Day two of the first full week of summer vacation and I am wiped out! I knew it would be an adjustment, but I always forget the details of how it plays out. I am spoiled during the school year by being able to get everyone out the door and then jumping in the shower myself. Then I organize the day. Yesterday, while just trying to get in a quick shower, I lost track of the number of times I got interrupted, before, during and after my shower. I just remember being in the mode of getting ready to go for hours. One hand reaching for the keys, the other trying to apply mascara, and my mind sorting through hockey gear trying to make sure it all ended up in the bag. In-between I was settling disagreements. "He breathed on me!" "He looked at me!" Its a wonder I made it out the door.
Plus there are questions that I am wrestling with and don't have any easy answers for. Can a 9-year-old be at the rink by himself for almost 3 hour every day, without his parents? And is a 7-year-old mature enough to be at the park at the baseball field while I went over to watch practice on another part of the field?
And I often wonder, how many activities can a child do in a day? Is two sports ideal, but three overkill? And if three is overkill am I insane for signing up my kids for four? You know we send them off to school and we don't sit and wonder very often if the second grade teacher is suddenly going to require them to do fifth grade work. We trust they are offering age and grade appropriate education. But its not always that clear cut when it comes to parenting. At what age are they ready to ride their bikes by themselves to a friend's house 4 blocks away?
So we come together, us parents. And we quiz one another. We tell each other how we are doing things, and why. Or we lament our failings, the oversights, the things we didn't see coming and couldn't have prepared our kids for. Over the course of the last couple of days I've had numerous chats with other parents pondering these same things. But do we ever really know the correct answer?
As I quizzed Nolan this morning I learned one of those things I hadn't prepared him for. I kept asking him if he had everything he needed for hockey. Skates? Check. Two sticks? Check. Helmet and pads? Eye roll, yes.
"I even remembered the most important thing." Nolan said. I'm thinking to myself, okay if you have your skates and sticks that would be the most important thing wouldn't it? But... this was Nolan.
"I remembered my underwear!" "Your hockey underwear, Nolan? "No, my everyday underwear." "What," I said. "Do you make it a habit to play without your underwear?" " Well", he says, "I did forget during one game during the Pepsi cup two weeks ago." Ohhhhh, noooo.
"Nolan, were you naked under your gear?" He says to me blushing, "I was. But Sam's dad said it was okay. He said, oh you are skating "Canadian" style! And I have to chuckle as I ponder my son's love affair with all things Canadian. It made perfect sense to him. If they skate naked under their gear in Canada, than skating "Canadian" was okay with him. Now in reality, I'll bet Sam's dad said "commando", as I am certain that even in Canada they skate with underwear under their gear. But I couldn't have prepared for that one. Didn't see it coming. And really, Nolan handled it okay. He said he went in the shower area so he wasn't seen by anyone and just put his hockey underwear on and then his gear. He managed okay without me.
But I added one more thing to my checklist this morning. Just to be sure. "Check underwear."
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