Mom’s Taxi – someday they’ll thank me – right?
My Mom used to have one of those stickers in her car that said “Mom’s Taxi” on it. Sure I found it funny, in the way that adolescents find stuff their parents say “funny”. Yes, my brothers and I were involved in a number of sports and activities but I never thought of it as being something that was out of the ordinary since from my perspective, taking us to those activities was what parents did. It was part of their job in raising us, to give us opportunities and take us to those places.
As a kid I took piano lessons, played softball and basketball, was on the local swim team, switched over to organ lessons and then added in guitar lessons and then back to piano lessons. I was in scouts and took art classes and drama classes, I had to do service hours at my catholic high school and I participated in youth group. I also enjoyed going to sporting events and watching other teams play. I have also probably forgotten a thousand or so other things that I did as well while I was growing up. And that was just me, I was the third child – my two older brothers had similar schedules. Looking back, even though we could ride our bikes to a number of the swim and sports practices in the summers, Mom’s Taxi was probably a very accurate description.
I have great memories of nearly all of the activities that I was involved with growing up. Most were fun, some were not, but all taught me something and all helped shape me into the person I am today. The types of things that my parents encouraged us to participate in and the things they reluctantly took us to because that is what we “really, really, really,” wanted to do taught me more than how to play piano, or hit a softball or do a flip turn. They also taught me how to parent.
After we moved back to Ohio and the kids started getting really involved in various activities and the schedule really geared up my Mom would look at me, and say in a bewildered tone, “I don’t know how you do it all.” And I would respond “the same way you did it all with the three of us.” And she'd look at me like I was crazy - I think it was selective amnesia. Then like a good Mom she’d help out with pick-ups and drop-offs and doctor appointments whenever I needed help.
Now the position of Mom’s Taxi has fallen to me. This summer alone we attended 36 softball games, 6 swim meets, multiple practices for each (while my husband was doing a show at a local community theater and had many rehearsals and 9 performances added to the scheduling mix). During the school year there are scouts, music lessons, volleyball and basketball. There are school meetings, birthday parties, outings and programs. Dance, soccer and swimming and who knows what else will find its way onto the schedule. Why do we do it all? Because as I learned from my parents, taking them to those activities is what we do as Moms and Dads, it is part of our job.
My Moms been gone for a little over 9 months now and I’m trying to remember if I ever “really” thanked her for all of the rides and drop-offs/pick-ups that she did for all of those years, all of the music lessons and sports teams and more. All of that teaching me how to be a parent when I didn’t even realize that is what I was learning. I think I did, I’m pretty sure I did at sometime, between all of my own kids schedules, when I really realized just how much my parents did for us. I hope I did.
I hope my kids will someday. But even if they don’t, I’m pretty sure at some point they will realize it all and at least thank me in their heart.
I’d write more about this but school starts tomorrow, have to pick up some last minute things, get one of them to volleyball practice tonight, softball practice tomorrow night and wonder why I haven’t heard from the soccer coach yet…