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Back to School

Summer should get a speeding ticket ~ Anonymous

And just like that, it’s over. Summer that is. I don’t think I did anything actually summery this year. I haven’t even made it to the beach! Not once! Oh well, there’s always next year. Brightside, I got to spend a lot of time with my car.

This summer was all about the kids. (Aren’t they all, really?) Dylan played summer lacrosse and that meant two practices a week (one in Mashpee and one in Bridgewater), plus four weekend tournaments. It was worth all the driving. He had a great summer. He made new friends, his understanding of the game has broadened and his skill level has increased. We get some meat on that boy and he will be a force to be reckoned with this year (well, at least that’s how his mom sees it.) Emma spent the summer dancing, of course. A weekly class in New Bedford and a two week camp in Boston meant even more time on the road and less time at summer for me. She was able to work with some amazing instructors this summer and her confidence and commitment to dance was reinforced.

This summer was also spent setting up several major transitions for our family as we have an interesting few years ahead of us. Pat and I have always tried to give our children opportunities to find their passion(s): baseball, art, lacrosse, dance. Thankfully, they’ve both found activities that they love and, through a combination of hard work and natural talent, they are both defining and solidifying their self-esteem and character. They both work very hard and I love seeing them reap the rewards of their hard work.

Up until about six months ago, it was a forgone conclusion that both kids would attend Plymouth North. However, last winter Emma auditioned for a performing arts high school and in May we learned that she had been accepted. One hitch – and it’s a biggie – the school is a Boston Public School, so she has to be a resident of Boston in order to attend. Great for her but not so great for her brother who is a junior at North and on the lacrosse team, a sport he wants to play in college and hopefully coach. Boston schools do not offer lacrosse as a varsity sport and North cannot offer Emma the opportunity that awaits her in Boston.

So what to do?

How do you choose one child’s dream over the other?

After some soul searching and long talks, we decided to let them both pursue their dreams. It will be a real test for our family and marriage. Most likely the biggest we’ve faced. I rented a place in the city where Emma and I will be living full-time while Pat and Dylan will stay in Plymouth. I expect the next two years will be filled with challenges and some creative parenting. We’ve talked about expectations and the kids understand that they have to step up and shoulder more responsibility in order for this to work.

Not going to lie, I’m a little terrified at what’s ahead of us but no matter what we face, we’ll do it together.

As a family.

Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?"  Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.

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