In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
The Wife and I have hit the “chauffeur” stage of parenting.
The Boy has Fall baseball now, and will have basketball shortly. The Girl has gymnastics and soccer. TW is taking an evening class. I have evening events at work, and a manuscript deadline looming.
Family life is largely about transportation.
It would be lovely if we had public transportation worth a hoot, but we don’t. And here in suburbia, the distances are too far (and the roads too busy) for young children to walk or bike to these things. Once in a while we can trade kids with other parents, but everybody is on different schedules, so it only works occasionally.
The weekly event calendar is becoming much more important than it has been, or, frankly, should be. In some ways, it feels like running a small business or planning a wedding.
We were lulled into a false sense of security for a while. When TB had sports but TG didn’t, we still had some gaps in the calendar. And many of the time commitments go away over the summer, so we just came off several months of relatively open evenings. Now we’re paying for it with interest.
Now TG has her own stuff, and rightly so; TW has a class and a book club; and my calendar is much fuller than it was over the summer. (Not to mention the book deadline...)
I think this is why people get personal assistants, or develop drinking habits. It’s hard when nearly every conversation is in the imperative case. (“Don’t forget to...”)
Part of me wonders if part of the whole ‘childhood obesity’ epidemic stems from parents doing the chauffeur thing for a while, until finally just saying “screw it” and planting the kid in front of a screen. Honestly, on some days, I understand. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I understand.
In classic introvert fashion, I need recharging time. When work is work and home is work, where do you recharge?
Wise and worldly readers, I know we’re not the first to face this. Those of you who’ve been through this and come out on the other side, is there a better way? Is there a trick?