Every other week, we trek to Dun Laoghaire for kids' club. During rush hour. Usually in the rain. At dusk. Yes, it can be an ordeal. Kids' club nights mean we're eating dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon and driving 40 minutes with three sometimes cranky kiddos. Homework has got to get done, and everyone must eat and go to the bathroom and take a car activity. And when we get home it's nearly bedtime, and everyone is still wired and ready for second dinner.
But it's worth it.
You see, we don't do a lot of extracurriculars. My kids aren't exactly, um, athletic (picture me whispering athletic, because this is usually how I say it to a new friend when I feel bad my kids aren't more, well, athletic). In truth, Ella is or will be, but her sport of choice will probably end up being track or cross country or wrestling and that's a few years down the road yet. Hopefully. But Jack just isn't interested. And that's OK.
As much as I want him to explore new things and occasionally get out of his comfort zone (and his nose out of a book), I'm learning not to force things on him that he is not gifted towards. So finding low-cost, low-risk things they can get involved with after school can be difficult.
And our lifestyle isn't exactly routine day-in and day-out. Matt's work schedule is different every day and the car is not always at my disposal. Committing to a once or twice weekly activity isn't realistic for us now. Just getting homework done is afternoon-long activity in itself!
In lieu of committing to things I'm not sure my children will enjoy or benefit from, we drive 40 minutes to kids' club in rush hour traffic every other week. They play games with and get to know other kids, spend time with our friend who youth pastors there and whom they've known nearly their whole lives, and Asher and I get a change of scenery.
This is just one small thing that works for us, right now. One tiny bit of routine we can all look forward to. One more way we've settled into home here. It probably won't last forever and I'm hoping we can integrate swimming or a library activity from time to time. But you do what you can, right?
One more bonus: on a rare day, we get to see a sight like the one above. Like I said, totally worth it.