Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Take Me out to the Ball Game

Katherine's first day of 5th grade
While officially still summer, this week marks the unofficial beginning of fall in our home.  School begins and football season starts.  Sometimes Jack's homework is like a football game. It can take about 4 hours to watch but there's only 60 minutes of actual playing time.

Tonight Jack does not have four hours because he is on his way to a Nationals baseball game.   Paul and I have a different opinion of this game.  One of us (I won't tell you who) feels strongly about the significance of this particular baseball game.  Steven Strasburg is scheduled to return to the Majors tonight to pitch.  What an opportunity to watch history!  The other one of us wants to emphasize the importance of starting a new school year off  right by organizing school supplies, eating a healthy dinner and getting a good night's sleep.

In the interest of preserving our happy marriage, we devise a compromise.  Jack agrees to complete all his homework before departure.  I'll pack a healthy dinner for the road.  Paul will leave the park early, promising to have Jack home and in bed by 10pm.

Jack's ready for7th grade
But first, the homework.  He has to write a paragraph.  First, I try letting him work independently.  Then I try offering advice.  As the clock ticks, I can feel the tension rise from my shoulders to my neck muscles and into my clenched jaw.  "Jack, you don't have a lot of time to get this finished."

"Mom, you are rushing me," he accuses.  Well, yes, I am.  Because we are in a hurry here.  He gets it done--not his best effort--and leaves for the game.   All that scrambling and aggravation.  Is it worth it?

Around 9pm the phone rings.  "Mama?  We're on the way home.  Thank you for letting me go to the baseball game tonight.  I promise I'll get all my homework done tomorrow.  I love you."

Yes, it was worth it.

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