Friday, August 20, 2010
For years my calendar looked like notes from an air traffic controller’s desk with coffee rings. No one understood what was happening next except me and then I often wondered. One time I turned on the car, took a deep breath and talking to myself said out loud, “OK, where to first?”
“Mom!”, seven-year-old Travis said in a semi panic. “Don’t you know?” He likes order and a plan too. For everyone to remain calm, some thoughts are best left inside your head.
A mom of three asked me recently how important I thought it was to be at all of the kids’ activities. I asked my standard question, “You really want to know what I think?” I always preface my answer with that question. I think it’s like asking permission to give an honest opinion.
“I do,” she said. “Well, for me, on the list of important things it was close to the top. Jim Brawner and I would have to divide up the calendar sometimes to make it everywhere. He traveled with his job, so sometimes I was I was left to cover all the bases.
When Jason was swimming in college, Travis was playing high school football, and Jill was in junior high playing volleyball I had to map out one weekend very carefully. Because Jason was in college only an hour from home, I could make it to his Friday afternoon dual swim meet. Jill and left after Jason’s races and drove an hour and made it just in time for the kick off of Travis’ football game. The next morning I was in another community at Jill’s all day volleyball tournament.
Yes, our home was child centered but not in the dreaded “Child Centered Home” sense. We made plans around our kids, but our kids didn’t run our home. It was Jim’s and my home before Jason, Travis, and Jill came on the scene. They joined our life. Did we make time sacrifices, absolutely. Do I regret it? Not one single minute.”
She stared at me for a minute, like it about wore her out just listening, then said, “OK, I’ll remember that.”
“Ask adults if their parents came to their activities and most of the time, they cannot only instantly answer, they will also tell you how they felt about it, the good and not so good,” I added.
Then she said, “I bet you met yourself coming and going for years. I bet you miss it.”
I just smiled and left my thoughts inside my head because I didn’t want to totally overwhelm her ... “Not so much because now I’m going to grandkids activities, but this time I do get to choose.”