So, it’s finally here.
The weekend of two separate swim meets, four children swimming in both Timed Finals and Prelim Finals.
Remember how I likened my household to an aircraft carrier and my job as an air traffic controller? Well, those two metaphors are meeting in the middle and I am turning the controls over to my two oldest, Lucy and Emma for the entirety of the weekend. The aircraft carrier will be anchored at home and the sorties extending from there. Lucy and Emma will monitor all and sundry and keep things from crashing and burning.
Abby is in the prelim final meet, which has her potentially swimming up to 6 sessions over the course of the next three days. The meet is literally 20 miles away on the other side of town. Now those of you reading this who don’t know anything about the great city of Atlanta, can’t quite appreciate how 20 miles can represent at least an hour each way, depending on traffic, the time of day and the color of the sky and what the guy next to you had for breakfast. Given that Abby will only have about 4 hours between sessions, maybe 4.5, I opted (and husband agreed, thank GOD), to get a hotel room close to the pool. This way, we have a place to come “home” to. Abby can shower and sleep, which is what she will need the most of.
Oh, and food, but I’ve got that covered. I’ve got gift cards saved and small stash of cash, plus we have a fridge in our room, so I’m bringing some cereal and a few things from home. And there is always Publix, of course. Thank goodness for Publix and their deli. Food of champions, not gonna lie.
Husband is in charge of the other three swimmers. Their meet is timed finals, so when they are done swimming, they come home until the next day. They get to sleep in their own beds, but it is exhausting going to meets. There is a lot of the “hurry up and wait” factor of getting there, watching warm-ups, and then just waiting until your child swims her 2:03′ event, or her :30 event. The chlorine is high, the temperatures are even higher and the food isn’t always the best. The last thing Husband is going to want to do when he gets home is worry about dinner or laundry. In fact, he would pull out the credit card for dinner.
That gets expensive with a family my size.
So what did I do? I had conversations with my girls. I asked them what they wanted, what they could make for dinner, what did they think they were entirely capable of still keeping with what and how we should all be eating. We discussed the pros and the cons of fish tacos, and spaghetti and pot roast (the finalists). What they would have to do and what I could provide to make it easier on them … and (let’s be honest here) keep my house in tact, all four walls standing as they are now with no calls to the authorities or fire departments.
I went to the store, I bought the food, both for the swim meets and the meals at home, I put it away, and then?
I made a list. I made a schedule list and I made a food list.
Here’s where the air traffic controller thing comes into play because Ben has a playdate on Friday. Mary has a birthday party on Saturday. It can’t be all wine and roses and SIMS all weekend for Lucy and Emma. There are places to go and siblings to be paid attention to. Laundry to be washed and folded. Counters to be cleaned and trash to be taken out. Hair to be washed and brushed (Mary’s) and bedtimes to be observed. Carpets to be vacuumed and cats to be fed.
But I have complete faith.