Eileen and I have been going to youth baseball and football games (band) that our kids have been involved with for twenty consecutive years. Now there are only two more games and one band competition until that streak will end. For sure, this isn’t the era of your momma’s baseball teams and band. While it has been enjoyable to watch our kids compete and participate, it has also been a consuming endeavor.
Youth programs today tend to dominate a family’s life. With four active kids, it’s been a balancing act to make it all work. It seems that each program wants a full commitment of not only the participating child but the family too. Furthermore, the cost associated with these activities is becoming prohibitive. While participation in these activities has been fruitful and fun, it seems that the overshadowing devotion required to participate will be a self-limiting hurdle at some point.
As we close out our run of twenty consecutive years of attending our kids’ extra-curricular activities, we’ve had a great time following them all over the nation. Nevertheless, the busyness of our children has never been an excuse for Eileen and I to falter in our responsibilities to them as parents. While we’ve always given these activities their due, we’ve fought hard to make sure that our values were instilled in our children. While we’ve watched our children hoist championship trophies, honors, scholarships, and various awards in their activities, we’ve always been mindful that these activities would one day end… but their values must endure.
It’s good to remember that regardless of how wonderful our kids’ teachers, coaches, and supervisors might be, these good people are not our kids’ parents. That responsibility falls to us and there is never a good reason to think these good people will or should raise our kids for us. In fact, the best coaching our kids will ever receive is from us.