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For once common sense wins out

Submitted by on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 No Comment

The flier about a children’s drama program coming to Fort Irwin couldn’t have done more to capture my attention if it’d been written in neon:

A week-long workshop capped by a performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” Oooohhh! The guys are going to love this. Big Guy was thrilled with a supplemental drama class he took at school last year – a program that budget cuts appear to have cut this year – and Boots is a total ham. I can’t wait to tell them!

Then I looked at the dates: It’s in late February, smack in the middle of soccer and football season. I’m not going to tell them.

Then I looked at the times: There’s a tiny window when we could squeeze this in if we start on homework earlier. I can’t wait to tell them.

And on and on it went for days, the devil dancing on one shoulder saying “do it!” and the angel prancing on the other saying, “the last thing you need is one more thing.”

The angel won out, but not before she was bloodied and bruised in a mighty battle.

Overcommitment is my fatal flaw. I feel actual physical pain when forced to utter the words “I can’t.” If it sounds good,  I’ll rationalize a way to squeeze it in. In this case, it sounded great. It was a chance for the guys to do something different, something I suspected they would like. We’re way too sports-oriented here and, while keeping children physically active is great, there’s more to life.

Thank heaven for that angel, who reminded me that we’re  stressed to the gills trying to do what we’re already doing. It sometimes feels as if life is choreographed down to the second.

  • 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Free time
  • 3:30 to 4 p.m.: Walk the dog
  • 4:p.m. to 5 p.m.: Homework
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.:  Dinner and cleanup
  • 6 p.m. to ???: Sports practice or game or class.

Yes, that’s right. We schedule in “free time.”

As much as the guys say they like all the activities, they also complain a few times a week about not having time to play with neighborhood friends. They gripe about not getting to go swimming or to the park. We cram as much of that in as we can on the weekends, but the laundry piles up and the house descends to new levels of chaos. I’m stressed to my teeth, and I think back with more than a bit of longing to the days when Big Guy’s busted wrist threw him out of sports.

Enough! pleaded the angel. Don’t you dare tell them about the drama clinic.

I haven so far, but it doesn’t start for another week. I’m sure the angel-devil tango will continue for at least that long.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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