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Mommy mess-up wasn’t in the family schedule


Ooh, that was one messy week.

By that I mean I did a Mommy mess-up, a fall flat on your face, let down your family in front of other parents kind of mess-up.

The setting for this fall: the abyss that many other parents will recognize as club sports. Apparently, it is no longer enough for your kid just to go out for the school sports team of her choice. No, they have to join an outside club team to get enough experience just to keep up with all the other kids.

This is the year our daughter fell in love with volleyball. She played at school, joined a rec league and ultimately wanted to join a club.

The upside, of course, is watching our girl have the amazing experience of participating in a team sport, being physically active, learning to play well with others. When I told her and her friends that this is kind of new thing for girls to have this kind of opportunity they gave me that “we know, you grew up in a covered wagon” look.

We told our daughter our one non-negotiable requirement is that she understands her commitment to her team. There would be no skipping practices or games.

It is a daunting commitment. Practices are three nights a week. Tournaments that can take up all weekend every weekend. And then there is the added challenge of all the moving parts.

This is where I blew it.

My biggest mistake, looking back was getting cocky. Practices are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays except when they’re not. Sometimes Thursdays, sometimes Tuesdays. Tournament schedules change. We might be signed up, we might not.

I really thought I was handling all this really well. Spinning plates while riding a unicycle kind of family scheduling. That was my downfall. I got cocky.

Newsflash: Turns out this family scheduling stuff isn’t so easy after all. Go ahead, longtime parents. Have your giggle. I deserve it.

I thought I had clearly read an email back in February saying there was no tournament scheduled for this weekend in April. “Perfect,” I thought. “We can schedule a trip for spring break.”

I went ahead and bought plane tickets for us to go visit family in Southern California taking my husband, my daughter and my little sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. We would spend time with my mother who has been having health challenges. See my brother and his family.

We sure were excited until my daughter came home from practice the other night with a crinkled brow. “There actually is a tournament this weekend,” she said.

“Not possible,” I replied. As I casually went through old email confirming my belief, I called and texted a few other moms.

“Yes, there is a tournament this weekend,” they informed me. “You didn’t know that?” a few added in disapproval.

Panic set in. Do we make our kid turn her back on her team? Do we cancel the trip, eat the money, disappoint my family and my little sister? What do you do in a family values version of Rock, Paper, Scissors?

It spurred a lot of discussions in our house this week.

Ultimately, we get to table which one is most important, thanks to my hero, also known as my husband. He pulled a backload of those frequent flier miles he collects like a crazed squirrel and was able to rebook two of the tickets. My little sister and I will fly Friday, as scheduled. Father and daughter will stay behind so she can play in her tournament and meet us in Southern California late Saturday night.

As I get back on the proverbial scheduling horse, you can be sure, it will be with a humbled heart and a triple-checked calendar.


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