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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the Great Debate

This post will have nothing to do with Multiple Sclerosis or running today.  It will be about an ongoing disagreement, debate, if you will, between Keith and myself.  He called from work this morning and asked what time Lillian's dance class starts on Saturday.  
"8:85, just like every saturday for the last two years dear".
To which he responds " see that's what pisses me off.  Every Saturday is tied up with this dance stuff.  I wanted to go to the Christmas shop up in  Michigan, but now we won't have time."
 "what about Sunday?"
"I don't like to do things on Sundays, at the end of the weekend"
Here's where I start to get mad and try to hold back, "well, if it wasn't Lil's dance it would be a swim meet for Ab. you can't keep downing one and not the other"
"I'll just discuss this with you later when I'm not at work"

We have two teen daughters.  The oldest Ab, has been swimming since she was 9 yrs old and currently swims for her high school team, the YMCA, and the USA swim program.  Our youngest has been involved with dance since she was four years old and is currently on her dance studio's competition team, and she is also on the performance team.  They are busy girls, but both love what they do.

The argument comes in with the fact that Keith feels that Ab has a better chance of getting into college with swimming than Lillian does with dance.  He sees no value in dance for Lillian and resents the time and money we spend for her to do it.  On the other hand he sees swimming as a real chance for Ab to possibly get a scholarship for college. Over the years he has tried to interest Lillian in swimming or another sport, but she has not been interested.  She loves to be on stage and perform.  I realize we spend a hefty amount of money on dance, but we also put out a pretty penny for swim.  They are both traveling activities so our traveling expenses can get up there sometimes also.   All in all I have been able to keep expenses pretty even for both activities.  What I can't keep even is Keith's opinion.  It's starting to drive me nuts.

I feel that what ever they do now will have value in their adult lives.  Both girls can teach/coach during college to earn money.  They both learn about competition and how to be a gracious winner or loser.  For Lillian who tends to struggle with attention issues in school dance helps her learn to concentrate and retain information.   My biggest agument is that both of them are happy, and feel great about themselves.  To me those are the biggest values of all. 

Keith is very good about not saying anything negative to Lillian about dance, and always tries to make all her performances/competitions as his hectic military schedule allows.  He really does love to watch her dance and believes she's talented, but that doesn't stop the comments to me about the time and gas spent on dance that he feels are better spent elsewhere.

I don't want to fight about this.  I don't want our girls to be caught in the middle of this, and I certainly do not want one to feel favored over the other because that is not the case.

I really do believe once Lil is in high school next year some of the dance will fall off simply because she will be involved in band and the high school drama team. I just wish he would give me a break sometimes.  I am the one running both girls to all their activities and making arrangments for them when I can't.   I know he wants the best for them, because he is a fabulous dad.  He is involved and always available for them.  He just needs to lighten up sometimes I think.  Who knows maybe my style of parenting is too loosey goosey and I'm the one in the wrong for letting Lilli dance instead of forcing volleyball or soccer on her.  

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