Sometimes in the midst of a particularly action-packed, activity-laden stretch of days like Team WestEnders just experienced, I daydream about what it would be like to live a simple…hermit-like existence…free from social ties, and agenda items, and running around like the proverbial headless chickens. But then I shake myself awake, frantically try to recall where I’m supposed to be going next, grab my keys, round up the appropriate family members, and bustle out the door again. (And really, I’m joking—I know the double rewards of fun and friendship that come with the sometimes frantic schedule more than make up for all the chaos. Besides, our family has a notoriously low tolerance for boredom, anyway, so what can ya do?)
Although it only affected one of us, the first thing that happened was that Derek texted me on Thursday afternoon to ask if he could go with a buddy to the UNC basketball game that night. I gave him the standard “depends on how much homework you have” line, which he subsequently assured me was “very little”. So I granted him my permission…not really remembering until later that this would be his very FIRST hoops outing of ANY kind…and he got to go to the Dean Dome, which is pretty darn cool. The Tar Heels won, he had a great time...and he gleefully reported that the sound-level-meter periodically registered the crowd’s enthusiasm at…105 decibels. (Holy Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Batman. That’s LOUD!)
Next, on Friday I did my usual errand thing, scrambling to get as much done as possible in anticipation of the upcoming soccer-palooza weekend. There was a bit of added pressure to this week’s chore list, as I had to wrap things up by 2:00 so I could retrieve Riley from school, for a check-in visit to the orthopedist. (“Ugh. Whyyyy do I have to go back there? I’m fiiiiiineeee!” Yes, dear, but they’re doctors and they want to be thorough. Humor them, ‘kay?) X-rays revealed that the break is completely healed (as expected) and that both legs look the same—which is of course the goal. And the measuring tape test found them to be identical in length as well, so it appears that the growth plate was not compromised. Yay! And…now we’re DONE with that.
Saturday dawned bright and early…for some. Riley’s team had a match…at a complex in Raleigh (just under an hour away)…at 9:30. Since their coach wants them to arrive 45 minutes prior to kickoff, that meant that Husband and son left the house at 8—which is already TOO MUCH MATH for a weekend, am I right? Meanwhile, Derek had been invited to a 17th birthday dinner (at a restaurant I like to refer to as the House ‘O Beef. Okay, it’s actually called the Angus Barn, but you get the idea….) the night before with a friend’s family, and then spent the night at their house.
If you’re following along carefully, you’ll already have gathered the significance of what I’m telling you…that’s right, folks: I had the entire house to myself…for the whole morning. (Whoo hoo!)
Eventually everyone returned—Riley and his father cold-but-victorious, and Derek slightly woozy from an evening characterized by excessive food and lack of sleep. No time to sit around and goof off, however, as the footballer and I had to head back out around 2 for his afternoon contest, while Husband and Derek took care of…assorted...household stuff. I did my Supportive Mom part to cheer Riley and his mates on to another (windy—which meant there was no clapping…since I couldn’t feel my hands at all…) win, after which we reconvened the Home Team for some much-needed downtime. (How exhausted was Riley? Let’s just say that I think the only time he got out from underneath his covers that night—ever-so-briefly--was to eat dinner…)
Unfortunately, the recuperation was short-lived, as Riley’s tournament carried over into Sunday as well…with two more matches on the schedule. Even worse, his first game started at 8 a.m. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the calculations: the only important thing you have to know is that the poor child had to drag himself out of bed at 5:45. (He was soooooo NOT a happy camper…) The good news…for his parents, that is…is that we’d arranged for another family (who had to get up at the crack of 'o-dark-thirty anyway, for something to do with one of their kids…I didn’t really catch the details, just the critical “Sure, we’ll take him”) to ferry Riley to the morning game.
In one of those “are you kidding me with this” moments, Husband actually said to me, “Are you going to get up and see him off, or am I?” When I just stood there, staring at him blankly, he took my silence to mean “that would be ALL YOU, dude”. (Because, seriously, how long has he known me? Anytime before 7:00 is the middle of the night to me, and therefore meant to be spent snoozing. Yeah, it’s a firm part of my personal code of ethics…or whatever…) But after a moment I was able to formulate the question I wanted to ask, which was, “WHY? He’s a teenager, and perfectly capable of throwing on his uniform, grabbing some breakfast, and waiting in the driveway for his ride…all by himself. But if you feel the need to oversee the process, knock yourself out. (Whattya say you do me a favor and be reeeallllly quiet, though, so you don’t wake me...)
So, this allowed me the opportunity to try out a new (to me) fitness group that meets outdoors on Sunday mornings (at a reasonable hour, thankyouverymuch) to do a variety of different workouts. This week was Tabatas—and if you’re not familiar with the term, all you need to know is “intense”…and later, “incredibly sore”. Sometime around when I was finished, Riley then magically reappeared to report that his squad had prevailed yet again…and he was going to take a nap before the 4th and final match. He and I then packed the car up one more time for the commute to Raleigh, where “the lads” (as they shall be known, the coach being British, and all) held on to win a squeaker, thereby securing the top spot in their age group…and earning medals. Not an altogether unpleasant way to kick off a season—with 4 victories and some hardware--yeah?
With all of the…festivities…under our belts, the only thing left to do was squeeze in a little bit of R&R…and lament how tired we were all going to feel when Monday showed up. And as anticipated, the work and school week arrived far too soon…but if we can just hang in there, in 5 days, we get one of those rare, priceless gems: a weekend with NOTHING ON THE CALENDAR. Somehow, I feel we deserve it!