I knew it was inevitable.
At some point, you just can't fight it anymore.
Eventually, you lose all your free time and money to your children.
It's a sad, but true, fact.
When I was growing up, my parents fostered our talents and passions. If my sisters and I wanted to pursue something (within reason, of course), we were given the opportunity to try. At the time, I didn't think of the time and money that went into these endeavors. But, what my parents pulled off was simply miraculous. Honestly, sometimes, I don't know how they did it all.
As a young child, I took dance lessons (as did my sisters). Eventually, those lessons were replaced with soccer and then around age 9, travel soccer. When I was in the first grade, I started to play basketball (and so did my younger sister). By the fourth grade, I was playing on a traveling team for that too.
In fifth grade, I took up the clarinet and in seventh, I joined track and field (Note: I was still playing soccer and basketball on travel teams and at school). This all continued into high school, until junior year, when I decided to focus solely on track and field, as that is where I was getting the most college recruitment interest.
During those years, my sisters also had their interests. They both played basketball. One was a crowned beauty queen, who dabbled in field hockey and equestrian. And the other followed me into the throwing circle.
Our schedule was insane. There were a lot of long weekends spent on the field or court or pageant stage and I know now how much my parents sacrificed to make it all happen. Was it worth it? I think so. We are all well rounded individuals, and I ended up with my pick of top universities with multiple scholarship offers. Not a bad payoff for all those lost weekends.
Recently, I realized that we are about to venture into this same territory with our own kids. Starting this fall, they will all have three activities each week (some with multiple days of practice) and with all those activities comes a hefty price tag. We will spend hours upon hours supporting the girls and their passions. And as much as it pains me to write those checks, I have to admit that I think that ultimately, it's worth whatever sacrifice in time and money that we have to make.
It's worth it to watch them succeed and take pride in themselves.
It's worth it to watch them struggle and learn that they can push past their own limits.
It's worth it to watch them learn that hard work pays off and that sometimes winning doesn't necessarily mean that you are the winner.
Sure, it's completely unlikely that they'll truly appreciate what we are doing for them now. But, I know that one day, they will look back and understand that we are their ultimate support team. And in that moment, everything I do for them now will be completely worth it.