Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finding ballance

This parenting thing doesn't get any easier. Just when you adapt to one stage, a whole new set of subtleties and considerations go into effect.

How do you balance it all? Last year, we took a break and didn't have any sport-related classes. In the past, they danced for two years and took a break from that to explore karate. We tried Softball a while ago, but I was really put off by the whole thing. I was there for my kids to learn the game and have fun. Everyone else was there to prep their kids for the Olympics. We learned very quickly that it wasn't for us and we ran far far away.

Starting very soon, the big kids will have Hebrew school on Mondays. They'll have Sunday school too. We don't do sports on Shabbat.

I'm not the type who wants my kids to play 5 different sports. I'd like them to do one or two things to stay active and to learn what they're capable of. At the same time, religion is very important to us. I didn't have the opportunity to learn Hebrew. Dh just learned enough to read from the Torah for his bar mitzvah portion and he immediately forgot it all. Our children will have better.

I danced every week day and had gymnastics on the weekend. Dh's parents are VERY involved in local sports (my MIL is in her town's sports hall of fame). So that drives us, but so too does the love of Judaism.

We had to pass up the dance school where I really wanted to send the girls because the class for their age group is the same day/time as Hebrew school. They want to take gymnastics too, but we can't do it. I'm not comfortable with them shoving so much into the evenings. If I can find a homeschool class that meets during the day, we can do that, but once you're out of that pre-k age, it's difficult to find much during daytime hours.

Gah! How do you find the right balance? How do you resist becoming a stereotype one way or another? I will not be the parent who confronts the Hebrew school teacher demanding to know, "How is he supposed to improve at baseball when you want him here during practices?" How do we teach our children to value their beliefs and heritage if we so obviously value the physical over all else? Although, I also refuse to raise a mensch with absolutely no appreciation for his physical ability. Can you truly appreciate G-d if you can't recognize the power in yourself?

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