Before I had kids, I remember seeing those bad bumper stickers or license plate frames that said “Mom’s Taxi” on them and having, what I like to consider, the Holy Grail of passive aggressive reactions. It’s a move that, try as they might, not everyone can safely pull-off. It’s kind of the Triple Lindy of disgust. You’ve seen it. If you’re skilled enough, you’ve done it. It’s the combination eye-roll, slow disapproving head shake with the loud gravely sigh. And, not to brag, not only can I pull it off, I can do it while driving.
(Editor’s Note: Remodeling Clay does NOT recommend you attempt this maneuver while operating a motor vehicle)
As evidenced by my reptilian brain reaction, those signs seemed so stupid to me at the time. Yeah, we get it, Lady, your kid – who I see is also an Honor Roll Student – is busy. He (or She) has a lot of places to be and you’re carting them around. That also explains why everyone in the Mini-Van is frantically throwing down McDonald’s Happy Meals as you speed down the expressway.
Extra-curricular activities at our house are governed by two simple rules. The first is that we do not push our children in any direction for our own pleasure or vicarious existence. I spent a huge chunk of my youth playing baseball and, as much as they love watching and especially going to games, they have zero interest in signing up for the local Little League. On the flip side, I’ve always loved and participated in community theater and both of my kids have gravitated to being on stage despite never having been steered in that direction. You never know what’s going to stick and they’re kind of all over the road, but, if they want to try something, it’s their call.
Which brings us to Rule #2, which is our simple family motto of “You finish what you started”. Period. If you want to try it, you can try it. If you love it and want to do it again – that’s great. If you hate it – you don’t ever have to sign up again. BUT… you have to finish what you started. The most important skill for my children to learn is commitment. That will take them so much further in life than any individual activity.
At about 8:30 last night, I hung up my keys and took my shoes off for the first time in what felt like a week. I had just picked up GiGi from the High School where she’s having nightly rehearsals with the Junior High Musical that starts its three night run in two weeks. She had been there since 6:00 when her Sister and I had dropped her off after CJ had been picked up from her Girl Scout meeting. Which of course she went to after school, the place where she was picked up from shortly after fetching GiGi from the Middle School. Not the same Middle School, mind you, as the one where I have to take the youngest to her travel Volleyball practice. That’s Volleyball practice, of course, the games are actually in three neighboring cities. But, no worries, the games won’t interfere with Science Olympiad or any of the Junior National Honor Society volunteer hours that are due by May or the multiple babysitting gigs that the 13-year-old has around town.
I’m “Mom’s Taxi”…. well… “Dad’s Taxi”…
Wait… I don’t like that either.
Though my Undertaker-esque eye-roll back in the day didn’t want to believe it… when you have kids… you just kind of become their ride. They’re zipping between activities while you try to salvage a little bit of quality time between “what door do you need to go to?” and “what time does this end?”
It’s thankless at times. It’s boring in others. It’s flat-out tough to manage when you’ve got two little girls going in two different directions. But, being that for them right now IS my extra-curricular activity. No one pushed me towards it… it’s what I chose. That’s Rule #1. And, as the family motto says, we finish what we started. My greatest commitments that I have or will ever make… are the ones that I’m driving all over town.
At least the weekend is almost here… then we only have voice lessons… and horseback riding… and church… and…