Last month my husband and I took a day trip to our state museum of history. Neither of us had ever been. We have always lived in this state and it seemed ridiculous that we had never taken the time to see our amazing history.
As kids, my mom took us places such as this if we could get in free. My husband is one of six kids–five of which are boys. They are lucky to have lived let alone have gone to a museum. But it prompted us to look back on our children’s lives.
I have always thought that admitting I had regrets was saying what I did was wrong. Maybe. Maybe not. As we continued our conversation, we realized that we wish we had done one thing differently.
We wish we’d skipped the traveling sports teams and spent that time going to museums, libraries, zoos, parks and places. We talked for quite awhile about why we chose to let them play. We knew better. We were caught up in a cycle that we had total control over.
Why didn’t we say no? Were we worried what people would think if we said no thank you? Were we worried that our kids wouldn’t have friends if they didn’t play? We knew our kids weren’t going to college on an athletic scholarship. Was playing on that team about us or about them? Playing on those teams did not make them better players or better people for that matter. What were we hoping to gain from those experiences? We certainly could not afford it and yet, we did it anyway.
Here’s my message for parents of small children who are thinking of signing up to play on one of those teams: skip it.
Go to the museum. Take that weekend trip to a zoo. Stay home and play games. Cook. Go to Grandma’s. Bake cookies and take to shut-ins.
Do we regret letting our kids play? No. We were always with them and we went as a family. We like watching sports together now and often have family fantasy leagues. Our NCAA brackets will be filled out by morning. When our team won the World Series it was like we had won the World Series.
I just wish we had done it differently. #justsayin’