Finding the right after school activity

It’s hard to believe that the first month of school is almost over! It’s also hard to believe that I have a third grader and two first graders. When did this happen? Where did my babies go?! AND to add insult to injury, when did my third grader decide that she was going to become mature and make sure that every night before she goes out to play – she does her homework!?!? (**Disclosures: 1. this is really the only area where she’s mature – and 2. I know I should be super proud and I am – but WHO is this person?!)
It feels as though the summer went by in a flash – although at the beginning of the summer I thought, “wow it’s gonna be a long few months”.  But here we are, being teased by Mother Nature with the hint of Fall (my fav time of year!) The kids seem to be settling back into the school routine pretty well. Each likes their new teacher and classroom and are excited to make new friends and see old friends. Overall not a bad way to start the year off (fingers crossed we stay in this “place” for most of the year!)
With the start of a new school year comes the start of extra curricular activities. For Bailey that means a return to the studio she’s been dancing at for about 5 years now. She loves it there. Each new class brings new opportunities for her to make new friends (she thinks it’s super cool that there is a boy in her jazz class!) and see friends from last year. With a few exceptions, all of the kids from dance go to different schools which is also nice for her. She’s outgoing and very confident so enjoys situations that enable her to make new friends and in some cases reach outside of her comfort zone. While she drives me absolutely crazy, I am super proud of her  always reaching and wanting to try new things. The other big part of dance is that she gets one-on-one time with me. The boys all stay home and have “guys time” while we have “girls time”. As we drive to and from dance, she gets to pick what we talk about and the music we listen to – it’s HER time with me. 
For the first time ever, Spencer has decided to try a new activity. We’ve done gymnastics – but he was only interested in tumbling. We tried soccer – but he didn’t know the coaches and only a few of the kids so quickly decided it was not for him. We tried Karate at the beginning of last year and he decided he didn’t think he’d like that. But then over the summer something happened – something clicked for him. Over the last several weeks of summer he kept asking for one thing – to try Karate again. We thought when school started up he’d forget about it but continued to ask about it several times a week. Well, I am super happy to say that he tried Karate on Tuesday and absolutely LOVED it. He was SOOOO excited when he got home – he couldn’t wait to go back Wednesday night! We’re still in the trial period – but fingers crossed he sticks with it. His classes are made up of three age levels and most of the kids are from neighboring schools so he’ll start to have a separate group of friends outside of school too. Something that is all HIS. He will get one-on-one daddy time as they drive to and from class three nights a week.
It’s an amazing feeling when you finally see your child find their “activity” – something that they are passionate about and that will help them to grow as individuals. Like any parent, I’m not ready to let go and let them grow-up, yet I know I don’t get a choice in the matter. But I am excited to see where their choices take them and how these early activities shape them into the people they will become. 

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