Ready, Set, Hike!

 I am not exactly sure when it happened, but we have become those parents.  The ones we use to make fun of.  The ones who spend their entire weekend running from one sport activity to the next.  The ones who no longer have an adult social life but now only have a children's sport social life.  The ones who fall into bed as soon as the kids are tucked in because they are exhausted too.
 We had a firm line that each of the kids could do one activity of their choice and music.  At its worst that would be 8 events.  If you are an organizational master planner then you could squeeze it down to 4 and we always fell in between.  Alas they grow and have different interest and then the horrible day comes that they don't want to do the activity that you love to watch them do so you raise the white flag and barter if you play this sport then you can also play the sport you want to play.  Deals of the devil for sure.
Last week Max was in Vancouver and as I felt myself pulled in so many directions at once I tried to think back to how this all unfolded.  I think it started with Karlie trying out for the middle school volleyball team.  We figured as a 6th grader she wouldn't make the team so it would be fine to sign her and Kaitlin up for the YMCA volleyball team.  I decided I would coach this year since the girls' prior coach retired.  Great!  Kill two birds with one stone.  I get to pick the practice and the girls have the same game time.  Score one for mom.  That was until Karlie made the middle school team where she had daily practice and two games all over town each week.  Some of the opposing schools were over a 40 minutes drive.  I died each Monday I had to miss Karlie's game as I coached the YMCA team.
Then we move to Tuesday where I thought I was really killing it.  I convinced the music teacher we have been with for four years to come to our house to teach lessons because Hank was ready to start and he is very allergic to cats and she has an adorable fluffy cat.  With her coming to our house, I was gaining 2 and a half hours every week.  It is music to my ears as I listen to Karlie play violin and the rest learn piano each week.
That was until Hank begged us to play soccer.  Soccer!  I don't mean to offend anyone but let's be honest, soccer is pretty boring.  Maybe a few goals on a good game and just a lot of running around.  Baseball is almost as exciting to watch.  We have never been into soccer but Hank loves it and is nearly ambidextrous which allows him to be pretty good with both feet.  We asked him if he would rather play soccer or football.  When he said soccer my heart fell.
  No!  I love watching him play flag football.  So I caved.  I made a deal with the devil and said if he played football he could play soccer too.  Selfish, I know.  As if karma couldn't wait to serve it up, soccer practice would be on Tuesdays, right when Hank's music lesson was suppose to happen.  Max agreed to be that assistant coach and is learning to love soccer or at least fake it until he makes it! :)  We squeeze Hank into the rotation when he gets home from soccer.  Needless to say at 7:30 after a day of school, homework, and soccer he is not the most studious piano player.
Wednesday night Hailey has high school youth group at the church which we always seem rushed to cram in dinner before she is off for the evening.  There is likely some cardinal sin if you don't support your kid wanting to go to a church activity, so Wednesday's are busy too but well worth it.
Thursday Hank has football practice and Karlie usually has a game.  Luckily one of Hank's friends also plays football allowing us to work out a carpool so that I only had to miss Karlie's game every other week.  Once in a while we have a volleyball game on Fridays but more often Friday's are open where we try to fit in dinner with grown ups or sleep overs for the kids.
Saturdays are the days I wonder how we became those parents.  At noon its soccer, at 3:30 its volleyball and at 5 its football.  In the 100 degree heat it becomes a grueling day of rooting for your kids, sweating profusely, and putting your best face forward.  I have learned there is a community and a rhythm that occurs among parents on the side lines.  Banding together in some crazy chorus of the modern day parents we form friendships and knowing glances that we would rather be enjoying a leisurely dinner with a glass of chardonnay than sweating on the sidelines watching some parents lose their mind over a bad call as though this was a college championship game instead of a bunch of 7 year olds playing flag football on an unforgiving hot afternoon in the desert.  But we will all be back at it the following Saturday playing the same cast of characters as we cheer and smile.
Sundays are church, the grocery store and football!  We were invited to a family Bible study with the worship pastor and had to pull out.  How wrong that we are so spent by the end of the week we want just one night for us, for MKHKKH.  One night to have a dinner that is not rushed, maybe a glass of wine and the time to just be together, unorganized, and relaxed.  It is indeed our day or at least evening of rest.
I am blessed to be a woman loved by a great man who does more than his fair share to make this family run.  While Max was gone I had to get my game face on. What is normally tackled by two of us and still often feels like we are getting pummeled was going to be a one woman show.  In addition to the normal level of crazy, I got few doses of extra crazy.  First, we were having the grass scalped because in this weird place you have to have winter and summer grass.  Every October they kill off the summer grass and over seed with the winter grass.  As they were scalping the grass a rock flew out of the mower and hit our large window causing it to shatter into thousands of pieces.  Rats!
Then one night while I was making dinner, giving Hank his spelling test, working with Karlie on her Social Studies questions, trying to help Kaitlin with her math, and quizzing Hailey on her Biology, Siri got bit by a scorpion.  I knew by the way she was rubbing her face in the ground she had been stung by something on her nose.  She was whimpering and huffing as she continually rubbed her face in the ground.  We searched everywhere for the offender and found nothing.  Then Hailey came running to my room after I got the little ones in bed that there was a scorpion in her room, right where Siri had been freaking out.  I gathered all my bravery and smashed him.  He jumped up and ran around, so I hit him again.  He would not go down, so I whacked him again and finally he stopped moving.  What a day!
 The only thing the kids like about Max being gone is that each night one of them get to sleep with me.  I am sad to report that Hailey has grown up enough that she no longer is excited to sleep with me and prefers the privacy of her own room.  :(
 Each night I had a wiggling, squirming, snuggling, little sweetie next to me.
 On Karlie's night I had to get my PowerPoint ready to teach Kaitlin's class Wordmaster's in the morning and she stayed up waiting for me until 10.  I felt so badly that she got a repeat the next night since Hailey didn't want her turn anyway.  We got to snuggle and talk.  :)
Karlie's final middle school game was on Thursday and we celebrated by going anywhere she wanted for dinner.  In and Out it was, but we splurged with shakes too!  We were all hating life as we had totally over eaten.  Some of us might have been eating our emotions...  I laughed when I looked back at my daily steps.  I have a Fitbit and try to get 10,000 steps a day.  While Max was gone I got close to 18,000 each day!  Clearly he does half the work and works all day.  We were all so happy when he got home.  While the big cat is away the little mice scatter and dream of sweet summertime.  Only 140 more days to go!

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