Monday, May 19, 2008

Rising to the level of mediocrity

For the past few months Erica has been going to musical/play practice. The Turkish American Association was doing a rendition of Disney's teen blockbuster film High School Musical. Erica got wind of it and decided she wanted to try out. She was awarded the part of a cheerleader.

(Her mother was secretly happy she didn't have a major role since she had never done anything like this before!) So rehearsals started. In January. And so for the last 4 months we have dealt with getting Erica to and from rehearsals...three times a week.

Now this is where I need to come clean and admit that I do not drive in Turkey. I have never driven in Turkey. So when I say WE have dealt with getting Erica to and from rehearsals I mean that I have thought about it, but other than that and making a few phone calls to check to see who was driving I have had it relatively easy. Brian and another family took turns driving carpool for the practices. As time for the performances (there were 4!) drew near the practice schedule increased to include Saturday and Sunday practices as well. The great thing about living in Turkey is that there is ample public transportation so after a bit the kids were able to get to and from the practices some on their own. I think we were all happy about this!

Sunday night I was able to attend the final show. It was great. The kids' hard work really paid off.

And now here is where I make my point. Just in case you were wondering. I do have a point.

Is it bad to hope that my kids are never so great at something that they have years of 3-5 practices a week as well as shows, performances, games, matches, meets, and fairs? If I only had one child I might be able to handle it, but there are four of them. Thankfully Erica is almost driving age so if when we are back in the states the acting bug hits again she will soon be able to drive herself to practices.

Will will be in 7th grade next year. All of Will's desires for extra-curricular activities revolve around sports so junior high athletics is the perfect place for him to hone his skills. And they have late buses. Those buses that take the kids who stay after school for some sports reason or because they were in after-school detention home barely in time for dinner. I was never good enough at sports or bad enough behaviorally to take the late bus. But I know they exist. So that gets me out of being practice chauffeur, but there are still all those games to go to.

Jacob is my smart kid. He loves to read and do math homework. He has participated in sports for the past 5 years because all of his friends were doing it. We recently finished a season of basketball where Jacob jammed his finger slightly and quickly declared that this was the last time he was going to play basketball. Now he is participating in soccer and has already decided that he is done with it as well. This comes as no surprise to me. He is not a skilled sportsman. I asked him if he would be interested in swimming. He said "for fun, but I don't want to do races." We listed several other sports and nothing really stood out to him. He did, however, enjoy the recent science fair that he participated in. He worked hard to make sure his board and project were exceptional. I fully expect academic decathlons to be in his future. Maybe even band. Sigh.

Anna Grace is only 8. She has never been interested in sports. Of any kind. She would probably be great at them if she would try them because she has the build for it. She also doesn't have the stamina to do 4 months of rehearsals for a 4 show play. At least not yet. She gets bored easily so nothing ever sounds good or fun for long. When she saw the play she said she would like to try out next time. I'll believe that when I see it. She doesn't care much about playing an instrument or reading books. She spends her time watching movies and bugging her siblings. Maybe AG is destined for mediocrity. Just like her mother. I'm so proud!


Anonymous said...

Mediocrity? YOU? Really?


I just don't believe that!

You are a brave one with 4 kids... I am quite content with one, who wants to do everything!

Glad the play went well! Erica looks like she had some fun!

Momo Fali said...

I completely know where you're coming from. Next year, if my son wants to play soccer in the fall, I will be driving the two kids to practice and games six out of seven days!

HeyJoe said...

It's a fine line between encouraging them to be involved and not wanting to overdo it. But I think you're selling yourselves short with the mediocrity thing. Everyone has their gifts, some just take longer to unearth. AG has personality that comes off the page. She's going to be the heartbreaker, the ham, and Ms. Popularity all rolled into one. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

just wanted to say i came accross your blog via citizen of the month and am addicted! i've been to turkey a couple of times and love it, one of my favorite places so i love reading your stories. i'm living in NYC now so it's nice to live vicariously through your blog...

The Over-Thinker said...

As someone who doesn't have children (yet!) I have a lot of time to observe my co-workers who are moms and see how even the ones with one child that participates in one sport or one choir are pulled IN ABOUT A BAJILLION different directions each week. It's like they live their lives in the car...dashing from one place to the next. My boss said just the other day: "I hate to say this but I really hope that my son's team is eliminated this week b/c I cannot fathom doing this for another month."

Johnson Journal said...

Natalie! I can't believe you've never driven in Turkey! Come on get out there and do it! ej

Natalie said...

charlie girl - hey...don't knock mediocrity. it's what separates the highs and lows! erica did have fun!

momo fali - i love my kids, but the thought of living my life in my car just doesn't appeal to me! 6 out of 7 days! ack!

heyjoe - i agree about that fine line. as long as they pick stuff that can be done through school i think i can handle it. and you are right about ag. she is only 8, and she scares me already. erica is me all over again so i can predict her next move. ag...well i have no idea what she is thinking most of the time!

peachy - thanks for the visit! we love turkey! it is a great place...well when they don't shut down youtube. i am still trying to get over that! where did you go when you were here?

over-thinker - i don't want to live in my car! waaaahhhh! and i did the same thing about football season this year. i was so happy when the team finally lost. and that wasn't even a kid...that was my husband, the coach!

ej - well i have never really learned to drive a standard to the point where i am comfortable with it even in america. you can be sure i am not going to try it here!

Anonymous said...

yes, i remember reading about the whole youtube thing sometime back. i wan't too suprised. i visited istanbul a few years ago and another summer i was in izmir and all along the med. coast. it was gorgeous! have you been to that area yet? if not, i would completely recommend Kas. i hope to tag along with my sis and her husband (who is turkish) for another visit soon..

Natalie said...

peachy - i've been to istanbul and to izmir, but i haven't been to kas. thanks for the suggestion! we have been to the mediterranean coast, but really only around antalya. i'll add kas to my places to visit list!

Anonymous said...

The running does stop some with the athletics at school, but you still have the younger ones:) Troy has a broken finger right now and I think we've been busier than ever with him!! Drama at church, drama at school and baseball. They did win the league championship last night however:)

Natalie said...

cheri - i know. hopefully my younger two will ease into the american way of life. jacob is pretty much a homebody so i know he won't have us running everywhere! anna grace...well i just never know with her! congrats to troy and his team!