• J Mess


Somehow I am always behind at this mom thing.

Last summer when I was on paid family leave I accompanied my friend on some errands on a random Tuesday. However, it turned out that this Tuesday was not random at all, in fact, it was the day that her kids' day-camp Olympics teams were being announced. Frantic texts and emails were being exchanged about the topic. People were calling the camp office trying to get insider information. I observed this phenomenon curiously until the moment the email was received and I was swept up in a mad dash to every Party City in a 20 mile radius to buy every single piece of red costume paraphernalia on Earth. I'd really never seen anything like it before. I thought moms might come to blows over the last 2 green tutus or a pair of glittery purple sunglasses. Besides the fact that I'd never been so grateful that my child was still a baby and I didn't have to deal with any of this, I couldn't stop thinking about how I'd ever accomplish anything of the sort if I was still a full-time working mom. Poor Nathan would have to wear a red bandana made out of pieces I ripped off old maternity shirts, or a sad compilation of holiday-themed gear I hid somewhere in the basement because I hate dressing up, or something tragic like that.

Like moms don't have enough to do. We have to make sure our kid has the coolest theme-based outfit every day for 8 weeks. Shoot me.

So this is what I have to look forward to. Making sure he has the opportunity to go to the best camps even if it means taking out 4 mortgages on my house. He gets the best teachers, because he's 2 so if he doesn't make spaghetti necklaces with someone who has really set some serious goals for his future, he'll never get into Harvard. I mean Syracuse. Even if it means becoming the Lori Loughlin of the toddler set. And if on superhero dress up day, he doesn't look so convincing that someone asks him to save their cat from a tree, I am a gigantic failure. You do realize just how insane this all sounds, right? Who needs this much pressure?

I used to be self-conscious that Nathan didn't really do much in the way of extracurricular activities. Other kids were signing up for swimming lessons, or gymnastics, going to kid-gyms on the weekends, and our idea of an exciting weekend outing was taking Nathan to the supermarket where they happen to have creepy, large animatronics that sing songs. Like Chuck E Cheese, but without the games, pizza, and fun. I wanted him to be able to do things with his friends and I know they'll be a time when he has so many activities and birthday parties that I'll long for a simple trip to the supermarket on the weekends. But for now I don't want him to miss out on experiences because his mom has no idea what she's doing and is a wannabe shut-in. So for the Fall, I was intent on getting him enrolled in something, anything. And I'm happy to announce that starting in September, Nathan is signed up for soccer!

I also signed him up for a gym class one day a week after school because when I dig in, I really go for the gusto. Although if you ask me when any of these things start, I couldn't tell you.

By the time I got around to signing up for soccer, which really wasn't that much later than actual enrollment opened because I got a heads up from a friend, almost all of the slots were filled. How can I possibly be so behind on all of these things? Do I need to get up at 1am and sit outside the soccer sign-up office on a lawn chair all night? Why is everything so intense!? It's 2 year old soccer, they're all going to run around in circles and try to touch the ball. Nathan will probably be in the corner somewhere picking up rocks. Am I woefully underprepared for how seriously people are going to take this? Should I force Josh to start running drills with Nathan in the backyard this week so he is properly conditioned and really stands out? Should we start watching World Cup games on film or scouting out the 2 year old competition and finding someone to Gillooly? Should I outfit Nathan in head to toe Umbro, shin guards, and cleats? Does one even wear cleats to play 2 year old soccer? Just as I was terrifying myself with these thoughts, my friend whose son is also playing soccer with Nathan asked me enthusiastically if I thought they needed special clothes or equipment for soccer. Face palm...


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