21st century children have the opportunity to be exposed to an endless list of activities, considering there is such a wide range of choices available, it is hard to decide what to try. Parents worry their children are in too many activities or not the right activity. As a mom of three teenagers, we have tried many activities over the years. There have been times when I have wondered “why did we spend time playing that sport or taking those lessons?” However, I quickly learned that even the activities that don’t work have given us a good sense of what our kids like, what they don’t like, or hopefully led them to a skill they truly love. My oldest daughter played soccer from age 4 -10. She enjoyed playing, but it really wasn’t her thing, looking back, keeping her in soccer was the best thing we could have ever done.
At a recent swim class while my daughter was in the water with her dad, I noticed a woman also watching the Parent-N-Me class in session and introduced myself. Instantly I recognized a familiar accent. Phyl was visiting her daughter’s family from the Isle of Man, and was the great-grandmother of student, 20-month-old Alfie. It is relatively rare to meet anyone from that part of the U.K. since the small island in the Irish Sea between Ireland and England only has a population of about 88,500.
I come from a family of swimmers. Not professional swimmers, mind you, but we can all at least float and get from point A to point B in the water. My brother, cousins and I were all taught how important it is to know how to swim from an early age. For your health. For survival. For fun. All of us grew up hearing the story of how my grandfather swam the widest part of the Hudson River near Haverstraw, New York, as did his sister Florence, apparently setting a record at the time. That is about three and a half miles wide. (I cannot verify the record, but it always sounded good.)
There is certainly no real good way to describe that feeling when you find out that you are pregnant with your first child. Whether you had been trying or it was a surprise, there is something pretty magical about looking at your positive pregnancy test.