The Rec Center
I’ve been wanting to sign the kids up for extracurricular activities since we moved here. It’s hard moving to a new place and knowing not a single person, which activities are good, where to go, or anything like that.
I found a homeschool co-op that looked great, but it had a waiting list that was for next fall. (Fall 2016) Ok so that’s kind of a no go, and sad because it looked so fun!
I found another homeschool co-op that looked awesome, but it too has a Fall 2016 waiting list. Dang it.
We don’t have any extra cash in our budget for expensive activities. All of the dance classes and things I looked at were so costly, especially for more than one kid! We need something fun, inexpensive, and casual.
Last week I saw a post on a Facebook group about sign ups for classes at a Columbus rec center. Apparently the city owns rec centers as part of the Parks and Rec department. We didn’t have anything like this in Kentucky, only the Y. (And we checked out the Y here already–it’s about $80 a month, plus the cost of classes on top of that, and not that great for so much money.)
I looked at the local rec center’s classes and they were all free or cheap. Yassss!
I signed Rosie up for 4H, karate, and basketball skills. I signed Ada up for Sporties for Shorties (lol), ballet, and 4H too. The classes are on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Ballet and Karate cost $25, and 4H cost $26 for both kids. The rest is free. Woohoo!
Last night was the first night of classes. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The rec center is about 25 minutes from our house, which isn’t a big deal because we live way out in the burbs, so everything in the city is 20-30 minutes away. The good thing about Columbus is that it’s so easy to drive places here compared to the horrible traffic and billions of stop lights we had in Kentucky.
The classes last night were GREAT. The kids loved it! 4H was cancelled due to weather, but we still had Karate for Rosie and Sporties for Shorties for Ada.
I figured out why the classes are so cheap. It’s because the rec center is in a low income area. We were totally the only white people in the entire building. All of the teachers and coaches were black, all of the kids were black.
I grew up going to a school where I was sometimes one of the only white persons in my classes, so I’m not unfamiliar with the feeling of standing out. People stared at us, I guess wondering what we were doing there, but whatever. Everyone was really nice regardless.
Ada’s sports class was coached by a huge black man. He was super kind and clearly adored the little kids. He let Henry participate too, even though he’s a year too young. He ran along side Henry when they ran laps and paid him special attention. Henry kept gazing up at him with stars in his eyes. Clearly Henry thought it was the best thing that had ever happened in his entire two years of life.
The sports class is going to be really good for Ada and Henry. It definitely helps with following directions, waiting for your turn patiently, and hand/eye coordination. They ran laps around the gym, did the long jump several times, had a couple of races across the gym, and played with balls.
Henry wore himself out! Apparently the boy needs an hour of constant physical activity that includes running hard every day. Who knew?? I am going to have to work harder to provide this. He went right to sleep last night and slept soundly until 10 this morning with only a couple of wake ups. I’m amazed.
We have a huge trampoline outside, and we go to the park a lot, but it doesn’t wear him out like this gym class did. It has to be all of the running they did. Interesting.
Normally Henry sleeps so badly and fights going to bed. He’s really happy this morning too, less destructive and screamy than usual. He’s had this nasty congestion going on since the cold everyone had in November, just before Thanksgiving. I’m not sure what is happening or why the congestion won’t just go away. Henry’s is the nastiest, but Ada and I have had stuffy noses ever since too. Super annoying. I’m worried Henry’s has turned to an infection even though he hasn’t had a fever, just because it’s so gross and stringy. He coughs up gunk and chokes, and if you try to remove crust from his nose it’s attached to silly string-like boogers that just keep coming and coming. What the heck?? Eeeew.
Rosie’s karate class is going to be good for her too. She needs to build some self confidence. She kept looking at the ground and slumping, then looking at the kids next to her instead of at the instructor. I have no idea why! She said she liked it afterwards. She’s going to be working on standing up straight and keeping her eyes on the instructor! (Isn’t that right, Rosie?)
Igor was given the choice to participate in Rosie’s karate class, or the sports class with Ada and Henry. At first he wanted to do the karate, but then he got nervous and came to watch Ada and Henry. Eventually I convinced him he could play basketball with the kids. A few of the boys were closer to his age. He was so scared to join in. It made me think about if we are able to adopt him, he’s in 7th grade right now in Ukraine but I’m not sure he would fare well in middle school. Or even in high school by the time we are able to complete the adoption. Though maybe high school would be good if he’s 13 or 14, because they have so many more individualized classes.
His self confidence is so low. He is afraid to try things. Though the fact that he eventually participated is HUGE. In the past when he was younger if we went somewhere like this he would just stand in the corner and cry, or refuse to speak to anyone at all, and make no eye contact. This time he made four baskets and grinned at me from across the room!
Today and tomorrow are difficult days because Igor leaves with Tyler to go back to Atlanta and the airport on Thursday evening. Igor isn’t taking it very well, he’s trying to withdraw and at the same time cling as much as possible. He wouldn’t kiss me goodnight last night, but he keeps repeating I love you 30,000 times in a row all day long while following me around.
He’s grumpy and short tempered, which is understandable, but none the less tiring with the other three kids and trying to just function for the next two days.
I hate the last days. I can’t wait for them to be over because of the frustration and awkwardness, but at the same time I’m in no hurry to return him to the orphanage.