Monday, September 8, 2008

oh, to be eleven again?

Surfer Dude went to auditions today for the upcoming play at our local Art Center. Gumby had planned on going too, but changed his mind at the last minute. He's getting into Junior High in a big way - joining clubs, acting in a school production, even going out for (and winning) student council, and he just decided he didn't want to take on one more thing. (To say this experience is different from when Sasquatch was in Junior High doesn't even begin to do it justice. Trust me on this.)

We knew we were in trouble immediately when we got the rehearsal schedule before they even read for the director. Every single rehearsal is at exactly the same time as his soccer practices. And the performances? Two shows on the same day as the end of season soccer tournament. Sounds like a no brainer, doesn't it? Obviously, you can't be in two places at the same time. But we were there, and he was psyched up, so he went ahead and auditioned. One of his best friends, who has been bitten bad by the acting bug, was there, too. Did I mention that they're also on the same soccer team?

The friend's mom and I sat together and commiserated. (Oh, all right. We cussed, okay? A lot.) This was a real dilemma. And like all dilemmas, there were many sides to it. There was only one given. No matter what happened, the parents would lose.

Her son, let's call him George (since that's his name), has gotten a couple of big parts recently, and has gotten addicted quick. I think he's really got a knack for it. Surfer Dude, who started acting at the same time, has gotten smaller (much, much smaller) parts in the same plays, but has had a blast doing it. He could potentially have a knack for it, but it's not blindingly obvious now. On the other hand, SD has shown recent signs of being a soccer force to be reckoned with. At the game this weekend, I couldn't understand the little acronym the coach was shouting to the players. I was later told that "G.I.T.S." meant "Give It To SD" to shoot. (And no, his initial isn't really an S. But I couldn't resist the thought of the coach yelling about GITS and referring specifically to my kid.)

We came home and had a long discussion. And besides what I think about eleven years olds having to make choices like this about "recreational" activities, I was really proud of how he dealt with it. In spite of the director offering to change rehearsals around if need be, he chose soccer- which he was already committed to - but will take an acting class that won't interfere at all with his practices. He completely got it when I said that sometimes if you overextend yourself and do two things you love that conflict horribly time-wise, you end up being so stressed that you don't enjoy either one. The verdict is still not in on his friend (or the soccer carpool that we do together), but I have fingers crossed.

I don't remember things being like this when I was eleven. And I'm really kind of glad for that.


ped crossing said...

I am so impressed! You are raising such responsible young men.

You couldn't pay me to be 11 again. That was my busiest and craziest year. And most of the activities I was doing I didn't even like.

-Ann said...

I wish you had offered me that wise advice before I emarked on playing two GAA sports for two different clubs this year. If the practises were on the same days, then I had decisions to make. Which was almost better than when they were on different days and I'd end up out of the house 5 evenings a week, sometimes not getting home until after 10.

Peter's made me decide on just one sport next year, which was hard but the right thing to do.

Devon said...

This sounds like my life... carpool here or there, kids in multiple activities. I admit that I don't give them the choice to do it all. I have told them that they have to limit to one sport at a time for the sanity of the family.

I don't know how you can do all of this and work full time. You are incredibly strong. I start talking to walls if I get too over scheduled!

ciara said...

last yr my 11 yr old daughter took on a LOT. asb secretary, two cheer squads (school & recreational), violin, choir, baseball, and dance...i told her as long as her grades held up she could do it. but, i know she knew she over extended herself. she couldn't get to all the asb meetings after awhile and basically just dropped out. this year, she's taking it slow...beg. drums, cheer, dance,and choir. luckily, the cheer coach is the dance instructor, too, and she's only doing the school squad for cheer.

it's amazing how much kids handle these days, and you're son did a good job at realizing how to pick n choose. if you've already made a commitment it's not wise to overextend yourself.

like devon, stinky likes the kids to do one activity at a time. he's starting to let up on showboat a little and letting him do two or three at a time.

CrazyCath said...

Life is far too complicated for 11 year olds now (I have one who is 11 in October, one 19 now).

SD sounds like a very mature 11 year old. Obviously had a good mentor and teacher. ;0)
Glad I'm not 11 now too.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It does sound more complicated for youngsters these days. 11 was that awful year I moved into High school!

CJ xx

Kaycie said...

I remember having to choose between basketball and band. Unlike SD, my gift was with music, and although I started on the BB squad, I wasn't the star by any stretch of the imagination.

So ended my BB career. Probably for the best.

I'm so glad the boys are doing well. That's a good sign that you and the FX are doing things right.

aims said...

When I was eleven......

I think I was playing with a rubber ball that I had stuffed into one leg of my mother's discarded nylons (they came in pairs back then - 2 single legs)

I would stand up against the house and bounce that ball against the house then between my legs - then against the house then lift a leg and bounce the ball against the get easy game that didn't involve much money and no driving me everywhere ....

Marti said...

The boys sound really busy, RC. Congrats to Gumby for embracing all things Jr high!

I am getting caught up on your blog - last week was my regular trip to DC - have to keep the boss happy so I can continue my work.

Miss you all!

Akelamalu said...

I didn't like being 11 so there's no way I'd go back!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Glad you're little man is ok and hope the results for Isiah are good too.