I’m getting a little hobby hoarse, as it were
Way back, having witnessed many parents spiral into a froth of taxi-runs, I resolved to avoid the trap. I decided that, should I ever have children, that I would not feel duty bound to enroll them in a multitude of classes; I would wait until they begged to take up various interests. I would wait until they were beside themselves with enthusiasm and commitment to their chosen hobby and then cave in, and facilitate.
I should have stuck to this.
But the career break came, and with it, the belief that the time would need to be filled. So, they picked two hobbies each and away we went.
It has been great, admittedly. Some good outfits, some fun activities, aerobic activity, social skills, commitment, participation…
What I didn’t take into account was the other stuff. I mean – of course, they all have to do swimming – so it doesn’t really count as a hobby as such. And, with the Christian thing going on, the whole of Sunday is taken up with church and stuff – that whole ironic Day of Rest thing.
There are also the hidden costs. Not just the outlay for the cost of classes and outfits. It’s the outlay for the other two kids and me, in the café, waiting for the one who is actually at the thing. £5 for a session of gymnastics; £6 for two cokes, a coffee and three cakes. Then there are the logistics, the timings, the shuttle runs, the being in three places at once…
Left to their own devices, what would my children do, without hobbies? Well, they would find a screen and sit in front of it. So I would unplug it, morphing (as I do) into the Dad character in “Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” (the resemblance was uncanny). And then they would…
Repeatedly ask why we can’t have a dog;
Quiz me on the evolution of the light-bulb;
Pretend to be tigers and fish;
Plan how we will live on a farm, should we ever buy one…;
Steal non-existent food from each other and start a fight.
Anyway. I’m sure it would be fine. I could live with that. I think. So, when I go back to work in August, maybe I’ll just float off into the doldrums of society and wait for the wind to pick up independently, aside from my helpful suggestions.