Ella was invited to a rock-climbing-themed birthday party last weekend. She's five. What happened to pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey?
She was a bit nervous as this was her first time on a wall that didn't have a slide or monkey bars next to it. As you can see, she did great. Most of the girls went twice and then started to get antsy. They wanted to have the cake and ice cream. Not Elle - she kept jumping to the back of the line as soon as she was unhooked from her rope. I was thrilled that she took to it, as was Chris, but now we're worried she'll actually like it so much, she'll pursue rock climbing as a sport. That kind of stuff happens around here. I know people who have saved people from avalanches. I know a former member of the US luge team. I worked with a woman who's husband is the head of the US Snowboard team. It's the land of extreme sports. Our friend's second grader is already ski racing.
We want the kids to be active and well rounded, but I don't think we will push them into some of the activities that seem so commonplace around here. It's a fine line. For example, we had the kids in a gymnastics program last year that a neighbor was in. I signed up so that we could carpool if needed. It seemed fine until I noticed the level of stress among some of the older gymnasts. I learned that many of the pre-teens were training 20 plus hours a week. The gym was run by a former Olympian. It all came clear when Harry's teacher got into a power struggle with him and refused to assist him on an apparatus. I could see the tears welling in Harrison's eyes as he struggled to complete the exercise. He tried and tried - all he needed was a spot - but the teacher ignored him. We never went back. Now we're at a different program - also recommended by neighbors/friends. It's much more low key. Why then, did I question if it was "good enough" for the kids? It's crazy - they're so little.
Sundays they start another round of ski lessons. Their first all day lessons. I hope it's not a mistake to send them "away" for six hours during one of our precious "family" days, as the kids call them. I'm pretty sure they'll love it. They thoroughly enjoy skiing - I'm just not sure if they'll have the stamina for seven weeks. Live and learn.
P.S. Chris is doing well. He had surgery on a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. Percoset didn't like him - or vice versa, but now it's been a few days and the pain is starting to get more reasonable. He's a trooper - rarely complains.