Boundbytheword Blog

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It’s getting crowded in here! June 21, 2011

We do too much. To-do lists are never-ending, we have people counting on us, we have responsibilities and obligations and anchors. We have regular everyday life to contend with on top of the extra stuff we pile onto the heap of things waiting for our attention. We are drowning in duties.  I guess the one consolation is that no one is alone in this regard. If you look around, everyone is reaching for that life-preserver, trying to keep their head above water and are just relived they can still see land, even if it is a tiny dot in the far off horizon. Life in our time is a mix of chaos and committment. We’ve become a nation of energizer bunnies.


I felt guilt the other day when I heard other parents talking about putting their kids in soccer and baseball and a billion other lessons so their summer weeks are full of evening games and endless practices. I haven’t signed my kids up for a thing. Not true, actually. Lainey will be going to Karate camp, Figure Skating Camp, and Wet and Wild Camp – but they are daytime camps that will keep her busy and me sane. Our evenings I’ve hoarded. I don’t want to drag each of my kids out twice a week, but in different sports which never run on the same night, so really four nights a week.  I don’t want to sit and watch them play a game with other parents I don’t know and don’t have time to make friends with. I don’t want to sit through the rain and pretend I don’t mind.  Does this make me a bad parent? Maybe, but my kids will probably survive it.


It was my little gift to myself. I want an obligation-free summer. I want to go where the wind takes us and not be bound by a 6pm game. I want to sit on the porch and savour BBQ’d steaks instead of doing a round of toasted tomato sandwiches because we only have 30 minutes before we have to be in uniform and out the door. In neglecting to sign them up for evening sports this summer, I’ve struck a to-do off my list so I can relax and smell the flowers this summer. I hope you all ditch a to-do on your list and join me in the revolution. Get rid of what you don’t want/don’t need/don’t have time for/don’t have the energy for/don’t give a shit about. Won’t you come along for the ride? What “should be” are you ditching this summer? Do tell…


18 Responses to “It’s getting crowded in here!”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Well now I am completely depressed! We are in for 3 nights a week of soccer and it mostly sucks. I think I will simply live vicariously through you for most of the summer and just occassionally ditch my to-do list. I ditched it this past weekend and did a lot of laying by the pool – the problem is that you tend to pay for that later, if not by overwhelming guilt, then by the fact that the to-do’s seem to resurface and now am required to fit them into my crazy soccer schedule! So sounds to me like you have your summer figured out perfectly- hope you aren’t letting yoursefl feel guilty about it!

    • When I feel guilty about it, I eat sugar. Not the ideal response, becuase the combination of doing less and eating more is not ideal. So maybe I’ll replace it with when I feel guilty, I’ll walk the dog…lol. He’s still as sweet, but not as fattening!

      • Stacey Clark Says:

        Here’s the new rule for you Noelle, if you are going to come up with such brilliant ideas can you do this type of blog say mid-March BEFORE we all commit to the soccer summer? I’m with Rhonda……I’m sunk but will enjoy thinking of you sitting leisurely on your country porch while I sweat to death on the side of a soccer field all summer long! LOL!

      • hee hee…sorry Stacey. I have to admit my brilliant ideas often come out of sheer laziness. I didn’t even realize it was time to sign the kids up when everyone had already done it. I don’t think about June in March, so that’s what happens. “Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow!”

  2. Dale Long Says:

    No kids summer sports here either. Vacations and trips galore but most of the time will be just soaking up cottage life hopefully building the kind of memories they’ll look back on fondly. Memories that will shape how they raise their kids.

    Rushing around, bluetooth in one ear, Starbucks liquid tar in the other, jockying appointments on a Crackberry is one way to get old fast. Get off the freeway and onto the backroads, enjoy the scenery.

    I’m with you Noelle. To-do has been changed to Can-Wait.

  3. We’re sending our son ahead of us to France and Spain and then joining him 2 weeks later to avoid 5 whole weeks of Rep soccer. (Well, that’s my take on it anyways… 😉

  4. Lisa Llamrei Says:

    I think you’re the one joining ME in the revolution. I have never put my kids into summer sports. Even during the year, they each pick one thing they are allowed to do and that is it. And I even put restrictions on it – i.e., no team sports, especially any that require me to get up at 5AM (hockey). Getting them to one activity a week, especially when they’re all doing different things, is quite enough, thank you. I am not going to worry about driving them all over the countryside to get to games. And I don’t think that kind of rushing around is good for kids, either. They need downtime. They need time to sit back, relax and de-stress, just like all of us. I’ve been criticized by other parents for not putting my kids into every activity going, but kids will have all of their adult lives to live according to the clock. There’s no need to start in kindergarten.

  5. We fell into that trap one year. Dance class on Fridays, soccer for the daughter Monday/Wednesday, soccer for the son Tuesday/Thursday. Collapse on the weekends. The summer sucked. The next year we looked at each other and said, “Screw that.”

    And the kids actually had more fun that year. So, we never did it again. Good on you, Noelle, nothing to feel guilty for.

    • I agree, but I admit I just stay unusually quiet when the groups of parents start talking about the “games” over the summer. That’s when I pretend to look fascinated with my shoe.

  6. So true. You have to wonder what they will grow up like when we over-schedule their lives so much. Many, many ADD adults I guess!

  7. deepamwadds Says:

    I’m with you. I’m cancelling all my son’s guitar and voice lessons for the summer. He’s a counselor-in-training at mountain bike camp for the entire summer. I think that’s enough. Good for you. They’ll be richer for the lazy days of summer. They will.

    • That’s my phase two for the coming years – get my kids in camp so they can be counselor-in-training and get jobs when they get of age. Great idea. My son would be a perfect camp counsellor because he is so good with little kids. And he likes money so that might just be perfect!

  8. Mary Says:

    I wish my kids were in your headspace. Believe it or not, grandparents feel guilty if they don’t attend lacrosse, soccer, T-ball and summer hockey for the ungrateful grandchildren who barely acknowledge you are there.

    Old fogey note: When we were kids … we couldn’t join summer baseball because we had a cottage to go to. I was lucky because like your other cottaging-commentor, we built different memories – and not ones where mum has to remember it’s her week to take fruit snacks and drinks for the team – or forgets it’s her week and runs to the local convenience store during the game to buy them at premium prices … and mostly texts during the game because we can’t let a night go by without our blackberries humming … or needs to find a non-existent washroom for the sibling who didn’t “go” before you jumped in the van and tore up the concession roads to find an out of the way park … or made all that effort to arrive at that park and find an electrical storm brewing on the horizon keeping everyone in a hot van while the officials decide if there is a danger to commencing the game …

    Oh Yeah. You are doing the right thing by your whole family. Enjoy those evenings at a pace that decompresses everyone. Life is too short.

    • Life is too short, Mary. I love the memories you shared, so different than what our kids are getting today. I don’t know how we moved into this way of life – so so busy, but not really spending any time together. Odd, and sad.

  9. Cryssa Says:

    I can’t help but think of my childhood. We never had organized anything and yet somehow we became well adjusted, creative people. Our idea of organized sports was scrounging for bat, ball and something that looked like a base. I think there’s too much emphasis on programing children. We learnt more from negotiating resources (Barbie paraphernalia) than being hustled to dance or soccer.

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