I have been looking forward to (and dreading) last Saturday for a while.
Since we had Ben, who is now 5, we have not put the kids in any after-school activities except Catholic religion classes for the older two girls. When Ben came along, and then Rachel just 16 months later, it made our household a lot more complicated. The fact that my wife traveled two to three days a week didn’t make it any easier.
This year we decided everyone was old enough to handle the trips to and from activities without too much trouble. What we hadn’t counted on is the few activities we picked for the kids would all start on the same day: Saturday, March 31.
Not only were we diving into the realm of kid activities, my wife and I were going to have to split up to get everybody to where they needed to go too.
Our 9-year old Anna had an academic competition called Destination Imagination at Plattsmouth High School starting at 9 in the morning. Ben had his first soccer game at 9:30 a.m. and Macy, 7, had her first soccer game at noon.
We didn’t like splitting up since we hate to miss anything our kids do. But we realized the odds were against us with four kids. My wife took Anna to her competition while I took the other two to their soccer games.
I played a lot of soccer growing up, including the nearly four years I spent in Brazil in my early teens. I tried to teach them a little soccer in the backyard to get them ready. Of course, they paid about as much attention as when I tell them to clean their room. Most of the other players had played soccer for a year or two so I wondered if my kids would be able to keep up.
They did awesome. During the game, Ben listened well to his coaches and wasn’t afraid to get into the middle of the mosh pit surrounding the soccer ball. Macy was even better, fearlessly kicking, passing and stealing the ball. She even scored a goal!
I was so excited watching our kids play sports and enjoy it. And grateful they were not behind the other kids’ skill level.
Meanwhile, Anna was performing with her Destination Imagination team.
Despite her leadership in the classroom and on student council, she was very nervous about performing in front of the judges. Out of 22 teams who competed in her category, her team finished second.
It took about 20 minutes for them to stop jumping up and down after receiving their ribbons and learning they would be competing in the state competition in two weeks.
Now I’m excited about our next Saturday full of activities with two soccer games and an academic competition in Kearney.
And dreading it a little less.
Al Watts is the President of Daddyshome, Inc. – The National At-Home Dad Network and an at-home dad of 4 children living in west Omaha. Read him Wednesdays on momaha.com.