My seven year old looked at the calendar this morning before school and asked me what day it was. I told her and she found it and exclaimed "HEY!! Look! We don't have anything scheduled for today." Then to her brother... "There are only a few days where we have nothing... and today is one of them! We don't have to do anything today, which means we can do whatever we want!"
I think that might qualify us as being officially over committed. Despite attempts to the contrary, with three kids... it is hard not to be over committed. Being the ages they are... and the sexes they are, it is hard to double up on events. Thus, even though we limit what they do... those things are always at the same time and in opposite directions. I don't remember it being this way when I was a kid... but maybe I don't remember because I was a kid.
Being a kid involves being completely oblivious to the consequences on other people regarding your decisions. "I want to..." translates into endless trips squeezed into endless other trips. But failing to listen to the "I want to"s makes one a bad parent. WHAT! Your child wants to play piano and you said NO? **Gasp** It is peer pressure that makes high school look like child's play.
Every parent I know complains about this fact. The pressure of running hither and yon. The desire to be a "good" parent... even though that often means letting them stay up until all hours of the night at musical practice when they have a project due tomorrow. And while we complain about being the taxi driver, we just as often worry about what it is doing to our kids... is there too much pressure? Do seven year olds really need to be looking at calendars and being happy when one of the blocks remains empty?
There is... according to many anthropologists... an evolution in process between my generation and the next. A video is being shown to adults and to teens. The video is a split screen with two different things happening on either side of the screen... with one side having people dressed in blue, and one side with people dressed in blue. Both groups are asked to count the number of times the blue side bounces a basketball. When the video is completed both groups gives their answer to the simple question. Then the person running the test asks the group if they saw the gorilla. 90% of the teens saw the gorilla, which comes on to the red side of the frame dressed in a basketball uniform and dribbles the ball. Less than 20% of the adults saw it... and they were completely stunned when the tape was reversed and they saw just how obvious it was. Not only that, the teens reported a much higher accuracy on the correct number of times the blue side bounced the ball... and were also able to report how many times the red side bounced the ball as well.
There is, I believe, a fundamental change happening in the brains of this next generation. One that involves a much higher level of multitasking and the ability to utilize more of our brains to process it. A change in which the parents of today are unequipped to handle because we are not evolved enough to handle it. But our kids are. Which is a long way around to saying that having them take music and dance and art... letting them play sports... letting them be in musicals and plays... and any number of the other activities that are now available... is okay. Because humanity is evolving to help them process what we could not. Change always happens. And my cro magnon brain is good for driving them here and there, even if it can't process all that they process. And that... my friends... is how evolution happens.
This does NOT change the fact, however, that it is still nice to have a night off every once in a while.
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