Thursday, July 18, 2013

Split Loyalties: A Parent's Dilemma

It starts from the moment the second (or third or fourth) child is born. This one wants to nap, that one wants to go out and play. That one wants to go on the slide, this one wants to go one the swings. Let's get pizza, let's get burgers.  Which one's whining wins out?

When Serena and Venus play for another Open title again or Jim and John Harbaugh faced each other for the SuperBowl, there was one big question for the parents: "Oooh, who will they root for?"  At least, they only have to go to one venue and see both their kids, who wins is up to the kids.  What's hard is when you want to cheer for both kids and they are not in the same venue.

It's the smart parents that put all their kids in the same sport. On our summer swim team, we had a family with 4 (or was it 5?) kids, they all swam.  Easy, right?  One Saturday morning, one 4-hour block, all kids are busy and occupied, and parents can be there for everyone. But some folks don't do that. They put their 4 kids in various and separate activities, with the idea that it will give everyone their own identity, a unique talent and sense of pride. Great. Until all of their hardwork culminates on one day.

This weekend we have swim team Championship meet and all the hoo-ray that goes with that, tennis team district play-offs, and a church fashion show.  And we havent even thrown in stuff like meals, church, and sleeping.  Are you thinking that there's too many activities for the hours allotted to a weekend? I would agree.  There's overlaps and conflicts, especially when you throw in travel to two counties.  Obviously, the kids will get to their events somehow, but how does a parent choose where to go?

We generally try to pick the most "important". Yes, I know, it's all important. But for instance, music and show performances usually trump regular games and meets, and definitely any practices, because there's usually only one per quarter/season/year and you can't miss something that's that infrequent. Then, we consider if one is some type of play-off, championship, super-duper something. After that, we split up and text each other progress.

But what happens on a weekend like this one? One-time event, championships, play-offs, and celebrations. That's when we fire up the helicopter and the be-in-two-places-at-once machine. Let me know if you'd ever like to rent them.

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