A few years (5 maybe?) our neighbor from our old neighborhood asked if Julia would be interested in playing soccer with all the little girls her age from that neighborhood. It was a hard decision for us to make because we had long ago established the one activity rule in our house. The girls could choose one activity they wanted to do (swim) and then they would choose one activity I wanted them to do (piano). That was it. It was too difficult for me to run all of them around all of the time. Besides, there were so many things that we did together as a family that there wasn't any spare time for additional individual activities. Even though we knew this soccer stuff would be too much for us/me we had to say yes because of the people involved.
There was no way we could say no to spending time with this coach and these girls. Julia loved it.
After she played for a bit we relented and let Gretchen sign up. This was just rec soccer - no comp soccer for us, way too much of a time commitment. Both girls looked forward to fall and spring soccer. We lucked out with a fantastic coach for Gretchen and we've been able to stay with the same coach and some of the girls for Julia. Gretchen got to play for 4 seasons and then started 7th grade and stopped. Which is good for me since she loved being goalie and it was way too stressful for me. I think Julia will be playing for another 2 seasons after this one. We'll see how it goes.
The girls have definitely had more freedom in extra activities since Sam turned 16. It's only been 1 year but what a difference it has made. I feel bad for Sam and think Gretchen & Julia are a little spoiled but overall I wouldn't change anything. Sam & Syd would not have had the opportunity to play lacrosse this year if I would have had to drive them to and from everything. They both just signed up to be on the Jordan High mountain bike team. They have 5 races in the fall, all on Saturdays. The team is small and needs girls so they are super willing to work with us and the swim schedule. I know how busy this keeps them and that school is really the most important part, but for now they are keeping up and enjoying high school sports. I love that they are meeting different groups of kids, ones that they would never have any interaction with otherwise. When Gretchen and Julia reach high school hopefully they too will be able to participate in lots of activities. Brian and I would much rather have our girls be competent in many areas than devoted to one thing. If they thought differently and wanted to spend the time and energy necessary to be amazing in one thing of course we would support them. But we would sure miss them when the rest of us were off playing together while they worked on their one thing.