Tonight I fed my kids frozen mini beef tacos from Trader Joes (not bad actually). That was their "first course" around 4:50 p.m. I basically force fed them these processed, salty (and tasty -- I'm not afraid to say it) appetizers before I piled all three of them into the car to head over to Oz Park for my daughter Ellie's soccer practice from 5:45-6:45.
"Does everyone have their shoes on?"
"Please use the bathroom before we go so we aren't searching for a Port-a-Potty!"
"Ellie, do you have cleats, shin guards and a soccer ball?"
"Let's GO guys! It is RUSH HOUR! We are going to be late to practice!!!" (slightly shrieking)
"What? We don't have any soccer balls? How could that be? On Saturday we had three soccer balls. Where did they all go? Guys, we can't buy new soccer balls every week. This is going to have to come out of your allowance if we have to buy three more balls."
And so it goes. I was right. There was crazy traffic heading east on North Avenue. I somehow located one soccer ball (but seriously, WTF are the other ones?). I threw a bag of apple slices in my purse (parenting highlight of the day?). And we were off. Colin somehow stepped in dog poop on his way to the car, making for a stinky ride (and we don't have a dog so also raising some perplexing questions about why we have dog poop in our yard).
But we made it to Oz Park for practice. Ellie happily ran around with her team practicing throw ins and scissor kicks. My boys climbed trees (with limited admonitions from me -- "Ok, that is high enough. Seriously. You won't be able to get down. Seriously. Please.")
And then we battled traffic heading west on North Avenue to make it home by 7:10. I fed them a second course of frozen Trader Joes tamales. Chicken, beef and green chile and cheese. Bon Appetite! Ellie cranked through her homework. Showers all around. Picture day outfits out and ready to go for tomorrow. Both Ellie and Brendan got their requisite 20 minutes of reading in ("Mom! Don't forget to fill out my reading log like you did yesterday!").
In bed by 8:30. Not bad.
This is basically a variation on every single week day for us. Days packed with school and then activities for one kid or another that take us straight through to bedtime.
Tomorrow presents different challenges. But the bottom line is the same. We can eat dinner between 4:00 and 5:00. Then soccer. And also volleyball. And of course homework.
On the one hand, I am trying so hard here to make happy little lives for my little people. Soccer! Volleyball! Piano lessons! Swimming! These things are good for kids, right?
On the other hand, every day feels like a failure. I wish for days that are calm and purposeful. And not focused around frozen dinners from Trader Joes. I don't want to be yelling at my kids to GET IN THE CAR SO WE WON'T BE LATE!
I am trying to approach the current chaos of our lives with some perspective.
It is okay if we are late to soccer. Hell, it is okay if we miss soccer. What does it matter?
The day-to-day go! go! go faster! of our lives sometimes blinds me to the larger objective here.
I am working on raising happy, healthy kids. Who cares if those kids are eating frozen Mexican appetizers for dinner (again, they really weren't bad).
Note to myself: I am doing the best I can. It is good enough. Frozen dinners and all.
Filed under: parenting