Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday sports schedule

We have a Baby Blues cartoon among the many cartoons taped to our kitchen cabinet. It has a panel labeled "Before kids" in which the woman is handing a man a cup and he's thinking "At last! The weekend is here!" The other panel, labeled "Since kids" has the woman saying "Okay, here's the schedule" and the man thinking "Oh no! The weekend is here!" I wouldn't have gotten the joke some years ago, but I sure get it now. Our weekends are planned around sports schedules. Eleanor, who is fourteen and a half today, is too old for any recreational sports for most of the year, but she can play soccer in the winter if we arrange a carpool to get her and her friends to the indoor soccer field an hour away from our house. Walker, who is eleven, would play all soccer all the time if he could, but right now he's limited to an indoor soccer skills program at the local YMCA, 10 minutes away from our house. Our Saturdays will start to fill up with his traveling soccer schedule again in late March. The end of season tournament is scheduled for Ron's birthday, so I guess we'll have to fit in some celebration around Walker's tournament games in Columbus (at least an hour away from our house).

The Saturday sports schedule makes me think of this poem by Philip Larkin, called Afternoons:

Summer is fading;
The leaves fall in ones and twos
From trees bordering
The new recreation ground.
In the hollows of afternoons
Young mothers assemble
At swing and sandpit
Setting free their children.

Behind them, at intervals,
Stand husbands in skilled trades,
An estateful of washing,
And the albums, lettered
Our Wedding, lying
Near the television:
Before them, the wind
Is ruining their courting-places

That are still courting-places
(But the lovers are all in school),
And their children, so intent on
Finding more unripe acorns,
Expect to be taken home.
Their beauty has thickened.
Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.

My children expect to be taken home from so many things that I actually bought myself a chauffeur's hat this fall, and wore it regularly. I taught them that the correct response to "Where to, sir?" or "Where to, ma'am?" is "Home, James."

There are days when I feel pushed to the side of my own life. But like everything else about parenting, I figure that if we're patient, it will change. Perhaps my beauty, what there was of it, will still be thickened. But my skin is thickened too, so I won't mind so much.

1 comment:

Asasia said...

Thanks for writing this.