To Play or Not to Play

To Play or Not to Play

This year, 4 of my 5 kids are playing a spring sport. This is the first year with this phenomenon to occur. The first year of LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of years of all the kids playing sports. Which means, this is the first year of lots and lots of years of spending the afternoon in my car, driving to practice, picking up from practice, driving to games, picking up from games…

Here’s how last Tuesday went. Left school at 3:15 to get home to grab the kids. Bran took Easton to practice at 4 so I could get Caite to practice at 4:15 on the other side of Santee. But, forgot the raffle tickets and money. So drove to Easton’s practice and dropped that off. Then zoomed across Santee to get Caite there on time. As we sat in the parking lot of the school, I couldn’t see any of her team mates. Five minutes pass, 10 minutes pass… then I start questioning if maybe I was in the wrong parking lot. Checking the schedule didn’t occur to me, so I start driving to the other school. A few stoplights in, the lightbulb clicks and I look at the schedule app. I had been in the right place but just 15 minutes early. We turn around, head back, and arrive right on time to meet her team. Phew! Two down. Drew was still at Helix practicing until 5. We head out of Santee and head to La Mesa to pick him up. Drive through Santee, up the 125, get to Helix with 5 minutes to spare. Now… Hank and Fisher have been in the car this whole entire time. Thank the Lord for the car DVD player and the wonderful songs of the Trolls movie – they are having a blast and watching the movie and singing along and eating a whole Costco sized bag of potato chips. Now that we have Drew, we head back to Santee to pick Caite up from practice. As we pull into the school parking lot to get Caite, I stop thinking about the other things I have to do this evening to finish up the ‘tasks’ (make dinner, give baths, help with homework) and tune in to the Trolls movie that has been playing this entire time. “Fisher! Haven’t we seen this part already?” And the sweet reply from the back, “Yah, it started over again.” WHAT???? We have been in the car long enough to watch the WHOLE Trolls movie one and a half times?? Yep. Good frickin gracious.

I want my kids to play sports and be involved with activities. I really do. And I try to limit them to one activity at a time. But holy mackerel. With so many kids and so many different activities- it is just a lot of stuff. AND, it is a HUGE time suck for mom. So the question is… is it worth it? Is it worth me spending hours of time in the car, driving back and forth and back again, listening to hours of crazy kid movies? (Although to be fair, Trolls is a pretty cute movie). Does it even matter?

These were the thoughts that were going on as I drove home that day. Is the sacrifice of my time (and sanity) worth it so that my kids get to be involved, learn team spirit, gain skills, have something productive to do, make friends…

Yes, of course it is. The things we sacrifice as moms are vast but if we are giving them up for the right reasons – to help our kids to become better people, to give them more experiences, and allow them the opportunities to find their talents and passion – then it is all worth it.

So, while they are learning these things, I guess I will learn to tell time by how much of a movie we get to ‘watch’ in the car. And the silver lining, I do like my car. And I won’t think about the fact that in two years, I’ll have 5 kids in sports!! (gulp!) So either Drew better be a super star driver with a license by then or that’s my cue to leave for Mexico. We’ll see which one comes first.