I'm slowly realizing that the older our kids get, the busier we seem to be. I used to think, "I can't wait until they can walk so I won't have to carry them." Then I had to chase them around the store or wait for them to catch up because they wouldn't let me carry them any more. Then I couldn't wait until they were out of diapers. Then I had to spend more time in the bathroom with them.
I thought life would be easier when they started school. I found out that my time is now occupied with class volunteering and after school field trips. Now they are both on athletic teams for the summer. Ethan is playing baseball and Emery is playing soccer. Last week, Emery had a soccer game at 6pm and Ethan had his end of the year baseball jamboree at 7:30pm. I got home from work at 5:30pm and swallowed a hamburger "Wimpy style" (swallowed whole). Then we drove the half mile trip to the soccer field which took 20 minutes because everyone in town is either coming home from work or going to the soccer field. We got there just in time to set up the chairs and drink a bottle of water in the 91 degree heat before dehydration set in. Emery's game ended at 7pm. At 7:15pm we started to drive the 200 yards across the park to the baseball diamond. The soccer fields are at the bottom of the hill that the baseball diamonds are atop. Since everyone at soccer also had a kid in baseball, this short trip also took 20 minutes. It was a minivan-suv parade up the hill.
The baseball jamboree ended around 8:30pm and the temperature had plummeted to 86 degrees. We were all pretty much wilted by then.
As we walked the dusty path to our van, Lady Di whispered to me, "I kind of promised them we would go out for ice cream." Once again, the kids' supersonic bat ears heard every word and the "Ice Cream!" chant started.
After ice cream we arrived home a little after 9pm. The kids shuffled like zombies to bed, and Lady Di and I collapsed onto our couch.
Does it ever get any easier with kids? I've determined that it doesn't get either easier or harder to raise kids. It only changes as they get older. We trade diapers for help on the toilet. We trade strollers for bikes. We trade baby toys for board games. Each time your child accomplishes a goal you trade the old one for the next one. Each trade also involves a little more independence for your children and a little more worry for the parents. As soon as that first child is born, your time is no longer your own. We help our kids develop and advance in the hopes of getting a little time to ourselves. We are only fooling ourselves though. That extra time is always filled with something new. The only time in our lives when we finally do get extra time to ourselves, is when our children leave home to live their own lives. This is when we wish our kids would never grow up.
So cherish this time as special time with your kids. Accept the fact that your time is not yours but belongs to your family as a whole. We only have a certain number of minutes given to us in this life. Don't waste them by trying to find more time that isn't there.