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No mama wants to think that she is raising a quitter, but when our ten year old asked to quit an extra-curricular activity recently, I was ok with it.

My husband and I have always encouraged the girls to try various after school activities. Our rules, when deciding to try a new activity, are:

1. you must finish what we've paid for, and

2. you cannot leave your team in a jam.

Our openness to new activities means that our girls have tried, collectively over their combined eighteen years of life: cooking class, t-ball, soccer, tennis, basketball, painting, piano, karate, art, hand-building with clay, ballet, tap, chess club, drama, glee club, and maybe a few more that I can't recall.

Some of the activities have culminated in amazing grand finales, such as the dance recital when our three year old danced in a fluffy pink tutu with her handsomely suited daddy. There was the soccer season that ended in trophies and a fantastic party in the park. The hand-building with clay ended with several precious bowls that we keep near the sinks for rings. Chess club led to additional private lessons and our oldest beating both me and her dad at chess!

2020 taught us some valuable lessons about protecting ourselves. We wear our masks, wash our hands, social distance, hold events outdoors. We've also learned some lessons about how to protect our mental and emotional capacities. We've learned that it is ok to cut out extras, especially if those extras cut into our mental health time.

I am terrible about saying yes too often. The school needs help? Yes. Girl Scouts need help? Yes. The sports team needs a manager? Sure. 2020 solved some of this for me, but I still have difficulty flexing my 'no' muscles.

This school year has been the most difficult yet for our oldest daughter. The volume of rigorous work that she completes at school and the amount of homework she brings home each evening is daunting! Her dad and I are occasionally stumped by the work she is doing. I've consulted google more times that I really care to admit to check her math problems, but she has been amazing! She is dedicated to keeping her assignments and materials meticulously organized. She becomes annoyed if I offer my organizational assistance with protests that she's got it and know where everything is. So far, her grades support her claims.

She works so hard throughout the week, that when it was time to head to our Saturday activity class, she just did not want to. She pointed out that she works really hard all week and on the weekend, just wants to relax. That was something I could say yes to!

I am so proud of her hard work. I am so proud of her dedication to her academics. I am so proud of how she interacts with her friends and teachers. And, I am so proud of her ability to say NO!


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