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Have the cake and eat it too

published: 2009-11-06

“I used to play violin,” said one of the three women in the office adjacent to mine, “and before that flute.”

The second woman mentioned she played piano, like I had.
“That makes me so jealous, my parents never inspired us to play any instruments,” said the third.
“But you must have done loads of sports instead?” I asked. She nodded.
And we had all forgotten most of what we had learned. But have we really?
The topic at hand was: how to find the right balance between exposing your children to various opportunities, while not overwhelming them with must-dos or choices. The second woman runs a circus school. She sees a lot of overstressed 8-year-olds who sometimes have as many as 4 different extra-curricular activities.
While discussing this, we were eating a cake one of the women had made. It was a perfect cake. We enjoyed the break and eachothers’ company, yet meanhwile each of us kept an eye on the clock. We have jobs to do, children to pick up, food to cook and so on.
One woman concluded, “kids should learn to understand that it doesn’t always have to be fun immediately. For example with violin: the fun part comes later, after loads of investment and hard work. ”
“Just like in society,” I said. It was our cue: we simultaenously got up and went back to work.

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