I Know Some Day I Will Wake Up And Be Sad This Is Over. It’s Still Hard Now.

little league game Providence Moms Blog
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
You may have seen the meme by now, the picture of the child on a playing field with the caption “Someday you will wake up and there will be no one left to bring to practice.” Just typing those words left a lump in my throat. I know this is true. With kids aged 9, 7, and 3 I want to fully dwell in every moment with them as I see time speeding by. I know that hard parts of infancy and toddlerhood pass, but I also know on the other side of that tall, lonely mountain is my children moving steadily away from me. I already look back with rose-colored glasses on the hazy, cozy time when I had just a toddler and a baby, and a toddler and a preschooler. So trust me, I know.
I also know that I’m sitting here on a Monday staring down a week where my family won’t eat dinner together again until Sunday. It’s baseball season here, and I have two kids on two different teams. Practices, cage time for batting practice, and games fill up our schedules for 10 weeks each spring. My boys love it. They do homework and chores efficiently and without complaint, so they can get to baseball. They keep track of their uniforms and equipment, and never drag their feet when it’s time to head to a field yet again.
I see them cheer on their teammates, listen to their coaches, try and fail and try again. Sometimes I see this through the windshield of my car because it’s 38 degrees and spitting sleet in early April, and who are we kidding, here? Sometimes I see this from the top of a play structure on the playground 50 yards away from the field because the toddler couldn’t bear another second climbing around the bleachers. Sometimes I don’t see this because I’m quizzing the non-playing son on his spelling words, taking the toddler to the bathroom (or the woods if the bathrooms are still locked), or working.
What I’m saying when I lament we have yet another two-game Saturday or two kids/two fields/same time/one parent working situation is not that I resent baseball. It’s not that I mind hours at the field each evening and all weekend. I don’t, at all. I am tremendously appreciative of all the time and effort put in by the coaches and organizers and everyone who maintains these amazing public fields and complexes where we spend gorgeous spring evenings (once May hits). I would love nothing more than to lie on my back on the grass with my daughter, contemplating the sky while my non-playing son starts a pickup game of soccer with a family the next field over and my playing son steps outside his comfort zone and steals third base, without a care in the world. I’m not saying I want to miss a second of that, or that I want it to be over.
What I’m saying is that I’d love to have a House Elf who can pop up at the house and switch over that load of laundry to the dryer or pack lunches for the next day. I’d love to have a Time-Turner so I can create three more hours in my day to return my client calls, sew that rip in the kimono that’s needed for the school presentation, and finish this blog post. I wouldn’t mind learning how to Apparate so I could monitor the kids at the playground but still never miss an at-bat.
I fantasize now about what I will do when my kids are older and out of the house, and I imagine hanging out at local ball fields, volunteering to take young siblings to the playground so their parents can watch their child’s game with their full attention. I imagine dropping off meals at neighbor’s doorsteps when I see them heading off to a 5:00pm practice, or offering to sit with a child who has a school project to complete so they can all get to bed on time tonight.
But for now, I will rely on all the quick meal hacks I can find, pack up snacks and water bottles and sunscreen and sweatshirts in the minivan, give my apologies to teachers when bedtime took precedence over worksheets, and sometimes (forgive me) breathe a sigh of relief when the forecast calls for rain.
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A transplant from southeastern Massachusetts by way of Wells College and Bridgewater State University, Alana has been in Rhode Island long enough to feel the loss of 95.5 WBRU and Benny's, and to give directions based on where things used to be. After living in Providence, Woonsocket, and Lincoln, she happily planted her toes in the sand in Narragansett almost a decade ago with her husband Eric, a Rhode Island native. Two sons and a daughter came along afterward, and she transitioned from working full time at an intensive behavioral health clinic in Providence to her own private practice in Peacedale, Essential Parenting of Rhode Island, in 2010. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Alana focuses on helping parents navigate the transition to parenthood, supporting families with young children, and assisting people across life stages with anxiety and other mood issues. To further her mission to get families off to the best possible start, she also leads groups for new moms and developmental play groups for babies and toddlers at Bellani Maternity in Warwick. (As a mom, Alana tries to take her own advice at least 85% of the time). She is an avid reader, totally addicted to podcasts, never says no to trying out a new restaurant, and is always DIYing some type of home improvement project. She would also like to say she enjoys running, but believes it's important to be honest. Along with her family, Alana loves exploring Rhode Island's many public parks and natural areas, gardening, cooking, and - to the surprise of many who know her - going to visit a certain mouse's house on the regular.