Although spring seems to be dragging its feet, spring sports are forging ahead. New and future parents take note: Having three kids that want to play spring sports can be quite the challenge, especially when we parents work unusual schedules. For the average 9-5 American family, ushering two or three kids to different sporting events at 6 and 6:30 is manageable. But when the wife works overnights and my schedule is anything but normal, getting these kids to their respective sporting activities proves to be quite the daunting task.
First of all, I sincerely think that my kids’ coaches are looking at my schedule of things to do for the week and planning practices specifically for the purpose of making my life hell. If they both practiced every day or every other day, I might understand. But they practice two or three times a week. There are seven days in a week. SEVEN! Why on earth are your practices and games on the exact same days and times as the other team? I think they call each other and say, “So Kris hosts trivia at 7 p.m. on Thursdays? What time are you having T-ball practice… 6:30 Thursday? Okay, we’ll have football practice at 6:30 too!”
This past Saturday, true to form, No. 2 had football practice in the morning. No. 4 had his very first T-ball game ever at noon. But we had to be at the park at 8 a.m. for the opening ceremony in Grovetown. I also had an event to set up for in North Augusta by 9 a.m. (which eventually got pushed back to 11). Oh, and our daughter, No. 3, was being dropped off from spending the night with a friend at 11, too. After about a few hundred little kids parading around the park in their new uniforms, a trip from Grovetown to North Augusta and back, a couple of chauffeuring grandparents and traffic out the wazoo, we made it happen. Even if I did miss the first half of the T-ball game.
But the important part is that I was there. Even if it was just to watch him bat once, twirl around in the outfield out of boredom and stand outside the stall after he left the field yelling to me in front of a full stand of bleachers “Daddy, I need to go number 2!”
Those moments are the most important part of my life. Not so much the standing outside of the stall while my son is buying time until the end of the game, but just being there. I have seen some kids be so totally distracted from the game because they can’t keep their eyes off of the sidelines, looking for a parent who is never going to come. It breaks my heart.
The next big event? Our oldest, No. 2, will be starting at quarterback for the first time in his football career, a position for which he has practiced endlessly. A position which has caused a slight friction between him and the kid who was previously first string. This is BIG. The game starts tonight at, you guessed it, 6, the most inconvenient hour of the week for me. Well, at least one of them. But I’ll be there. Even if I only get to watch him throw that one first pass, I’ll be there.