Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Trying To Be Everywhere At Once And Not Hit Too Many People With My Butt

single mom's brain on any given day
Here's a little math word problem for you. Part A:  If you are at work a half an hour away and Lexi has to be to work at 3:00, Brooklyn has a doctor's appointment at 3:15, and Clay needs to be picked up from his friend's house by 3:00 and then dropped off at the school, you need to pick up a prescription, and you need to mail a book ordered on your Etsy site before the post office closes, how long will it take you to have a nervous breakdown? Part B:  How many glasses of wine will it take to de-stress at the end of the evening?

Here's another one. If Lexi has to be to work at 6:00 and Brooklyn has to be to cheer at 6:00 and Clay has to be to marching band at 6:00, how long will it be until you invent a cloning machine or teleportation device?

With the school year starting next week, the fun of juggling my kids' activities has commenced. Because I'm a single mom, it can be daunting. But because I'm a single mom, I got this! Because that's what single parents do. We're nothing if not master jugglers.

So I'm at a parent meeting for marching band and I'm looking at my watch. I don't actually wear a watch. I have a watch. I have a couple watches. I'm not sure when I stopped wearing them though. I probably stopped wearing a watch when I first got a smart phone. Truly, without my phone, I'd never have a clue what time it is. I also wouldn't ever be able to call anyone. I remember my phone number from when I was a kid. I remember my  high school best friend's parent's phone number. I have no idea what my kids' or parents' phone numbers are now. None. 

I actually looked at my phone to see the time. I don't know why I didn't just write that in the first place. Or use the handy backspace button to change it. Especially when all of this has absolutely nothing to do with my story. I'm beginning to understand why mom used to tell me I had "diarrhea of the mouth" when I was younger.

Anyhoo. So I looked at my phone and realized this was running longer than I'd expected. Both Brooklyn and Lexi would need to be picked up soon. Lexi could hang out at work until I could get there. But Brooklyn's coaches couldn't leave the football field until I'd gotten her and I didn't want to be "that mom." You know, the one who thinks having their kid in a sport equals free babysitting. 

The parent meeting ended and the band assembled in the gym because it was raining. Because it's Florida. And it rains every. single. day. As the front ensemble played what they'd learned in band camp, I frantically texted other parents on Brooklyn's team. Until I realized she didn't have her key and no one was home so even if someone could drop her off, she'd be standing out in the rain until I got home.

The front ensemble concluded their performance and the color guard started. I watched the girls twirl their flags while surreptitiously glancing at the time ticking away on my phone. A running dialogue marched through my brain. Twirl faster. I might be able to make it in time. I'm not going to make it in time. Twirl faster. 

The girls finally finished and the teacher introduced the battery who began to perform. As the drums pounded out a rhythm, I looked at my phone again. Maybe if they're really fast, I can still make it. As long as no one has to wait too long for me to get there . . . Maybe . . . Play faster!

They wrapped up and the winds began to play. I considered finding a metronome app and playing it as loudly as I could at a faster time to speed things along, but A: they were already playing at 160 beats a minute and I didn't want anyone to pass out from playing any faster. And B: no one would've even heard my metronome app over the one the band teacher was playing. And C: that's crazy-person behavior and I really try to downplay the crazy when in public.

I texted Austin and begged him to get the girls so I didn't have to try to maneuver my way out of the packed bleachers in the middle of their performance because crab-walking along the bleachers while smacking people in the face with my big butt didn't sound like fun. And driving in the rain to pick up the girls only to have to turn right around and get Clay and drive back again also didn't sound like fun, partly because I need a new exhaust and you can hear my van from approximately 6 1/2 miles away. I mean, it's super-classy and not at all embarrassing, but still. Then I texted the girls to inform them that I was stuck at the school and Austin was going to pick them up.

When the event ended and Clay and I got into the car, he asked me if I'd recorded it. 

"I'm sorry, Clay. I didn't. I was busy looking for a metronome app."


"I said - I was busy texting people, trying to find someone to pick up the girls since this band thing ran longer than I thought it would. I was listening and you guys sounded really awesome! I can't wait to see the whole show put together out on the field where you can march too! But yeah, I was doing some rapid-fire texting, trying to coordinate rides for everyone. Sorry. I did get this mediocre picture of you and your girlfriend though."

Thus is the single mom's life. Running from place to place, trying not to hit people with her butt, and saying, "Sorry" because no matter how hard she tries, she never quite hits the mark. But she tries, and I say that's what counts.


Vanessence7 said...

It's the trying the counts! :)

Bonnie said...

I was raised by a single mom. (I'm older than you, so it's been a while.) As an adult, what I remember most is how hard she tried to do it all and be it all for us. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. I wish she was still around so I could apologize for all the times we made things harder than they had to be. Hang in there. Your kids know you're doing your best.

Ernie said...

I hate trying to be in more places than is physically possible. I too have 6 kids. My husband does drive sometimes, but as a physical therapist he works wacky hours and I often have nights where I fly solo (certainly NOT as challenging as doing it all on your own always - no idea how you manage that). I have been 'that mom' pulling up to Irish dancing and barely slowing down with two wheels on the curb because adrenaline caused a slight overshot and calling 'sorry I'm late' to her dance teacher but still trying to keep the momentum because if I am late for one, then God knows I am late for the next one too.

And: I cannot say I was sad when my one band player dropped band. I used to text Coach from band concerts (WHICH ALWAYS LANDED ON ONE OF HIS LATE NIGHTS) to simply say: 'You dodged a bullet here. Again.'

Let me know if you figure out the cloning thing.

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit Contact

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Jones House Creative