"But," you cry, "these are optional activities. They don't have to take Web Design. They don't have to do baseball." They do if they want to be competitive for colleges. They do if they want to have the skill sets and social connections we all value.
Of the few childhood memories I retain, I remember most my father's comment to me upon seeing the cost to join the swim team--a sport I loved, "Son, there's no possible way to afford this. I'm sorry." I wanted to swim, but he knew we were just barely treading water. And so it goes.
So, Richard's kid sifted through his mess of six or seven checks, written by his father, who can afford such things.
Jordan signed his mother's name on the parent letter and checked the box for "Opt out" when he thought I wasn't looking. No doubt spending as much effort as possible not thinking about the opportunities to which he has no access.