I am finding it endlessly enlightening to have a large-ish age difference between my oldest and my youngest child, because the contrast brings such perspective to different situations. There are plenty of days when the care of a baby seems so intense, compared to the maturity and self-sufficiency that my older two (sometimes) possess. And then there are other moments and conversations with the big kids that make changing diapers and nursing and keeping small objects out of reach seem so blessedly simple.
Amy didn't do any extra-curriculars last year on account of the early morning and long school day that was kindergarten. This year school doesn't start quite so early, and she is of course a whole year older and wanting to try new things, so at her request we tried out a cheerleading class this afternoon.
And she absolutely hated it. Even though she really did a fine job keeping up with a bunch of kids older and way more experienced than her, she was still in tears because she can't do a cartwheel and doesn't want to go through the process of learning it. So then comes the interesting part for me to decide when it is important to encourage stick-to-it-tivness and when to allow a graceful retreat from a "for fun" activity that is clearly not fun.
For the record, I don't think I will insist on this one; I was only moderately impressed with the program anyway. But as Amy continues to explore new things I know this conversation will come up again.
Diapers may be long gone for two out if three children, but I am pretty sure the challges of parenthood have only just begun.