I don’t divide my year by traditional seasons. Who needs Winter – Spring – Summer – Fall when I can use Basketball – Track – Baseball – Soccer? Just like weather in the Midwest, my seasons overlap wildly. When my sons ask what to wear on any given day, I’m not thinking about the temperature outside; my mind is asking, “What time is the game?” “Will we be able to come home and change before practice?” “Is his game jersey clean?”
When I was the mother of two, I smugly placed my sons (only 16 months apart) on all the same sports teams. One practice schedule, one game schedule. I rolled my eyes at parents shuffling from piano to baseball to Chinese for toddlers. I vowed I would never be one of “those” families. My sons would focus on one extra-curricular activity at a time. In the recesses of my mind I was thinking, “One thing at a time, at my convenience.” I was a fool.
Even when Matt was born ready to play, my husband and I managed multiple schedules without much trouble. We are all sports fanatics. Not playing baseball was not even an option for them, so luckily they enjoyed it and did well. We added basketball, and eventually came track with the school and a passion for soccer, seemingly born into Matthew. Pat & Connor still played on the same teams and we worked it out so we just moved our family from diamond to field to pitch to court.
But in the past year, something happened. The oldest two can no longer play on the same teams. And, apparently, my sons are not content to just let me schedule their lives. They want to choose their own activities. (Gasp!) They don’t have identical talents. (What?) They want to be on teams with their friends. (Why?) They dare to be well-rounded individuals pursuing multiple interests, socializing, and doing their homework. What kind of monsters have I raised?So now my husband and I are like proverbial ships passing in the night as we divide up dinner times, chauffeur duty and #1 Fan status. It’s working out. I wouldn’t choose otherwise.
But last night, when my oldest son’s basketball team lost in the first round of the post-season tournament, I was relieved. I cheered along with the rest of the parents, but deep in my heart I did not want them to win. It’s a terrible mom admission to make, but I wanted basketball season to end. I was dreaming of the endless hours I would have during the one single game-free week until baseball’s Meet-Your-Coach night.
When I admitted this secret shame to a friend, she agreed that it pretty much makes me a bad mom, but also “hilariously awesome.” I’m good with that.