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  • danapbrady


All three boys had a baseball game tonight. Fortunately - since my husband was out of town and wasn’t there to help carpool and schlep - all of their games were at the same time: 5:45pm. Jed had to be at his field by 5:00pm, and the other two had to be there by 5:15pm. I managed it all pretty well, if I do say so myself. Of course, it’s not my first rodeo shuttling all three somewhere. But it has been awhile since I’ve been solely responsible for getting all of them to ball practice or to their games.

The ballpark where they play has 16 fields, in 4 quadrants, with the tee-ball fields at the front of the park, and going up in size to the very back of the park, where the big kids play. Fletcher is in tee-ball and Henry is in Coach Pitch, which fields are right next to the tee-ball fields.Confused? Yeah, it still takes me awhile to figure out which fields are where.

This evening, I dropped Jed off first in the back, spoke to his coaches, and then jumped back in the car to schlep Henry and Fletcher to their fields up towards the front. Henry’s coaches were already warming up with their sons so, even though we were technically early (how the heck did that happen??), I was able to get him dropped off too. Fletcher hung out with me at the bleachers while we waited for his teammates to show up.

In the meantime I got a phone call. I thought it would be a quick thing: one topic, then a talk later sort of thing. I should know by now that it’s never that. So, I should’ve just let the call go to voicemail. But I answered it and ended up spending nearly 20 minutes talking about way more stuff than I wanted to. I ended up losing time and got Fletcher to his field just barely on time. At which point he informed me that he did not have his glove. For. The. Love.

Back in the car headed home to find the glove.* We don’t live far from the ballpark which is patently convenient. However, the traffic getting to and fro is horrendous. I will not ever understand why some drivers will not stick their neck out and jump into traffic. Quit sitting there, waiting for an engraved invitation, buddy. Jump out there and give the rest of us behind you a chance to get on with our lives.

Once, home, I perform a quick search and find the glove on the coffee table inside. Then jump back in the car to get back to the ballpark. I settle down on the bleachers at Fletcher’s game. Then, after the first inning, remembering (yes, remembering) that Henry is also playing on the field catty-cornered to Fletcher’s, I jump up and run over there to watch him for a while. Henry never gives any indication that he’s aware of your presence. He could be looking right at you. You could be jumping up and down, waving your arms, scream-cheering, and he will look right through you. In contrast, Fletcher will look at me more than he pays attention to what’s going on in the game.

There is nothing else that I delight in more than watching my children play baseball (or soccer, depending on the season). And yet, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to watch any of them play a game from beginning to end, without being interrupted or having to split my time between their games, as I did tonight.

I loathe to miss their games. I don’t want to miss anything about them. I want to see every at bat and every fielding situation. What if they hit a home run? What if they catch a pop fly? What if they, what if they, what if they….? I’m actually jealous when Jake gets to see something in a game that I miss. And the worst is thinking that both of us miss something because we’re at one of the other kid’s games.

I’m pretty sure that Henry gets the shaft most of all. And I hate that. He’s the most sensitive about it. Am I projecting that onto him? Because he’s so quiet about how his games go most of the time? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m the most worried about him growing up thinking that we liked/loved him the least. Which, is just not true. How can you love any of your children the most, or the least?

The frustration of this evening was compounded by a really chaotic week at work. It’s just too much sometimes. I laid down with Henry while he went to sleep tonight** and thought about it. How every single day is full of such chaos - at work, at home. I cannot accomplish even a fraction of what I set out to do on any given day for all the interruptions, and all the ways one simple task becomes a complicated cluster. Nearly every day, while at the office, I feel like I’m going to reach my end at any moment. I’m doing good work. But in the back of mind, I can’t wait to get home. But then I get home, to my haven, and it’s chaos. And I can’t wait to go to bed.

Enter the guilt and remorse and self-recrimination for not being able to manage my time better; for not being able to carve out some one on one time for each of my children, not to mention my husband, and don’t even get me started about whether or not I have any good self care time or practices.

So many days I’m overwhelmed. I’m overrun. I’m frazzled. And, of course, there’s laundry on the line.

Who feels me? Drop a comment to let me know how your life is chaotic. Or not - how do you keep things inside the lines?

*Shout out to the dugout moms and all the other players' moms who naturally and automatically come together to watch over each other's children. This organic community allowed me the freedom and confidence to know they had my kids while I LEFT to go get that ding dang glove.

**The peace and grace of this moment is not lost on me. It was a gift to lay there with Henry’s arm flung across my stomach, to hear his breathing slow as he settled into sleep. Just before he closed his eyes, he smiled directly into mine and said, “I love you, Mommy.” What is better than that?

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