Daddy Talk: Minivan Kid Transportation Services
As we move toward the summer months, I’m anticipating having my kids—and by extension, myself—a little less busy than we are during the school year. Several nights ago I was checking my email around 10 p.m. My students had an assignment due the next morning, and I wondered if they would have some last-minute concerns. I shouldn’t have wondered because there were about a dozen messages from them, and with our own kids quietly in bed, I finally had space to think enough to be able to answer the emails.
As I worked through the inbox, I started wondering why I had waited until after 10 p.m. to start on this project. One reason was immediately obvious. College students only do schoolwork between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the night before assignments are due, so it would have been fruitless to check my messages earlier. (You can see the timestamp on their assignment submissions.)
But the other reason was that the entire afternoon had been spent directing my kids’ activity schedule. I had gotten home from work a bit earlier than usual so I could get my oldest child to his drum lesson. Fortunately, we had enough time after that to get a quick meal prepared just before my six-year-old had a softball practice. I stayed there with her so I could seize the opportunity to take a nap on the bleachers.
After the coaching staff woke me up, I loaded the car. But while pulling out of the parking lot we were passed by my wife, who was in the minivan heading in the opposite direction. She was taking my eight-year-old to soccer practice. Honestly, this is one of those afternoons when parents pray that a practice gets rained out because it buys you some time.
By 8:30 we were all back home again and had begun the “shower train.” I’ve made the argument before that a kid doesn’t NEED a shower EVERY evening—hopefully my wife isn’t reading this—but I don’t stick to that line when baseball field dirt is involved. If you flop into bed with that stuff on you, the whole bedroom becomes a dust cloud.
As the last kid got into the shower, I strutted into the kitchen with the home stretch of the day in view. That’s when the two dogs, who had been ignored for past 13 hours and who were now staring hopefully into my eyes started wagging their tails and inching toward the shelf where we keep the leashes. Thirty minutes later, I was returning home from walking them around the neighborhood, just in time to help tuck the kids into bed. My wife had somehow managed to convey them into the proper beds and had their hair brushed, and I’m not sure which part of that is more impressive.
So I sat down to check my work e-mail. Honestly, though, not every one of my students received a full reply from me. I had to get to bed pretty quickly because 5:00 a.m. was fast approaching, and we were going to have to do this whole thing over again.