“I don’t know how you do it.”
If I just had a dollar for every time I have heard those words . . .
I hear it at least once a week as I chase my youngest two babies around at my oldest two children’s countless sporting events and activities. Because these days we are ALWAYS at a practice, game, rehearsal, meeting, sign-up, tryout, something. Always.
Usually when someone says those words to me it is out of sympathy. I think a lot of people feel bad for me. I would probably feel bad for me, too if I wasn’t me. I’m typically a huge mess.
But, I created this chaos. I choose this chaos every day. I actually LOVE this chaos.
Nobody made me have four kids. Believe it or not, my husband and I did know what caused us to have babies every two years. And now, we have babies and an 8-year-old with plans to be a professional soccer player, and a 6-year-old girl who loves sports but also insists on taking at least one dance class because she is our only girl and you better believe she is going to use that to her advantage her entire life.
Long story short, I’m kind of busy. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Nobody makes me sign my kids up for every sport under the sun. But I’m not going to lie, there are times when I’m adding yet another sport to our already-packed schedule that I wonder how in the heck I’m going to survive yet another hour down at the rec center chasing the babies. Then I sign them up anyway. Ha, sometimes I even accidentally volunteer to coach!
I won’t tell you it’s not hard. Because it can be. My 3-year-old is currently my biggest challenge and between potty-training and the candy counter at the concession stand, no practice night is complete without at least three meltdowns from that sweet brown-eyed boy. My 1-year-old is not a fan of the stroller, so my plans to walk the last of the baby weight off while my oldest kids become future professional athletes to fund my retirement has been a fail. Instead, he likes to keep me active by sprinting into the bathroom every time I put him down. In short, we are a spectacle. A circus.
Sometimes I don’t know how I do it, either.
But, I know why I do it. That part is easy.
I do it because that 8-year-old soccer player? He used to be so painfully shy that we had to leave if another kid showed up at the park. He was so attached to me that he used to throw up in the trash can at school on his way to class in the mornings after leaving me. I ran the bases with him in t-ball when I was 6-months pregnant with his little brother because he wouldn’t go out on the field without touching me. Just last year, I had to buy him a hoverboard to get him to go out on the soccer field when he was invited to play in a tournament with a travel soccer team. He was seven and still crying about going on the field without me! I pushed him because I wasn’t going to let his fears hold him back. By the end of the tournament, he wanted to join the team.
And today, he is 100 percent a different kid.
Our lives pretty much revolve around his soccer. I know that’s crazy. He’s eight. But he loves it and it has changed him for the better in EVERY way. He is no longer shy at all. In fact, he’s one of the most talkative and loudest kids I know. He makes a new friend every time he leaves the house. And, he LOVES school. I never thought I’d ever get to say that!
Sports are his thing. I can’t say no to him when I see how happy they make him and how the confidence he has gained has made a positive impact on EVERY aspect of his life. Soccer is his passion but he is falling in love with baseball and attempting basketball now, too, and I’m happy to cheer him on with a baby on each hip (and sweat, always so much sweat).
In turn, I can’t tell my daughter “no” either. The smile on her face when she runs into dance class melts my heart. And the swell of pride I feel when she dribbles a ball around a much taller boy and scores a goal on the soccer field makes every moment of chaos worth it. Basketball? Sure. Softball? Why not?
Before I know it, my youngest boys will be ready to add even more madness to our schedule.
I can’t wait.
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