My son returned home last night with two of his friends, at the same time my daughter’s friends arrived. My daughter brought up the rear as her carpool dropped her off, and the roll call went from zero to seven kids in 15 seconds. The boys rested their long boards along the wall in the entryway, and filed by, while the girls streamed into my daughter’s room.
As I greeted them, Boris (I’ve changed his name) declared how relieved he was being away from the “drunk adults” in his house, shaking his head with bewilderment. Or disgust. Hard to say which. How sad that a teen would want to escape the comforts of his own home to get away from a group of raucous adults, I thought, as I sipped on my second glass of cabernet.
The boys piled into my son’s room to begin a marathon of PlayStation3 games. The shoes came off, a window was cracked. They each claimed a spot on the bed or floor, propped up comfortably or hunched in a no-nonsense gaming position. Devices were then pulled out of backpacks and pockets with the fluid motion of a gunslinger drawing his pistol, trigger fingers itchy and anxious. While they waited their turn or for a new PS game to load, they perused YouTube or Instagram, never wasting a moment. They were where they were meant to be this evening. Poised to begin a long night of gaming. The Wifi was pushed to its limits.
While greetings were thrown around my daughter’s room, she unloaded her softball equipment and dirty uniform and packed her overnight bag, as they planned their night, simultaneously texting and tweeting. I’m not sure who they’re talking to, or at. But their ability to multitask is laudable, and for a moment I wish I could do any combination of two things at the same time. My girl had changed into her usual one-size-too-small jeans and teeny weeny T-shirt, looking ready for her evening. As she shoved the leftover snacks from the afternoon’s softball games at me, she apologized for her absence at home. Her Bye-I’ll-text-you-when-we-get-there was punctuated by a slam of the front door. We were now left with the roomful of boys intent on killing the enemy.
I was more than content to be on the couch in my yoga pants, with the laptop on my lap (where else), and a glass of good red wine within easy reach. I treated myself to a super-sized pizza — not for me to eat, but to get out of cooking for who knows how many. My dirty house remained neglected until the next day, when I would hope to have regained my strength. Hubby was just feet away, strewn across his couch trying to stay awake. He had just finished his second cup of hot chocolate, and dozed sporadically. He was looking like this week TKO’d him, or maybe it was because he had started his day with our daughter at 4:15 am. Or maybe he broke his alcohol fast for Lent, and the cocoa was spiked with a little Fireball.
And so you have it – a typical Friday night. The kids were doing what they love best, on the heels of a busy school week that included drills, quizzes, tests, homework, special projects and navigating through recess. Then ball practices, hitting sessions, and games lasting an hour to three were added in. Throw in chores around the house and care for the animals, a break-up!, the stress of grades fluctuating, and a citation. Shoot, they need to blow off steam as much as the adults do.
Of course, it’s been a long week for the adults, but in significantly different ways. While we’ve all had a checklist of things we didn’t want to have to do, the grown-up responsibilities are, well, just draining. The tasks and meetings at work, the rejection on the phone from potential clients, the deadlines, the accountability, the personalities, the time constraints, the impossible goals. If only the pressure to perform was for just a grade or recognition. For us, it’s about generating the almighty dollar, and we can’t do that without being on our game. That’s exhausting enough.
Then there are the household chores, the grass that’s out of control, the tire that needs a patch. Night and day, the cell phones buzz with text, demanding a reply. Taxes need to be done, but when? A makeup ball game is squeezed in to the already packed schedule. Throw on another load of laundry. Out of milk again! Run to the store, drop off one of the kids, pick up three more, drop them somewhere else. Which animal threw up? Forgot my parking pass, turn around. Pay that bill, transfer funds. What’s for dinner tonight? Are uniforms clean for tomorrow? You need money for what? The kitchen sink backed up again. I didn’t do it! Did you walk the dog? I thought you watered the garden. I was volunteered for another fundraiser for when? Coordinate calendars, again. We can make the wedding right after the doubleheader if we don’t shower and the kids can find a way home. OMG! Make it stop!
I think we can agree that we’re all tired. By the time Friday nights arrives, we are ready to celebrate the completion of the week, fall out from the exhaustion of it all, or blow off some steam once we’re released from the pressures of a tightly wound week.Making it to the final day is like crossing a finish line. High fives to all for making it through!
Original post featured on Ronna’s blog.