Saturday, October 5, 2013
The Mom is exhausted from a week of mom-ing and teaching and would like to sit on the couch and stare at the fireplace (with or without a fire in it; it doesn't matter--just so no one asks for anything).
The Teen wants to go out and is full of wonderful excited energy, but she isn't old enough to drive herself yet (and, thank G-d, neither are her friends).
The Munchkin shouldn't be allowed to stay up past 8:00--it tends to ruin Saturday if she does.
The Hubby has traffic goblins to fight and often can't get home at any sort of reasonable time, especially not if stops are need to buy stuff (as often happens).
The end result is a singular athletic event we call the Mom-a-thon.
The athlete in this event is not particularly athletic. She is heavier than she'd like to be and dressed in Mom-jeans and a teacher-geek tee-shirt (because we're allowed on Fridays). It's not as stylish as a sleek uni-tard emblazoned with the flag of my country, but we're all better off if I don't wear such things. Really.
The warm-up is a lovely espresso drink from my local market. This may not seem like the kind of thing an athlete ought to do to warm up for an extended race, but it's surprisingly effective, better than yoga. It's my reward for having survived the work week. There's one particular gal who usually makes it. She's wonderful. Besides making great coffee, she knows us (the Teen goes with me) and asks about little things we tell her. I'm sure she doesn't get paid enough for how much better she makes my day.
If my brain is firing on enough cylinders, I remember to get cash back when I check out. I'll need it for the Teen's Friday night expenses and Saturday morning guitar lesson. If not, it becomes one more thing to handle between 4:00 and 6:00.
Then, the first event starts: The Kiss and Go Lane. The Kiss and Go Lane should probably be called the "Harried Parents Hurl Your Tweens from the Car Lane." It's almost as dangerous as driving in a grocery parking lot right after work. There are clear patterns the cars are supposed to follow, but they don't. You never know if the person in front of you is going to stop suddenly, turn in a random direction, or fail to stop when they should. The hubby handles the Kiss and Go Lane for the Munchkin. The Teen goes to the same school I teach at, so we're trying to get around the Kiss and Go Lane to get to the teacher parking. Luckily, espresso helps my reflexes. We survive and even score extra points for landing our favorite parking place: nearest the exit.
Friday at our school is club day. Thanks to the warm-up of a double-shot latte, I am able to pull off thirty minutes of theater games. Bonus points because the kids seemed sad when we ran out of time.
The third event is broken into three rounds. I'm an elective teacher, which means I teach all three grade levels at my middle school. My rounds are called "eighth grade," "seventh grade," and "sixth grade." This is extra challenging because the energy level of the kids goes up across my day in direct inverse to my own energy levels.
There's a dance tonight, the first one of the school year, so my sixth grade students, for whom this is their first ever middle school dance, are practically vibrating when they arrive in my room. Teaching sixth graders under these conditions is akin to throwing a threadbare saddle with a broken buckle across the back of a rabid rhinoceros and trying to ride it. I live through it, but feel somewhat beaten and bloodied. On the way out, several kids remember to say thank you and wish me a good weekend. I am buoyed.
The fourth event is the after school run-around. This is a juggling act combined with one of those puzzles where you have to get things across the river without letting the lions eat the lambs. I get an assist in that the teen can be left at home unsupervised. Still, it was five stops between leaving school and arriving at home. Everyone is eating dinner by 6:00, so the judges award me an extra star.
The traffic goblins are winning tonight, so the Munchkin goes with me to deliver the Teen and her friends to the place with the music and the laughter. We stay for a little while, but I have to get her home before she turns into a goblin herself, so back into the car we go.
Another hour later, a clean and sweet smelling Munchkin is tucked into bed, only half an hour late. Half points, since bedtime was missed. We'll find out tomorrow how bad that is. The Hubby has defeated the traffic goblins at last and is left at home to watch over sleeping Munchkin while I go back to the place with the music and the laughter to retrieve the Teen.
I like the place they have chosen tonight. It has wi-fi, coffee, and live music, but I can sit far enough away from it that I can still hear myself think. I write while I wait for hugs goodbye. I try not to get the heebie-jeebies (or at least not let them show externally), when the Boyfriend kisses the Teen goodnight.
On the way home, in the quiet of the car. The Teen thanks me. She says she feels lucky to have a mom who will go to this kind of trouble for her. Some of her others friends aren't so fortunate. That folks is game-set-match. Mom won this Friday Mom-a-Thon. And there are seven days to prepare for the next one!