By TMoM Team Member Laura Simon
I basically drive a taxi. I mean, its silver, not yellow. But on any given day, I’m pretty sure I traverse the whole Triad.
Why? My kids are in extracurricular activities. Swimming, soccer, music, theater – you name it, they’ve tried it.
Sometimes I’m having a meeting for work in a corner of the YMCA or huddled in the front seat of my minivan, and I wonder out loud why we do this. It would be easier if we didn’t. Sure, there are physical benefits to sports, but at the end of the day, I think the breadth of our activities is more important than that.
My kids are different people than me, and their skills and interests are going to be different as well. If we don’t explore different things, how will they figure out where they’re gifted and what makes their hearts sing?
And sometimes, I get to sit on the bleachers or in the auditorium and watch, enraptured, as they find their niche. And that is magical.
All three of my kids just participated in a play with our homeschool co-op. I can assure you that I did not pass on drama genetics. I hate being on stage and my talent for drama ends at reading aloud in different voices.
But my middle son? He comes alive in that spotlight. I sat and watched him become the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and realized, “This is his thing.” He was confident, animated – and oh, so happy. At the end of his solo, he sang, “I could stay young, and chipper and I’d like it with a zipper, if I only had a heart…” He zipped up his metaphorical zipper with enthusiasm, looked sideways at me and grinned. He was in his element.
“Mom, I wasn’t nervous up there at all,” he told me later.
All three of my kids are finding their own interests. My oldest has found a home in the production booth at church. Sometimes he makes me stay home and watch the livestream so that I can see his camera work.
My youngest is happiest in the pool with her friends and creating anything in art class.
Next month, that could change to something new. We won’t know unless we try.
And that’s why I drive a taxi. I hope I’m giving my kids a chance to find their way to who they’re supposed to be, one extracurricular at a time.