Let me start with a disclaimer - the following post is not a whine, nor is it a "look at me, I'm such an awesome parent!" I'm fully aware that there are many parents facing much more daunting issues, and I'm truly grateful that the problems I encounter with my children tend to be those of privileged suburbia.
That said, last night was one for the small moral victory column.
The scenario - Monday night. As of this week, Monday includes a tuba lesson (5:25 to 6:10), and two one hour soccer practices at 6:30 and 7:00pm. Quite doable, on an average Monday, albeit with a fair amount of driving and back and forth. Dinner will not be a family affair, unless everybody wants to eat at 4:30 pm. But it's only one night a week. (There are other activities on other nights, but Monday is the big pile-up.)
This Monday, however, was not only the first soccer practice for the season for Rachel and William, but happened to be back-to-school night at the middle school. I'm a big believer in back-to-school night. Since I don't get to drop my children at the door of the classroom and get a little face time with the teacher anymore, this is my one big chance to meet their teachers. Especially at the middle school and high school. So...at least one parent will be going, at 7pm.
Enter the wrinkle - only one parent is home. John had to fly out for business yesterday afternoon. Now, as much as I've been telling the kids that I'd like my superpower to be the power to be in two places at once (with car, of course), it has yet to happen.
So, do you blow off the first practice of the season? It's only in-town soccer, the kids probably wouldn't care much either way, it wouldn't be a big deal. Except that we encourage our kids to participate in group sports to teach them responsibility to a team.
So I made the phone calls and emails and found the rides for the children, planned the low-cook dinner at home for everyone in stages (frozen pizza, but, hey, beats fast food!), got the equipment together and issued detailed instructions for who was going where and when.
And it worked. I got to the middle school early enough to park decently close (as opposed to the off-site parking and shuttle bus!), all three kids were on time to all three activities, and everyone got fed an adequate dinner. And they all got home and were safe and headed for bed by the time I came home (having a built in baby-sitter has been AWESOME). And the homework even got done and instruments practiced.
I'd call that a win. Sometimes it's the small victories that are sweet.