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  • Kim

When did weekends become so stressful?

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

I love watching my kids play sports. I love cheering them on and supporting them in the activities they enjoy or feel passionate about. My kids are all pretty decent athletes. It’s fun watching them compete, and they play on some competitive, high level club teams in the Boston area. But sometimes, I just want the weekend to do nothing. I want to wake up late and relax and not rush around filling water bottles and searching for shin guards before I’ve even had my coffee. I want to curl up, read my book and enjoy the sunrise with my coffee. I want to sit in silence and admire the changing color of the leaves in the sunroom. But this is our life, and I embrace it. I do so because I love my children, and I would do anything for them. Because that's what parenthood is all about, right?

I love to watch Chase play hockey, but it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to be a hockey mom. It also requires some extra endurance to drag his sister out of bed early and into the cold rink. But we do it, weekend after weekend.

Today, we were all up bright and early by 6AM, with minimal complaining from everyone, including Parker, who barely had her eyes open and was still in pajamas. I felt in good spirits, as I already worked out, showered and was on my second cup of coffee. I was ready to tackle the day.

Chase isn’t a big fan of having me drive him to his games or practices. He likes having his dad take him, and he groaned in annoyance when he realized it was me, mom, who was driving him this morning. Normally, he enjoys listening to loud music in dad’s car and gets pumped up by talking through different plays with Evan . He doesn’t exude the same enthusiasm and intensity riding to games with me and Parker, for some reason. He pouts and often begs Evan to switch.

Also, Chase needs to be early for games and practice, and I am notoriously late to everything. So, this is another reason why Chase doesn't like riding with mom. Chase reminds me: “early is on time and on time is late.” I made the mistake of telling him this once years ago, as this was what my high school field hockey coach used to say to me. Now, he lives and sleeps by this mantra. Today, I was up at 5:15AM, got my workout in and was out the door by 6:29AM for his 8AM game. I was ahead of schedule, according to Chase, by one minute. It was still dark out. I was proud of myself!

We were cruising down the highway, headed west towards the New England Sports Center in Marlborough. We were slated to hit the rink at 7:04AM - nice and early! Chase was in charge of the Spotify playlist, and the music was so loud, it made my steering wheel vibrate. But I didn’t complain. I let him do his pregame warmup thing.

About 2 miles before the exit, about 5 minutes before we were set to arrive, I noticed the sun was rising behind us and casting a beautiful glow across the horizon ahead. The fall foliage looked as if it were on fire, and the fog from the early morning was beginning to lift off the tops of the trees. Even though we were on a stretch of boring highway in the middle of I-90 west, it was a beautiful sight. I looked around me in awe, so happy to be on awake, on the road at that time of the day. Not hungover! I thought to myself, you know what - even though I hate doing these early morning drives to the rink, this is actually quite lovely! I smiled to myself, as Dr. Dre thumped thunderously through the car speakers.

Next, I glanced down at Waze and instead of arriving in 5 minutes, suddenly we were set to arrive in 25 minutes. Our of no where, we were no longer 1.2 miles away anymore. Waze now said 10.7 miles until arrival. What the...?

“OH FUCK!” I shouted.

I glanced back at Chase in the rearview mirror who was now looking at the dashboard wide-eyed.

He knew exactly what I had done. I had missed the exit, and he immediately burst into tears.

“This is why I hate driving with you! You always do this! You always miss the exit!”

“I’m so sorry buddy!”

“Why? Why do you always go the wrong way! You’re the worst driver! I’m going to be so late! You always miss the exit!” He sobbed harder for another few minutes.

I sat in silence, unable to say anything. I knew I screwed up. There was nothing I could do.

We were going to arrive at 7:30 for his 8AM game. This was unacceptable to him. This was still early, which is technically still on time, but it was not early enough. Missing the exit meant having to go an extra ten or fifteen minutes past the rink in the wrong direction to then turn around and go back the way we came, because the exits were so far apart.

I took a deep breath and apologized to him and explained it was a mistake. He did not want to hear it. Now, he was quiet. He stared out the window, stewing in anger, and we all just sat in silence for the rest of the ride - all the way to Worcester and back east again to the rink in Marlborough, for the next 25 minutes.

When did weekends become so damn stressful?

To be continued…

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