Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dawn til dusk

The day ended with ample time for a “family movie.”

We knew it would, whether the kids went off to dreamland on time or an hour late. That's how we roll on a Sunday night.

With darkness drifting in later and later, it becomes more and more difficult to convince the kids bedtime isn't connected to the light in the sky. They just think we're actively trying to pull the wool over their eyes by pulling the drapes over their windows.

The schedule is as much about nothing as it seems like everything:

Wake up. Breakfast. School. Lunch. School. Bike ride. Baseball. Dance. Dinner. Homework. Movie. Bed.

One activity morphing into the next as if it were a rope bridge over a raging river. Sure, it's dangerous but it's also a lifesaver.

Our kids can't seem to face that last week of school without powering down, and we can't face bedtime with sad-faced, belligerent children who feel robbed of their screen time.
Yes, I guess that means we are wimps. … We can admit it. School teachers wishing for a little more sanity as the 2013-14 academic year comes to a close are going to be sadly disappointed by us. We're not doing our part.

We're certainly not the parents we set out to be.

I'm sure we're not alone.

Children all over these United States trudge into school a few weeks shy of summer freedom with their zombie-like gazes or frenetic movements, and we parents should probably apologize.

Mea culpa.

It doesn't mean anything is going to change.

We know we can't do it all, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

What else is there? The more we do the more we get done.

We juggle work and play; baseball and dance recitals, science projects and field trips; not to mention running 5Ks in the morning and 4H meetings in the afternoon. We abandon the old when we start new things.

It's not as if it's all fun and games, though. Life keeps happening. And just as you think you have the juggling act down … the medical ball might bump up against the school ball and knock the work ball out of the rotation. Schedules have to be rearranged. Plans changed.

I have to keep telling myself that the change part is always the hardest.

That moment when you are heading in one direction and suddenly you find yourself turned around.

The job you didn't get. That test result you didn't anticipate. Going forward while looking back.

Some people just go with it … barely seeming to notice. But most people, I think, need at least a little while to adjust. They may just keep going in the direction they were heading until they run out of road.

I never cease to marvel at how we all seem to travel through this life on a path we think no one else has mapped. Not that their directions would have helped us much, seeing as how we don't all witness the same scenery flying past the windows of our souls.

It is all new to us, after all.

Such is life.

We might all end up at the same place, but there's really no single way to get there. At least, that's what it looks like in this brighter light at the end of the day.

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