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Scheduled Madness

Earlier this winter, I thought Simon was over-scheduled and was a little concerned about the effects on our home life and his school work. That’s when things looked like this:

  • Monday: home after school
  • Tuesday: team soccer practice from 6-7
  • Wednesday: home after school
  • Thursday: Soccer extra practice (Talent School) from 5:30-6:30
  • Friday: home after school
  • Saturday: soccer game in the a.m.; drum lesson after lunch
  • Sunday: tennis lesson from 1-2:30

Then a funny thing happened. Our outdoor soccer season at Louisville Soccer Alliance began before our indoor soccer season at Mockingbird ended, and Simon wasn’t interested in giving anything up. Our life got crazy with a schedule that looked like this:

  • Monday: LSA soccer from 6-7:30
  • Tuesday: Mockingbird soccer from 6-7
  • Wednesday: LSA soccer from 6-7:30
  • Thursday: Mockingbird Talent School from 5:30-6:30
  • Friday: home after school
  • Saturday: soccer game in the a.m., drum lesson and LSA soccer practice in the p.m.
  • Sunday: tennis from 1-2:30

Madness! We joked—only very slightly—that school was something we fit into Simon’s athletic schedule as best we could. This was clearly too much, and as soon as the winter session at Mockingbird ended, we were going to wrap up all indoor soccer and maybe take a break from tennis, too. It was time to reclaim family time!

Of course that’s not at all what happened. What happened is that after his final Talent School practice two weeks ago today (the one where we doped him on caffeine), Simon got teary in the car about not wanting to quit talent school with Coach Darren. It didn’t help my case at all that Coach Darren complimented him in an email to me and I could plainly see the results of the Talent School myself.

Thursday was back on.

We were still going to go on tennis hiatus. Now that Salil was going to move up, the timing was perfect. Except the coaches told Salil’s dad that he needed one more session before he’d ready to move to the intermediate group. Salil was overjoyed with the news because that meant he got to stay with Simon! Both boys were overjoyed in fact; they smiled and hugged and jumped up and down at the prospect of getting to stay together.*

I cannot split up such a happy friendship. Sunday tennis was back on.

So here’s what “taking back our family time” and “dialing down on the scheduled madness” looks like:

  • Monday: LSA practice from 6-7:30
  • Tuesday: free evening
  • Wednesday: LSA practice from 6-7:30
  • Thursday: Mockingbird Talent School from 5:30-6:30
  • Friday: free evening
  • Saturday: Soccer game (two games this weekend) in the a.m., drum lesson after lunch
  • Sunday: tennis from 1-2:30

Yeah, we totally dialed down the extra-curriculars and reclaimed family time! I vaguely disapprove of this schedule. It represents all the over-scheduled and micro-managed qualities of modern childhood that I feel I should be fighting against. On the other hand, there aren’t a ton of kids around us playing in back-yards after school, Simon loves soccer more than anything (including me), and he enjoys tennis and has made a special friend in Salil.

Meanwhile, he just jumped up a level in reading, is working on his multiplication facts for fun, and brought home a stellar report card two weeks ago. Most importantly, he seems happy and eager 99% of the time. I’m beginning to think that my issues about Simon’s schedule are just that: my issues. Until something changes, I’m going to fuel up the car and get used to rolling with it.

*Simon and Salil might get to play together more than I thought. To my pleasant surprise, the coaches informed me that Simon will likely move up to the intermediate group with Salil. Salil is still taller and stronger than Simon, but some of the power differential disappeared once we got Simon a bigger racket. Simon’s strengths on the tennis court are his forehand spin, a result of being left-handed; his backhand, which he took to more easily than most; and his footwork, which is a direct result of all that soccer he plays. Tennis pros love soccer players.





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