Thursday, March 06, 2008

Closing Doors

Not very long ago I stumbled across this New York Times article about how painful it is for human beings to intentionally "close a door." The study detailed in the article uses virtual doors to stand in for metaphorical doors, but this topic is near and dear to me. Understanding the advantage of intentionally closing some doors was behind my encouraging Chris to leave Honda. It is there when I close paid-off lines of credit. It is upper-most in my mind as I try to decide how I want to earn income for the next decade.

In the article, they briefly touch on how difficult it is to close doors on behalf of our children, too--leaving them over-scheduled.

The timing couldn't be better, as the summer is coming and if we're going to do swim team with the kids, I need to figure out how to cram more swim lessons back into Ben and Milo's schedule so they can make it all the way across the pool this year.

But I am loathe to cram anything else into their schedules. I can't tell you how much I would like for the boys to have . . . summer. They will be 6 and a half this summer. We have a big backyard. Grandma has a big backyard. There is an even mile between us with exactly one bad intersection.

What if we didn't join the swim team? What if we just got a family pass to the pool for the summer and made it a goal to go four times a week for exercise?

What if we went down to the creek they are so enchanted with and looked for a safe place to access it, set up the rules, and let them play?

We'll still have piano practice. Max is doing two weeks of summer "camp." We're going cabin camping with one set of grandparents and possibly some of my siblings. I'll have work to do. I hope to work with the twins on their writing. I hope Max reads a lot. And they will, because I don't mind it in moderation, play lots on the Wii and Game Cube.

They can ride bikes at the school at the end of the block. I'll need their help weeding and watering gardens. They can do butterfly inventories (Gramma Gaye and I bought a mix of butterfly and hummingbird flower seed) and have their friends over for playdates.

How bad would it be if the only place we HAD to be for most of June, July, and August was church and the occasional piano lesson?

I write it out like this and the answer seems obvious. It wouldn't be bad at all. Let the door close. Let the swim lesson sign-ups pass.


I'm having an odd week, mostly because the schedule for pretty much everything I do was different this week and there were just weird blips. OTOH, I've had a lot of fun with Gaye this week, who has pretty much kept me sane. I just drive her places. We hit a garden nursery yesterday and walked away with some new plants for me and some big plans for her yard. Today at the Waffle Shop we planned out where her new raised-bed gardens will go, where the Chris Hults Corn Garden will go, and what to do with the slope in her backyard that could be pretty and not need mowing if we act son.

I posted some of our questions to the Organic Gardening forum and am awaiting answers.

It's about time for me to head over to the school for the usual Thursday afternoon volunteering. Then we're using the kids' book-reading pizza coupons for dinner and calling it a day.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This summer we are committing only to 2 weeks of swim lessons. The rest of the time we will go to the library, volunteer at the library and spend time with everyone who visits. That should pretty much fill up the summer. Good for you for closing doors. I've done a little of that myself, as hard as it is at the time, the better I feel in the end. I take control of my life by letting things go. Who would have thought.

I can't wait to own a house and have a yard again. I want to garden so bad, and have a place for the kids to play. That was the trade off for moving to a bigger place. Very small yard near the parking area and the street. At least the playground is close. Maybe we will actually go there this summer.