What is up with this? We have run into this problem before. Our first experience with "cults" was SYA cheerleading. Where our then 8 year old and 11 year old daughters wanted to be cheerleaders for the little football players. Not being from Texas originally I had NO idea what was involved. What was involved was hundreds of dollars, two practices a week, a Friday night pep rally and then travelling to two games on Saturday. It also involved a little girl crying, every week, because she couldn't take the stress and a grumpy family because as much as we
I don't understand why when kids get involved in an activity it has to consume the entire family. And frankly, soccer is kind of bugging me right now. Up until this year little b has played on regular recreational teams. This has meant we have 1 or 2 practices a week and then a game on Saturday morning. Really when you have a lot of kids that can add up to a lot, but no one forced us to have a lot of kids and so we solider on and try and let each kid learn and grow and try stuff out. It seemed reasonable.
This year, for some reason, we thought our 8 year old soccer prodigy needed something more. So we tried out for rec +. And he made it. And the whole feeling has been much more intense. We have 1 coach and 4 assistant coaches, who all wear matching coach shirts and stand on the side line, arms folded, faces serious, clip boards in hand, as if they were playing pro ball (and don't even ask me how ludicrous I think that whole thing is). We have practices, and now that it's dark rent fields with lights, at the expense of the families. Coaches get yellow cards, and sometimes yell at each other or kids on teams. Boys get VERY competitive. Last night we went to a soccer party, at a fancy restaurant, with glass goblets and table clothes (to the tune of $15 a person) and ate spaghetti (something I made the night before to the tune of $1.75 a person). There were speeches and toasts and the boys shared their highlights which sounded something like "I liked it best when I scored a goal", "I liked it best when Aaron hit that other kid", "I liked it best when Justin "shut down" Ulysses". Repeat. Repeat.
Today the boys are at an all day Kohls cup event. They are excited. I am sure it will be fun. E had to leave his friend Eric here to play with the girls while he went though, and was too tired to happily get ready.
As I packed his little backpack with 7 Gatorade bottles, and a bunch of snacks, and his back up jersey, and crocs for between games, and shorts in case it warms up, and a hat in case it gets colder I thought to myself that this was a little obsessive.
And you know the craziest part. Even with all that we are looked down on for not being involved enough. We won't play on Sunday. We don't want to travel to VA, or PA to play. We don't go to the extra "goalie clinic", and we complain about the cost and want to keep it down. The other families pity our poor boy and his non committed family. They are very nice, as they consider us freaks.
I know there are kids out there somewhere who meet on a dirt lot near their "houses" and with bare feet and a ball play a game of soccer. Are they having less fun than our boys, who groan when they get assigned to play at a field that is less than manicured (edited to keep my blog rating in the family range). I doubt it.
My kids lack meaningful work. They miss out on doing without, sacrificing for the good of the family, or community, and selfless service and we replace it with overindulgence, and all the fancy trappings of the world. (When I say my I don't meant just the ones I gave birth to, but the generation that they share) At whose feet do we worship?
I don't know what to do to fix it either. I have no field to plow, cows to milk, or community well to dig. We live in luxury, which Big B works hard to provide, and I work hard to keep clean. I want my kids to be happy, well rounded and contributing but when I look around I don't see that many kids really taking advantage of their many opportunities and rising to greatness. Maybe like a little chick coming out of it's egg kids need adversity to rise above in order to become extraordinary? Are they learning to work hard? To be creative and ingenious?To be content? To help others??
I am already dreading Christmas, which I love, because I know it will be a let down. H wants "a cell phone but she is not greedy, she will be happy with one that doesn't have a data plan; a lap top, real Uggs, and custom converse...only 4 things and she will be perfectly happy" she tells me. Lu wants an $80 dog that walks by remote control. She is 5. Come on. And the list goes on. When you have everything you need the things you want become ridiculous.
The inner conflict, I want them to have. I want them to appreciate. I want them to have their priorities straight...but do I teach them that?? do we live that? Can we have it both ways? Am I trying to serve God and Mammon?
and lastly, why do I have so much laundry all the time??