09 Apr THE MEANING OF LIFE
It occurred to me, as I was working through this week’s busy schedule, that certain very important things had suddenly been relegated to the “may not get to” portion of the “to-do” list. Shockingly, I realized eating and sleeping were no longer high priorities. They had become far-off luxuries. Like dreaming of becoming a pro-basketball player, or buying ski chalet in the Swiss Alps. They were those far-flung hopes that are nearly un-obtainable. And sadly, now… they were casualties.
The first 3-5 years of parenting, of course, we basically didn’t get any sleep. But as time went on… we got some… and that would have to be enough. Sleeping in on the weekends was a pleasure that was long gone. By that point, we had learned that things had seriously changed – BIG TIME. Instead of two people in our home, there were four. And not only were their four people in the house… ALL the responsibility/decisions/planning/preparing/cleaning/etc. rested on only two of them – Mom and Dad. (how does a single parent do it?!?) So that simple luxury of sleeping in, or even going to bed early, would come at a cost. Going to bed early meant the kitchen didn’t get clean. Getting up late meant someone was missing a soccer game, or a birthday, or shopping wasn’t getting done (etc. etc. etc.)
Likewise, other tasks that couldn’t be dealt with in the normal chaotic hours were pushed into the early morning or the late night. We’ve all been there… doing bills at 7am on Saturday, or 11pm on Thursday… when all we really wanted to be doing was sleeping!!
Then, of course, there’s eating. Yes… eating. It was no longer a simple thing. Even if you wanted to just whip out sandwiches – you had to whip out sandwiches for four! And there was always someone(usually under the age of 6) who didn’t appreciate it! Cooking as well, meant cooking for four – and of course, appeasing those young palettes. You weren’t going to be jetting off to your favorite bistro or Chinese food place because they don’t serve CHICKEN NUGGETS!
So here we are, over 10 years in, and I’m going through my schedule realizing its not only a miracle if we eat together – unfortunately, it’s also a pain in the ass. Which is why meal time is suddenly one of us, sitting at the table, cramming in whatever we can find at different times – between soccer/basketball/baseball practices & games, and piano & guitar, and homework… and of course, our work – adding in texts/emails of course – all to finally get everyone home, tucked into bed, so we can do bills at 11pm. Sleep will have to wait.
Is this really the meaning of life?? …
Imagine life without your kids. Then it doesn’t seem so bad. Somewhere, amidst all that hustle and bustle, and lack of sleep – those dang kids really worm their way into your heart. Of course, it’s only when you have that rare minute to think about it that you can appreciate it. Like I’m doing right now… as I wonder how we’re going to squeeze in any dinner-time between practices.