Busy doing allll the things! (And thrilled by it.)

“I’m busy, Mom,” Gracie informed with, with a content sigh  barely hidden underneath her words. “I have practice for the music and the writing competition today, plus practice for the Mayfest dance. And then tomorrow is chess club and dance practice. And then it’s my birthday party!”

It’s a good thing Miss Gracie is thriving on her crazy schedule, because she’s turned into quite the joiner this semester. The After School coordinator asked Gracie awhile back to be on the first-team for the dance squad. They’re entered into a So You Think You Can Dance type competition at Mayfest, and Gracie’s got some decent moves. She’s not great, and she’s not a natural by any means, but she’s okay – and they know that if Gracie commits to something, she’s not going to back down from a challenge. They know she’ll work hard, and that her parents will make sure she shows up at competition and doesn’t let the rest of the team down. How much do I love that my little girl has already learned this lesson? She was ranting on the way home yesterday: “Mom! We can’t do our big flips at the end of the dance any more because [this girl] got hit in the face accidentally and popped her lip and now her dad won’t let her play. It’s not fair, Mom! If she gets hurt at recess, she still does recess, but she got hurt – ONCE! – during dance and she just walked away.” We talked about the importance of committment and how favorite players have to play hurt sometimes (as long as it’s safe) because sometimes you have to put the team first. It was a leeetle beyond her with the way it was phrased, but if she was that upset that the girl walked away, I know she already understand the basics, even if she can’t explain them differently.

And it’s not just dance that Gracie’s committee to. She was also asked to join a group called the University Interscholastic League – pretty much, a competition for our favorite little geeks to show off in music, writing, and spelling. Gracie’s first choice was spelling, undoubtedly because she knew she would do well; I think that kid has maybe missed one spelling word in the past three years. Ms. G. was pushing Gracie to join the music group. Gracie’s a natural when it comes to identifying notes, playing back pieces, identifying speed, and all other of musical bravado that I would get wrong if I had to list because I don’t have any of that talent. (In real life. Ask Kim.) So when that permission slip came home, I signed the same thing I had for the spelling one – that Gracie had permission, but that she had committed first to dance, so they would have to clear it with them. And also UIL spelling. Practice was held the same day as spelling, so I didn’t think it would work. But guess what? They all love Gracie! They had pulled it off! So now it was dance, spelling, and music. Okay! …and maybe writing, too, because the next day ANOTHER form came home from UIL. Now, I love my daughter, and she excels at reading and imagination. But she is not a very good writer because she is l-a-z-y. She puts down the bare minimum. But I threw my now-patented disclaimer on the permission form and sent it back. Hey, at least practice was on a different day. If they could make it work and Gracie didn’t mind, who was I to stand in the way?

And that is how Gracie became part of the dance squad, UIL spelling, writing, and music teams, oh – and the book club and chess club, too. Gracie doesn’t complain once when she comes home and has to sit and do her homework because she was too busy to do it after school. In fact, I think she sort of revels in it. “Oh, I was too busy because I am in-demand and a Very Important Third Grader. Leave me be, peasants.” Heh.

As long as Gracie keeps her grades up, doesn’t exhaust herself, and is generally happy, I’m not going to step in. Why mess with something that’s working? It’s good for her to learn to budget her time and to make new friends and try new things. It’s a great way for her to learn about committment and hard work. The extra bribery material – “If you fail one more practice STAAR test, I’m pulling you from UIL.” – is just the icing on the cake!

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One Response to “Busy doing allll the things! (And thrilled by it.)”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Way to use the busy schedule! Do most of these things take place right after school? Just trying to figure out how you keep up.

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