I've told you my thoughts about Sweetheart's extra-curricular activity this year. Well, I volunteered to be a co-leader so that I could go on the camping trip with them. I know we aren't supposed to as parents, but S and I agreed that if I didn't go...she wouldn't either. I'm not sending my 8 year old an hour away with people I barely know overnight. It's just not happening. I don't care what their credentials are. So, by sacrificing my "visit with adults time" on Mondays during the meetings (which was painful)...she will get to go camping. Now, there is the matter of the sleep-over. It seems to prepare for the night away from home/celebration of our independence from our parents/camping trip...they need to attend a sleep-over. The leader who is hosting the sleep-over sent out an e-mail with all kinds of details and at first it made me feel better. But I just don't have peace about her going. At least not without me there. Do you know the stats on sexual abuse of children? I'm not saying I think anyone at this sleep-over is going to be abused, but why would I take that chance? Why would I ignore my gut which is not comfortable with the whole situation and let her spend the night there? I keep trying to tell myself I'm being silly. And I don't want to disappoint her by telling her she is coming home at 9:00.
But we are her protectors. Period.
On a more positive note...I've noticed some neat changes in my girls since we started homeschooling. First of all, they are playmates. I mean they really, truly play together a great portion of the day. I think that is amazing seeing as how there is a 4 year age gap between them. I hoped for this. It's really neat watching their relationship and how it has changed. I think homeschooling helps close up age gaps. They just don't matter. The first homeschool event we went to this year, I was suprised to discover that my then three year old was welcome too. Homeschoolers do stuff as families--not just as "elementary aged children" or whatever. Whatever we do, we all do, for the most part. We go to Girl Scouts together, we go to play group together, we go to story time together. I noticed Sweetheart playing with some children from church the other night after a fellowship dinner. She was including ALL children of all ages in her play. It's like it really didn't matter to her if they were older or younger. She is now used to being around a variety of ages.
That's a neat side-effect I didn't expect.
The other thing I have noticed is that my girls expect to be included in adult conversations as well. When I am having a conversation with my parents, even 4 year old Little Bit will chime in with a question. It's like they just expect that they are welcome to join discussions! What? Where is the divide that says adult only talk to adults and children go off and play and think that adults are weird? That's certainly how I grew up! My parents have noticed that the girls ask questions about EVERYTHING ALL DAY LONG. Really? I hadn't noticed. (twitching) No, really. It's a new thing--this questioning and listening and being interested and involved in whatever is going on around them. I can see them changing and it is so cool.