Monday night when the little girls and I got home they tried calling friends with whom they could pass the few hours of light and heat before bedtime. First call result? The friends were at Girl Scout Camp. Second call? Girl Scout Camp. Third call? Girl Scout Camp. Seriously? Turns out every little girl in our neighborhood, and quite possibly the city, is out enjoying the thrills of Girl Scout Camp. An experience I enjoyed myself when I was a little girl.
We gave up and filled our evening with other family fun but when they went to bed, and ever since, I’ve been feeling a little blue about the experiences they will miss out on simply because they are a product of two families. When four parents are involved it means that decisions aren’t just made. They are proposed, debated, argued, and then decided upon. If no blood has been shed to decide something like…oh I don’t know…what time works best on Saturdays for gymnastics, we consider it a success. Since the little girls go back and forth between houses twice per week, and have to adjust to two different environments, and we all have to squeeze in everything a normal family would but with half the time, there are things we just have to let go. Piano lessons, something in which our littlest little girl has expressed interest, might not work considering we’d have half the time to practice each week. Girl Scouts fell on a day that was inconvenient so they’ve missed out on uniforms, and sashes filled with hard-earned patches, and the Bridge Ceremony, and selling cookies. We simply put them in a couple of activities per year and give-up on the rest.
But it kind of breaks my heart. I want them to be able to experience every single thing that they’d like to try. I want to be able to say “we should do Girl Scouts next year so you can go to camp too!” I want our littlest little girl to try piano lessons knowing it would likely help her in her schoolwork as well. I want all of these things and more for them.
But I don’t necessarily get to decide.
And thus, I have to figure out how I can be okay with our limited time and limited control over their activities, and make our time together as good as possible. Maybe it means becoming something like a “virtual Girl Scout troupe” and we can find activities that are similar. Or maybe it means more art projects, and adventures to the museums, and concerts. Balanced out with downtime at home so they can run around the neighborhood with friends (when every single one of them isn’t away at camp).
TODAY: What if I try to recreate some of the things I enjoyed when I was a kid for my little girls? What if I try to find the balance between making sure they get to experience many things, and enjoying the downtime of staying home, in the confines of our limited time with them? Huh…and now that I type all this out…what if I stop talking about how limited our time is with them and start talking about having all the time in the world? What if simply doing that makes it feel like we have more time? Couldn’t hurt!