Here we are. There were moments when it was touch and go, nevertheless, we made it. The finish line.
School is over and I can hardly believe I will have newly minted third and first graders come September. It will also be my last year ever having a child in preschool. Sometimes the changing demographics of my household are difficult to digest. Mostly, I am feeling proud of everything my not-so-little-littles have accomplished over the last nine months and eager for a fresh start and new beginnings next school year. Aside from all of that good stuff, I have an even bigger reason to cheer – Spring sports are over!!
Let me back up for a minute…This winter was super chill, literally, figuratively, and purposefully so. We have a long standing rule in our house to keep stress levels down and promote family time: Limit activities to two per child, per season. It’s easy for things to get out of control even with our rule and this spring? Well we shattered it (and my sanity) into a million tiny pieces. Hockey season ran long. Lacrosse games were unexpectedly scheduled out of town. Three activities overlapped at the same time on Saturday mornings. Between our California Adventure, starting a new job, two birthday boys, Easter, and all of this madness, I feel like I haven’t taken a deep breath since March.
I am endlessly thankful for creative carpooling, coaches that overlook tardiness, and the occasional rain out. It’s over! Looking in the rear view mirror just five days out from our last organized sporting event – here are my lessons learned this spring:
Be a commitment-phobe.
Signing up for any sport is always more than what is presented on paper. It’s travelling to and from practice and games. Packing the equipment and a change of clothes the night before. Filling water bottles. Eating dinner in the car. Herding filthy kids to the shower after practice. Eating second dinner. Attending “optional” scrimmages. Remind yourself that there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. Also, school. Think about it. Don’t make the decision to relinquish hours of time and buckets of energy in isolation.
Friends make everything better.
My daughter was forced to tag along to every practice and game. I felt guilty about this until I recognized that although, I was less than enthusiastic about my role as Uber driver and unofficial field marshal, Eliza enjoyed every aspect about being her brothers’ hockey/lacrosse/baseball/soccer cheerleader. Miss independent had and made friends at every location. There was Finn at soccer. Nicholas at baseball. Keegan at lacrosse. Watching her have so much fun socializing reminded me that I could do the same! Take advantage of practices and games as the perfect opportunity to chat it up with your favorite moms and dads.
Define your why.
I was furious with myself for breaking our rule and being in this overscheduled mishap; the pinnacle of which, was realized when it took me a solid 45 min to plug all the obligations into my planner. These commitments were not going away and the money spent on them was not coming back. We had no choice except to Keep. It. Moving.
Our ridiculous after school routine was certainly a negative consequence. However, the pros column of these decisions? More confident kids, stronger friendships, happy memories, and a new athletic skill or two. Noah, Zac, and Eliza were having FUN! Wasn’t that the goal all along? When these experiences are no longer this rewarding, we will know that it’s time to hang up the cleats/pads/helmets/bats/paint brush/leotard.
Being crazy busy is not the norm I strive for, but sometimes, sports happen. I’m now enjoying the much slower cadence of our lives with the only activities planned occurring poolside.