapers so he, my daughter, and the twins will end up living with us until they’re middle-aged. And this will all be due to my daughter’s extra-curricular activities.
Granted, I’m getting way ahead of myself. The activities are a positive thing. But it is scary how much she’s accomplished at such a young age. When I was her age my biggest accomplishment was eating all my peas and with my mouth closed—still is. I just hope she and my son take the time to enjoy their childhood because before you know it some stranger is living in your house and calling you Dad.