When people ask me how we’re doing, how life is, I inevitably reply “crazy” and then immediately feel like an asshole. Here’s the thing – we are living the same life most of you are living (or have lived through OR are quickly on your way to experiencing). I, WE, are no different from any other working family with active, school-aged children. What I do is not exceptional, it’s what we all do.
Nearly every day is a sprint-to-the-finish mission to just effing lay down. We herd kids, we drive kids, maybe we even teach kids. We go from sports practice to music practice to off-season sports practice to homework time to are-you-seriously-telling-me-your-science-book-is-at-school and where did you leave your pants?! time. I’m not sure about you, but by the time I’m halfway through my dinner glass of wine I am ready to hit the ground. As in, I would curl up ON the ground, with or without a blanket, and go to sleep if anyone would let me. But the dogs need to go out and the dishes aren’t done and my work bag is glaring at me from the corner and, insert your own after-dinner demon. I do not tend to end my evenings reflecting on how well my day has gone on the parent, partner, teacher scale.
Thank God this has finally happened.
Snow came yesterday and graciously canceled all after school activities, freeing up two or three extra after-school hours for us. I had a migraine and I had papers to grade, but had the odd ambition to run and swim. I’ll fill you in soon on exactly why and how fitness and general self-care left my life for a few months, but for now just know that this was a rare event. I decided to pick Colby up from school on-time and head over to the University of Maine rec center for a run and a swim.
Colby was both compliant AND excited (an anomaly these days) and packed quickly. I planned for him to use the indoor track with me to run and then hit the pool and hot tub. When I came out of the changing room (single mothers with male children – we need an entirely different post about the inherent problems with this system) he was nowhere to be found. Three frantic text messages and ten minutes later I spotted him on the basketball court with a bunch of his friends playing a pickup game. Once I was done being pissed about his lack of communicating his whereabouts I was elated – I got my solo run upstairs!
After I finished my (first in a looooong time) ssllllloooooowwwww and sweaty two miles, during which I realized some running pants actually do require you to wear underwear, I went downstairs and found Colby like this:
Happy and sweaty, just like his Mama.
We swam in the pool and soaked in the hot tub and left feeling like entirely different (and better) people. We kept asking each other “Uh – why don’t we do this all the time?”.
It took nearly a million years to get home on the snowy roads, but it was the best spent time we’ve had in so very long.
Here’s hoping that I won’t forget this small fact: we need to play, to hit pause in the general craziness of our lives, if we plan on enjoying any of it.
Best wishes for a great day, friends.