When Erin was planning her Asia trip last fall I was actually looking forward to the space that would open up in my life with one less child to taxi around to lessons and activities. Erin's always been labour intensive in that respect. As of this fall she had monthly violin lessons in Calgary, weekly piano lessons in Nelson, combined with weekly Corazón choir rehearsals, also in Nelson. Wow ... the thought of not having to get her to all that stuff sounded really enticing.
It hasn't exactly turned out that my life is less full since her departure. It's true that I no longer have to make daily drop-off and pick-up trips to town to get her to and from school. But those were easy brief trips. The longer ones have continued. Last fall Noah had begun combining his local viola lessons with monthly viola lessons in Calgary "because we were there anyway." And as time went on it became clear that he really wanted to focus on the Calgary lessons and drop the local weekly lessons. Which has meant that of course we need to continue our Calgary trips in Erin's absence. And Fiona, who had begun piggy-backing her own piano lessons onto Erin's last October was on a roll and couldn't begin to think of alternating weeks, so we're going to Nelson every week and she is loving having longer lessons now that she isn't having to squeeze in around Erin's time.
And then there is the Children's Choir. She couldn't do it before, because Erin's choir and the piano lesson schedule had us in Nelson on the wrong day. But now we aren't tied to Tuesdays, so we switched piano to Mondays and Fiona has joined the Children's Choir. Their winter term ends the week after Erin gets back, so the schedule and timing are pretty perfect. When I asked the director, who knows Fiona from way back, about the age-guidelines for the Children's Choir she smiled and said "well, technically 7 to 11, but certain 5-year-olds are way more focused than a lot of 10- and 11-year-olds, so I would love to have her." She is thrilled! Click on the photo and zoom in to take a close look at the front row. Fiona is just in front of the director's hand, the tiniest body in the front pew. And as predicted, in contrast to almost all the other under-8's, Fiona is totally focused and on-task.
So there you have it. I am still driving to Nelson for piano lessons and for choir rehearsals and to Calgary for viola lessons. Where is all this extra time I was going to have, and all this extra gas that was going to be left in my tank?