As I drove back from a long weekend, I could help but wonder if I'm a little crazy. Well I know I am, but when it comes to my kids and sports, I think I've found the real definition of insanity.
I needed to get my oldest down to Cincinnati at 10 am for a college visit last Friday morning. Coincidentally my fourth daughter needed to go to Dayton Ohio for a soccer tournament. We left at the reasonable hour of 4:15 am. After getting a little lost, once we finally reached campus, we had to run through a maze of buildings and courtyards to catch up with her hosts.
Once safely in the hands of strangers, I drove an additional hour to the soccer tournament. I checked into the roach motel and made sure we had joining rooms with her teammate because I needed to leave at 5 the next morning to get my college bound daughter back to Chicago in time for a high school swim meet and didn't want to leave my fourth daughter alone.
Within 48 hours, I drove from Chicago to Cincinnati to Dayton to Cincinnati to Chicago to Dayton to Chicago.
What's even more amazing is I received grief from another parent because I didn't go to Normal, Il on Saturday to go watch yet another daughter in the prestigious State cross country meet. I wanted to, and manipulated my schedule nine different ways to try and make it work, but there was no way I could fit it in and she'd have to be fulfilled with my husband's presence.
I'd like to say this was an extremely odd weekend, but most of them entail similar complex puzzles. Many of my friends are in the same boat and fly multiple times a year to satisfy their child's hunger to compete.
What the hell is wrong with us?
A large part of me would like to chuck it all and go back to house league everything. My problem is, I started with the travel sports for my first child, not really knowing what I was getting into and like any parent of more than one child knows - if you do it for one, they all want the same opportunity.
I also see the amazing characteristics and friendships my children have developed from travel sports and for the most part it's been extremely positive and they're thrilled. I've also gained some rich friendships, but quite frankly, I'm simply exhausted.
Our parents never did all this - at least mine didn't. I don't even remember them coming to more than a handful of my track, cross country or gymnastic meets. I'm pretty sure they had a life. I think I've lost mine along the way.
Although all hope is not lost. I have finally figured out the system by my fifth child. He's only six, but we're starting golf lessons together in the spring. In seven years when all my girls are in college, we'll be busy golfing at warm, exotic resorts all winter long.
I can't wait to start traveling and pursuing my, I mean his, forced upon passion.
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