Between work and shuttling the kids around to activities every single day of the week, I’m surprised I was able to whip through a book in a mere five days, but I did. And I’m sad it’s over, because I really grew attached to the characters in this page-turner.
After pouring through several nonfiction tomes, I was in desperate need for some fiction, so after some Amazon scrolling, I downloaded The Admissions: A Novel by Meg Mitchell More. The book was released in mid-August, so it’s still new and People called it a “great beach read,” so I snatched it up.
The story is centered around a family living in Northern California, and of course they appear to be living the perfect life. Isn’t that always the case? They have a beautiful home in Marin, both parents have successful careers and they are raising three beautiful, spirited daughters. The eldest child, a overachieving high school senior, has her heart and ambitions set on attending Harvard. The middle daughter is a talented dancer with a heart of gold. The youngest, a second-grader, is cute as can be, but struggling with learning to read.
Without giving away the twists and turns of this novel, I will say the book struck a chord with me. The parents, while working so hard to give their kids all of the right opportunities, feel stressed, over-scheduled and wishing and willing life to get a little simpler in just “a few more months.”
Within my own family of five, life has certainly felt crazy lately. The kids are back to school, my husband and I are always shuttling someone to after-school activities and we barely catch up on the weekends. Our Saturdays, and many Sundays, are spent lugging beach chairs from soccer field to soccer field. We jam in a grocery trip, meal-plan, speed clean the house, go to Mass, do a zillion loads of laundry and then collapse into bed late at night.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re making the right lifestyle choices. My kids love everything they are doing, and we want to expose them to so much in hopes they’ll ultimately discover a passion, but I often think we need more downtime. Actually, I know we need more downtime.
Should we take a weekend to ditch the soccer fields and the dance studio to get out-of-town? Go camping? Escape to the beaches?
Perhaps this is just how it goes when you have three active kids. Even when you only allow them one activity a season, we are still juggling three sets of practices, three sets of games and three sets of team obligations. This is the first year all three kids are playing soccer. My eldest is also in scouts, and my youngest additionally has one dance class a week. In another week, religious education classes get tossed into the mix. The middle child is wondering when we will let him begin guitar lessons.
Maybe I just need a quiet weekend to amp back up, or maybe I need to embrace the chaos. These are the best days of our lives, right?
I suppose I’ll continue to reflect on this scheduling craze many times in the years ahead – and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t daydream about simpler days. Pros and cons, pros and cons.