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.