From March to August, Saturday is renamed Soccerday at our place. At the moment, it’s soccer trials for the two older boys. All three are playing this year.
My boys are busy.
One early morning for school band practice. Shaolin kungfu one afternoon. After school care one afternoon. Over to friends’ after school one to two afternoons. Swimming lessons for the youngest. In summer it’s futsal. In winter it’s soccer. They quite often sign up for the school futsal team as well which involves training before school. Chess club and debating at school for the oldest boy. The youngest does dance at school. It’s all stuff that they have initiated themselves and they enjoy.
I worry that they are too busy. In between all of this activity, they know very well how to relax and play together. And we still have the art of noticing. Like the massive bogong moth hanging out on the washing. And that our spider has now disappeared after not spinning a web for five days.
In the debate about how much is too much, I look at the side benefits – the connections. As a family (of introverts) we are making and sustaining connections with other parents and children in the community. Those – friendly - good to see you - have a laugh - I can’t believe how much your kids have grown - kids running around with each other - your son played well – give us a call if you need help with transport - type of connections. Not deep and meaningful, but breezy, pleasant and helpful with just the right amount of care and concern.
We are a part of the school community, the futsal community, the soccer community, and the kungfu community.
An Aboriginal woman said to me years ago “you can’t grow a strong tree if you don’t have strong roots”. If downtime is the part where we have strong family foundations and grow a strong tree, the activity is the new growth, the branching out, the stretching out into the sunlight, which then nourishes the tree.