2004-05-26 - 11:12 a.m.
I actually don't feel so great.
In the past few weeks I've ... had lunch with a woman I met when Nora was in preschool; run into a woman I met when Nora was 3 months old; called a friend I knew even before I had kids (she lives in Vermont, now, but is coming to visit this summer).
I like them all, and it seems that eventually the kids will all leave, but I will still have people to hang around with.
Also, I was talking to a colleague about the sort of freeform anxiety that's floating around the fact that Nora's going off to high school. It was nice to admit to her -- well, she's taking Spanish and Latin, which means she can't take photography, and maybe that's a really bad thing, and then should I talk her into going out for crew, and then what about the debate club? [Subtext: how will she ever get into college as a normal kid? Clearly no one can.]
I mean, is it better to cram a child's life full of 87,000 activities, or is it actually better to let them have a small scrap of time in which they might discover what their actual interests are.
The risk being, they fritter that time away on the phone, rereading David Sedaris, or -- worst of all -- watching television!
I just don't know.
Alice said she didn't know, either, but that she'd never been able to make her children do anything they didn't want to, so she felt it was not really possible, in her case, to shape one's children into nobel prize winning physicists through the early application of multi-activities.
Somehow I felt better, and realized I could actually discuss these things with Nora. I don't actually care if she doesn't go out for crew, but I think some kind of physical activity would be really really good. Also, something like crew would allow her to meet people. Also, something like crew or debate or journalism or something would be a good thing to have on her resume, and although that may be a dumb reason to do something, it may be something you have to do if you want to have some choice in the matter of where you go to college. Also, dumb as it is, it is probably true that doing Something would lead to her having a better time anyway.
The principle, or the 9th grade advisor, or somebody said, "busy kids are happy kids," and within reason, I think that's true.
So -- got all that?
Now I must go. I wish I felt better. I think I might be anemic again, which I find highly annoying.
Okay. Thank you very much.
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