Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Participant vs. Spectator

My sweet mom takes my kids for a sleepover many Friday nights a month.  Their absence gives me a chance to do some studying and clean the house.  Because I had to work these past two days and attend school on one of the nights, I wanted to spend Friday night with them.  So when I got home from work we opened up the laptop and started searching places that have open play time at 6pm on Friday night.  I know it is very like us to plan something last minute and expect places to be expecting us. 

After a while it became obvious to us that we had two options: we could stay home or attend open swim at a local community center.  My awesome sister agreed to go with us so off we went.   I wasn't sure that I wanted to actually swim.  This is because I am not that fond of swimming, moreso of getting my warm body into colder than desirable (to me) water.  Not only that, but exposing my body that had several parts of it hybernate during the past few jean and long sleeve wearing months (if you know what I mean) was not agreeable with me.

When we got to the pool though, I understood that my presence in the water (especially because we also had four of their cousins with us) would probably be necessary.   So regardless of what I wrote above, I decided to expose my pale, previously sheltered from the rest of the world body.   As I was swimming and playing in the water with the kids I noticed how I loved it so much more than when I was a spectator during Nick's swimming lessons in the summer.

Driving home I was thinking about how my kids are getting more and more independent and how it is no longer necessary for me to follow their every step.  Because of this, I have relaxed quite a bit on the playgrounds and other kid places we go to the point where I just sit there and either read something or watch them play.   This was fun at first as I could finally relax and get some rest myself by just sitting there and watching them play .  Now, I am beginning to think that I might be missing out by just merely being a spectator.  I know that kids need time to play by themselves without me facilitating their play, but they get plenty of opportunities to do that at home.

I know that time will come when I'll be doing a lot of spectating at their sport games and music recitals. While they let me I will join their silly games because watching is not merely as memorable as doing.


  1. Are you guys taking lessons still? F. started again today and I was looking around to see if you were there :)
    I still can't just sit and relax when we are on the playground. He's play by himself, but I am always worried he'd wander off and I won't notice...

  2. Tanya, no we are not doing lessons this season. I will be done with my master's in April and look forward to signing him up after that!