One of the greatest things about speaking at conventions is that I get to travel to various parts of the map. Friends that have moved away whom I have not seen in years are a bit easier to visit when I happen to have a speaking engagement in their area. Last night I was treated to an amazing evening with my friends, Cleve and Michelle Gaddis, and their 4 daughters. They happen to be in the Atlanta metro area which is where I'm speaking this afternoon.
While we were driving to their home last night, Cleve and I were discussing the "return on investment" of extra curricular activities and children. Cleve's oldest and my youngest are roughly the same age, and we can identify with the expense of time and money of these activities.. The activities may be sports, music, theater, or any other thing that helps a child identify a unique outlet of talent.
When we walked into Cleve's home, I was treated to a ukulele serenade by their 4 daughters and his wife Michelle. They were rolling through old songs and new songs and it was amazing! After dinner, we watched the video editing talents of yet another daughter. These top shelf quality music and family videos that she created on their Mac certainly put the old carousal slide shows of yesteryear to shame.
Then we moved on to more music. I grabbed a guitar, 2 girls grabbed their ukuleles, and everyone was having a great time. As his two youngest daughters began to fall asleep, I looked over at Cleve who was grinning from ear to ear like the proud father that he is. I reflected back on the conversation that he and I had en route to his home. While some parents bemoan the seemingly endless series of checks to write for baseball, drama, class trips, piano lessons, and the like; the investment pays off in spades.
Even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket, throw a football farther than your big toe, or have no idea why your kid is so excited to be in front of a camera; remember that the investment of time that you spend now will pay off for years and years to come!