15 August 2010

Where did the summer go?

First there was Vacation Bible School, then there was basketball camp. Then there was another basketball camp, and then football camp. Oh yes, and then there was zoo camp, and a few blessedly un-busy quiet days on a lake in Maine.

Here we are, the 15th of August, and summer break is officially over. The little people are not quite back to school yet, but we've done our school-supply shopping (including a special car box of Kleenex for me as my baby goes off to all-day school), packed backpacks, and we've pushed back bedtime and started force-marching a little earlier in the morning in preparation. But the real reason I know summer is over?

Sports practices have started.

Yep, one kid has two soccer practices each week, in addition to two nights at the karate studio. Another kid has four (count 'em, FOUR) football practices each week, and the other kid gets a whole lot of time either watching his brothers do stuff or riding in the car to and from. And did I mention that my husband travels for work? A lot? Like half of every month?

This is when I know that Hillary was right and it truly does take a village, to get my kids to and from all their stuff. In fairness, we signed up the one dude for soccer before he chose karate, and we're all about honoring our commitments here (as well as not wasting the money already spent on the sign-up fee). But fortunately, once school starts in a couple weeks, the soccer practices go away, and he'll only have games. Soccer season is over mid October, depending on how they do in the tournament. Football drops one practice, but that still means three practices and a game each week. Football season is also over mid October. And thankfully we have friends to carpool with for all the activities.

I had a mini meltdown yesterday over the chaos my life has become. Some people thrive on chaos, and having a million things to do and a million places to go all the time. I'm honestly not one of them. I like being busy, having a reason to get up and get moving every day and getting things accomplished, but crazybusy makes me, well, crazy.

Thank God for good friends, truly. My good friend listened to me patiently, gave me a hug and told me that she loved me, and then she arranged my week for me.

Mondays are especially tricky right now, given my involvement with a women's retreat group at church. Because that takes me totally out of the loop, when one kid has to be at karate, the other has to be at football and the other just needs to be corralled. Captain America has been home a lot lately, but he's going flying tonight and I'm a leetle nervous. I lean on him pretty hard when he's home and he's fantastic about doing (more than) his fair share of driving, laundry and dishes.

But I can't, I WON'T, give up my time with my girls and my God on Monday nights. I need it. It feeds me in a way that being a good and dutiful mother and wife does not and cannot. What I guess I do need is to learn better time management skills, and to put limits on what I (and my kids) can reasonably do.

How did a post about summer being over turn into a post about my scheduling needs? That's how I roll.