The Gardener decided to walk to the store. On one of the coldest days of the year (here). He bundled well but I wondered about his ears. He reminded me this would be considered mild during a Chicago winter. We lived through quite a few of those. I remember well the two weeks it never rose above 25 below. But today I decided to walk inside at the gym of a local church where we "work out."
The parking lot was full but quiet when I arrived. Sports. Mini (I call it) basketball and cheerleading on a Saturday morning. Walking the upper track around the busy gym, I had plenty of time to observe all the goings on. I could not help but feel sorry for these little kids--maybe 4 to 6 years old at the most. Dragged from their warm beds at an early hour on the only day they could have a morning at home ... just to fiddle around on a basketball court, "keeping up with the Joneses" I suppose. It's a mystery to me. I suppose if they wait til they're age seven to start, alas, they may be a bit behind. Entire families were there to watch--grandparents, siblings--all wishing, I'm guessing, that they could be somewhere else. If I could only impart to these young parents that, in the long run, sports at four and five doesn't make any difference in your kid getting into college.
But what really sort of saddened me was the fully decked-out cheerleaders. From outfits, to pom-poms, to megaphones, to perky pigtails in big bows, and hands on hips. Barely five years old. (No wonder kids are bored in high school.) At least these little ones were fairly conservative in their routines. At some recent college games we've seen half-time "entertainment" where the mini dancers wear make up and swing their hips so hard I fear for the future of those hips (read: arthritis, early onset).
It is a shame little kids don't get much down time these days--time just to be kids. I remember the huge temptation to busy our kids with many activities. But that's enough on that. The Gardener enjoyed his walk to the shops and returned with his ears intact.