Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Howling at the Moon

Sometimes, as a working parent, it seems the only time I'm ever with my kids is spent coaxing them to do things they don't want to do: get out of bed, get ready for school, run for the bus, do your homework, eat your dinner, get ready for bed, go to sleep.

 With the return of school and soccer season, it seems this mode has shifted into overdrive. Last week, I found my afternoons spent racing to far-flung soccer fields (and in at least one nerve-wracking case, the wrong field), birthday parties, school open house, and a packet deadline for me. We sat down to dinner only one evening. The rest of our meals consisted of sandwiches or burritos eaten in the car on the way to guitar practice, or on the sides of soccer fields.

By Friday night, after E, Z and I went and got pizza, and finally found M at the undisclosed birthday party location ("Everyone else got picked up an hour ago." "How did everyone else's parents know what time the party ended or where it was?" "I dunno."), we were all in meltdown mode. E and Z responded to my innocent, "Please take your lunch bags out of your backpacks," with red-faced screaming, "I already did that!"

Lying together in bed each night, reading My Side of the Mountain (thinking that living in a hollowed out tree sounded pretty darn good), was about the only quiet, down time we had. That and a walk in the full moon light Thursday night. 

The weekend brought more soccer and parties and visits. I had a hard time letting go, too wound up by everything to just relax and enjoy myself.

And yesterday it began again––soccer game, late dinner, too much homework. Too late to read, I lay in bed with first E and then Z, brushing the snarls out of their long silky hair, and then read them just one poem.

It's not enough. It's never enough. But if that's all there is, I'll take it.


  1. Hi! I found you over at Salt and Chocolate (: I love the honesty of your post. It is always hard for summer to come to an end and face the schedules and structure (and homework) of fall! I don't work, so I know it is not the same juggling act for our family. I hate the nights we are rushing off to the hockey rinks to meet up with my husband, with food for him and changes of clothes...etc. It is hard to find the balance between activities and downtime...and those birthday parties too! Hard to say no and hard to say yes! Take care and good luck the rest of the week. I have enjoyed reading your other posts too!

  2. Wool Fairy--Thanks for stopping by! It seems that just by doing one activity per kid, you suddenly become an "overscheduled family." Good luck with your balancing act, too!

  3. One activity per kid is definitely turning into a full time job, I agree. It seems to nature of everything these days. This year I'm going to lobby hard to have both my kids on the same hockey team (since it works with their ages and division). We try to stick to one sport and music lessons. It seems like A LOT!

  4. I'm not ready for all of that! Phew--you're a rockstar. We had a school potluck last night and I'm spent for the week!

  5. Don't worry, Meryl. You're way more on top of things than I am. By the time homework and soccer (or whatever activity your kid gets into) come around, you'll have the world eating out of your hands.


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