Princess steps onto the stage of extracurriculars

There are days I cannot believe I have been a mother for almost a decade. Where does the time go?

My dad warned me about this before I had kids, “When you become a parent, life shifts into fast-forward.”

He was right (but don’t tell him I said so).

I made a personal pledge when our first child was born that I would not become overwhelmed with kids’ activities.

Confession: Last week we chauffeured the boys to activities four of seven days and on one day our oldest son had three commitments.

And here I thought I was making an honest effort to keep extracurriculars reined in.

How did we get so busy? What happened to one activity per season? And where is our daughter during all of this?

Our daughter: The Princess. The Baby. The youngest of our brood of three, is being shuffled – often unwillingly — along with her brothers to piano lessons, baseball, basketball and Cub Scout meetings.

I suddenly felt guilty. What am I doing for (or with) her? I realize she is only 3 years old, but her young life consists of playing in the dirt at the baseball field.

Then I stumbled upon a photo of a friend’s young daughter in a dance class and the light came on: dance class!

After a few messages and phone calls, the Princess was set up for a trial Creative Movement class. And she was so very excited, as was I.

“I’m gonna be a ballerina!” she squealed as she spun in circles.

For days on end she asked if today was the day she would get to dance until finally the time came.

“Mom!” she said as she plowed through her closet. “I have to put on my ballerina dress!”

It took everything in me to discourage her from wearing one of her princess costumes and convince her to “just this time” wear comfy clothes.

And other than telling the dance instructor that her name was, “Rainy” my daughter’s first crack at an extra curricular activity was a success.

She hopped, popped and tapped her way through (I realize these are not the proper terms, but I’m a beginner) with a grin from ear to ear.

When another mom pointed out how well she did, the Princess, with her hand on her hip, all shyness diminished, replied, “Yes, I did!”

Of course it helped that she had a friend in the class with her. And the stop for dinner and ice cream afterwards was a bonus.

So we have added yet another item to our hectic schedule, and my daughter’s wardrobe will soon include tutus and tap shoes, but one day — sooner than I think — I’m going to miss all of this. Right … ?