Both Tom and Huck are playing on basketball teams from now until the end of February. It’s lots of fun, but, combined with their other activities (Boy Scouts and guitar for Tom, Cub Scouts and bass guitar for Huck), it makes for hectic afternoons. Here is a sample schedule from one day last week:
3:00 p.m. Pick up boys at school, which is not in walking distance of our home, unfortunately. Return home for quick snack and change of clothes for boys.
4:00 p.m. Take Tom to guitar, here in our hometown.
4:30 p.m. Take Huck to basketball practice — two towns away because our school gym is too small to accommodate the teams from every grade, so we rent gym space where we can find it.
5:00 p.m. Return to our town to pick up Tom from guitar.
5:30 p.m. Drive back to Huck’s basketball practice to pick him up.
6:00 p.m. Drive home on Highway 101 during notorious Silicon Valley rush hour traffic. (This is the part I really can’t stand.)
6:40 p.m. Home. Time to make dinner and make sure boys do homework. Did I mention that Huck has a book report due tomorrow?
Despite what the crazy schedule above may indicate, I try not to overschedule the boys (or myself, for that matter). I believe that some of the best learning and growth for kids happens when they have free time. I also believe that if they want to participate in these activities, it’s my job to help them do that, within reasonable limits. I limit them to one sport each per season (i.e. no playing basketball and baseball during the same season). Each takes music lessons, but only once a week for an hour. Each is involved in Scouts, but that’s only once every other week. Each kid participates in activities of his own choosing (meaning that I do not force them to play sports or music or to be Scouts — they’ve chosen these things). Even though we try make rational decisions about what activities the kids participate in, every couple of weeks, all of these activities converge during the same week and sometimes the same day. By the end of a week where everything seems to be happening at once, I am very grateful for the weekend (except when the basketball game starts at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.)
This past week was one such extra busy week when activities converged. I was so glad when Friday came and I had some time to sit down and think about books for a couple of hours while the boys were at school. I decided that, in order to really savor the moment of time I had to just be at home, I would make it extra special. Maybe it’s just me, but when I take time to be present to the things that really matter (home life and books), I enjoy it more and don’t get driven crazy by the busy family schedule. With basketball season here, I have to fit in these moments whenever I can. It keeps me calm and energized. Here are a few photos of my Friday bliss:
Comfort and Joy Tea from one of my book-themed teapots and my Rare Book School mug. Maple Oatmeal scone served on a piece from a Wedgwood Queensware dessert set I found at an estate sale in September:
New acquisitions and bookseller catalogues that arrived in the mail this week, waiting to be opened:
Books. Catalogues. Tea. Scones. Perfect. TGIF! (Thank God It’s Friday!)
See you in the stacks!