Monday, October 1, 2012

I don't know how to do this

I don't mean to complain, but I don't know how to do this...

{What am I talking about?  I totally mean to complain.  It just sounds better when I say, "I don't mean to complain, but I don't know how to do this."}

I wrote those words a few weeks ago.  The second week of school.  And I'm surprised (blown away is really more like it) and happy to report that it's not true.  Not any more.

I was worried.  Worried about getting it all done.  Not even the housework, which I now know will never be done, but the getting kids to where they need to be with all the stuff they need to have when they get there.

You see, we have long had this rule in our household: only 2 outside-of-school activities per child at a time.  It seemed like a good idea, considering we have three children and only 2 parents in this household, one of whom travels frequently.  Which, just in case you can't do the math, means that a good portion of the time we're down to just 1 licensed driver around here.

This year, for the first time, AKD is playing travel soccer.  Only 2 activities at a time is all well and good, but there is a big difference between the one game a week of the rec league and the two practices and one or two games a week of the travel team.

This year, for the first time, MC is playing football.  Again, there is a big difference between, say, Cub Scouts, which meets 3 times a month, and football, which is 2 times a week.

And let's not forget that children need to be fed.  Even when they have football practice at 5:30 so we have to leave the house at 5 and we don't get home until 7:30.

And teachers tend to get upset if the children don't do their homework.  Even when said child gets off the bus at 4:30 and needs to eat right away so he can leave for his evening activities and has to shower when he gets home at 7:30 and needs to be in bed by 8:15 so he can get up and do it all over again the next day.

I honestly didn't know how it was all going to happen.  When I started this post weeks ago, Hubby was heading out of town for a week, leaving me with 4 nights of overlapping activities--needing to get one child somewhere and then leaving him there to get the next child where he needed to be and leaving him to pick up the first child.  Four nights of leaving the house at 5:45, 5, 4:10, and 5, and having to work supper around those activities.  Four nights of wondering how MC, my child who does not do homework independently, was going to get his homework done.

But you know what?  We did it.  I did it.  It wasn't perfect: there was a little bit of loud urging (not quite yelling) to hurry on my part, and a smattering of complaining from the kids, and MC got grease from his fries on the math worksheet we had to do at McDonald's one night, but everyone got to where they needed to be.

It was my baptism by fire, my friends, and I have come through to the other side stronger.  I do know how to do this.  Not with fear, but in faith, one step at a time.  Not with anxiety, but with grace, knowing that I'm not perfect.

There's something else I wasn't sure I knew how to do.  I didn't know how I was going to raise these boys of mine to be men.  I didn't know how I was going to infuse them with important values and worthwhile character qualities.  I didn't know how I was going to surrender to, and even embrace, the inevitable process of letting them grow into who they are instead of clinging to the little boys I want them to be.  I didn't know how I was going to do it.

Now I know.  In faith, with grace, one step at a time.

I'm sharing this post with the Parent 'Hood--come on over and join us :)


  1. I have the same rule for activities...what does it say about me that I already have a countdown until fall sports are already over! I'm wiped out!

  2. I'm totally exhausted just reading that. But way to go! Sometimes, just making it through that first trial-by-fire is the most reassuring thing around.

    My husband travels a lot for work; he's gone at least 2 weeks a month. And we have 4 kids. So our rule is 1 outside activity per child. And sometimes, we don't even give them that. I just can't make it work when I have to take all 4 kids with me everywhere.


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