A few friends have privately noted the lack of family news lately. I’ve had trouble finding the right blend of boasting (because that’s what it amounts to when things are going well) that keeps people tuned in, not turned off. I’m also aware of others going through difficult times, something that becomes more common as everyone ages. But by sparing these folks, I may also have given my daughters the short shrift.
And, if you noticed one of the comments in my last post, this hubris apparently is hereditary.
So, for those interested:
My college kid is keeping it all together: the harder courses this semester; the demanding dance team; the part-time cafeteria job she dislikes; and the part-time job teaching ballet and street jazz she loves. She’s auditioning to be a Golden State Warrior Girl, though how she’ll commute from the Napa Valley to Oakland without a car seems not to matter at the moment. Ah, youth. I asked yesterday what she wanted for her upcoming birthday and she responded “Just your love.” Which, like all messages from strapped students, translates to “Please send money.”
Like her sister, my junior manages a tough academic schedule (4 AP classes); yearbook; a competition dance team; and part-time jobs waiting tables and babysitting. Between her excellent GPA and PSAT scores, major universities from Penn to Pepperdine have expressed an interest. I find this amazing, given she has yet to figure out that her clothes belong in a closet, not the floor. Despite her request not to mention Caution! (her hip hop team), I’m going to tell everyone they placed 2nd this weekend in a Los Angeles area dance competition.
Most of the runners I know with families are still at the early end of the parenting spectrum, devoting a significant portion of days and weeks to raising small children. That requires a lot of juggling, especially if a time-consuming career is inserted into the day. I hear them complaining during our training runs or airing frustrations via online message boards and blogs. It’s tough, I know. I used to be in their shoes and some days I wonder how I ever managed, let alone produced such good results to date. Because of my husband’s military career, I frequently parented alone. Because I chose a family-unfriendly profession, I frequently drove myself crazy meeting deadlines. Which is why, of course, I frequently ran to regain my sanity.
Balancing between these three areas was not easy. I had to make concessions when warranted. After all, every three or four years I was forced to start over in a different part of the country. It takes time to acclimate to a new neighborhood, new job and new school system without any nearby family for support. My daughters and husband had to start over too, and together we found a formula that worked for us.
Here’s hoping that all of you now struggling with your own situations soon find a way to make it all work out too.