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Apr 25, 201207:21 AMMinivan Diaries

Spring Has Sprung: Ready or Not

Apr 25, 2012 - 07:21 AM
Spring Has Sprung: Ready or Not

Opening day.

“Mommy! He said my pinky toe is gross!”

“I can’t help it! It is! It’s got that skin there!

“That skin is my FOOT. Hello, it’s a FOOT. Why are you even looking at my pinky toe?”

Your children are getting ready for afternoon sports practices. You hear this exchange, and wonder: Wasn’t it just spring break? Or was that five years ago? For a moment, life seemed so relaxing.

Oh, well. You’ve got your dim memories.

Welcome home.

Somehow during your week off you forgot just how long afternoons can be. The sibling volume increases. You hit “save” on your laptop and march briskly to the scene of the crime. The toe critic is now wagging his butt at his sister. She shrieks. This causes the butt-wagger to wag even closer. He punctuates his wagging with some dance moves that would make Pitbull proud.

This could go on indefinitely.

You sigh. You look heavenward. “Get YOUR CLEATS on!” you admonish.

There is a torrent of complaints about pinky toes and butts, which you ignore. You raise a hand, and close your eyes. 

 “Did you get your water bottles?”

They stare at you blankly.

Your teenager wanders in. She wants to discuss attending a Warped Tour concert this summer. (She knows not to bring this up when she has your full attention.) None of the local dates will work.

You nod, but you’re distracted by the desperate search for shin guards. You glance up at the clock. Yup, you’re already late.

The spring sports season has begun.

Let the driving begin.

You drop one child off at Norwood Park and head out to River Road with the other.

He wants to know when Google glasses are coming out. You say someday. He wants to know how the GPS navigation system works. You make stuff up about satellites. He wants to know the difference between Presbyterians and Methodists. You mumble something about Scotland.

You are getting tired of not knowing the answer to anything. You ask him to let you concentrate on traffic. As you pass Goldsboro Road, you realize that back in the mudroom, you okayed a Warped Tour concert in New Jersey.

Then you realize you are driving aimlessly. You can’t recall what field you’re headed to. You glance in the rearview mirror. Your son is wearing a baseball uniform. Ah. You drive on, Cabin John your ultimate destination. Then it hits you.

You are in a carpool.

You turn around. You reach the teammate’s house. His water bottle has broken in his sports bag. His father is racing about, trying to find dry stuff. The father apologizes for holding you up. He obviously wasn’t paying attention to the time you arrived. You wave airily. You are magnanimous!

You head back out to River Road. The boys are chatting happily. The sun is shining. The dogwood trees are blooming. It is breathtaking beautiful. You relax. How lucky you are.

You turn a corner. Traffic is standing still. You take a deep breath.

Play on!

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About This Blog

“Minivan Diaries” will chronicle the adventures and misadventures of raising a family in the Bethesda area, as well as provide hot parenting tips such as how to survive your child’s birthday party and how to transcend summer carpool planning.

Maura Mahoney is a writer and editor who lives in Chevy Chase with her husband, three kids, and a mountain of laundry. Maura has worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years, including stints at Reader’s Digest, Mother Jones, and CQ Weekly Report. She has been writing for the past two years on parenting topics for ExaminerDC and Chevy Chase Patch.

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