Juggling, Balancing, Keeping Plates in the Air

image by egarc2

All and none of those expressions quite captures what life has been like in the Uncommon home these past 2 or so weeks since my last post.  They say that Generation X is the new “sandwich generation,”  caught between caring for both parents and children at the same time.  I can attest to the accuracy of that description.  And I propose that full-time, at-home moms in particular feel the squeeze more than others.  After all, if you’re not going to work every day, you must be free to…fill in the blank.

  • SuzyQ is in full-cram mode for her 2 AP exams at the end of the week.  As her home educator, I’m making flashcards, reading sample free-response essays, quizzing about important terms, and strategizing.  As someone who majored in History, I can tell you that no one really needs to know off the top of her head, who Louis Blanc is or what the Defenestration of Prague was all about.  That’s what the index of your textbook or, at the very least, Google is for.
  • SuzyQ also just emerged from a week of chorus performances.  Every night.  I’m a lover of music and all, but by the third show, it’s just old.
  • My dad is going through a health crisis right now.  It looks to be the beginning of  a long road of health issues.  It gets tough trying to stay informed about his condition while still trying to respect his privacy.  All of the magazine articles tell me that this is the perfect time to have THE TALK with my parents about their finances and their wishes for long-term care and final arrangements.  Are you kidding?  In addition to running to the doctor’s office every other day for blood draws in between various diagnostic procedures, my dad is supposed to get together with all 4 of us kids and divide up his estate?  Oh, and his grass needs to be cut.
  • Planning for the summer has become a now or never situation.  Vacation rentals are already down to the leftovers.  My calendar is also down to the leftover weeks.  Apparently, the lazy days of summer are long gone for us.  So I’m scrambling to reserve a summer destination that will make everyone happy.  This is a lot like chasing unicorns, pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and snipe hunting. 
  • It was Easter a week ago.  For our family, this is more than a one-day holiday to celebrate spring and bunnies bearing baskets.  We head to church for the majority of Holy Week and prepare traditional meals.  This is not easy to do in a secular world that insists upon baseball practices on Holy Thursday and ice cream socials on Good Friday.

As a result of all of this general chaos, Darling Husband and I are like 2 ships “that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness.” (That’s Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, by the way.)   We resort mainly to text messages and prominently placed notes for communicating.  Here’s a sampling:

“No key.  Lv back door open pls.”

“Pick-up time for chorus changed.  Be home around 11.  I’ll try not to wake you.”

“Dog needs to be fed.”

“Stuck in traffic.  Not going to make it in time for baseball.  Can you get Junior to the field?”  “He’ll either be really early or really late.  Have to drop off Suzy Q downtown.”

We will observe our 19th wedding anniversary next week.  When I say “observe,” what I really mean is, “Junior’s game starts at 5:30, and SuzyQ’s call time is 6:00.  Dinner is whatever you can find in the fridge. Oh, happy anniversary, dear.”  It’s no wonder a mid-life crisis supposedly is just around the corner.


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