Sunday, 16 September 2012

Competing Interests.

Oh the pressure!

Sarah was at swimming with Mike the other week.  She is being tested for the next level, where they have to swim 25m laps for 45 mins so it's a test of stamina as well as stroke capability.

The swimming coach guy was very enthusiastic, he told Mike she was very strong, and looked like she had a bit of talent.  She was one to keep an eye on, according to him.

Mike came home walking on air.  He doesn't get to do this type of stuff too often and he was totally chuffed.  He told everyone we saw that weekend.  They were suitably impressed.  I however was not.

Because 9 times out of ten the phrase he/she might have a bit of talent is just code for, they're quite good, perhaps above average, but not spectacular. But why not put them into extra lessons and pay more money for the remote chance they might become one of those rare ultra talented kids.

I don't think so.

The ones who are truly talented you can pick a mile away.  They reveal themselves early, in whatever their chosen field is, gym, running, swimming, academics.

Sarah is a good swimmer.  She looks smooth and clean in the water and she's quite powerful (thanks gymnastics)  But she's a long way from truly talented.  She's not even talented enough that a lot of hard work might make her a contender.

In any case, swimming lessons when you're a Christensen are compulsory until you are at least 10 (this may go up when Sarah turns 10).  Everyone needs to be able to safely negotiate the large amounts of water surrounding us, forming quite a large chunk of our summer leisure time.  It's a no brainer.

But when it's not swimming? I dunno.

She has recently had a try out for the Australian Youth Choir.  She, who has never shown interest (or-let's be honest- any particular talent) for singing, has now been offered a place in the probational choir for next year.  They practice at Chatswood.  On Tuesdays, from 6-7pm.  This is a time and place that is simply 7 shades of wrong.

Two of her friends have also been selected.  None of us know what to do.  But I think it's a no from me because the logistics do my head in.

Cue guilt.

It's a hard line to walk, do you let your kids try out everything so they have the best chance of working out what they really like or have talent for, or do you just say NO.  Because you can't do everything.  And it's unreasonable to expect to be able to offer your kids every potential hobby/skill/activity.  And you can't expect them all to like the same activities just to make your life easier.  Which is a damn shame.

One thing all three of them excel at together is watching TV.  Not ideal I know, but it gets the dinner cooked.