If you live in the Northeast, or anywhere prone to blizzards, this is something said in March. Candles, check; matches, check. Shovels near every doorway. Bathtub filled for flushing the toilet. Preparations for the lights --and power (and refrigeration) to perhaps stay out for an extended period of time. It's coming. The supermarket run for flashlight batteries, toilet paper and....(I've seen fights over this during the blizzards of 1993 and 1994), milk, bread and eggs.
My housemate is my best friend (it works nicely that way). She's known my children since they were born, and has been like an aunt to them. When I divorced in 2008 and ended up with house buy-out monies, it seemed natural for Linda, the boys and I to get a house together. We're in upstate NY, a rural area outside of Albany and Troy, with close to two acres of land, every inch of which I'm mentally and emotionally ready to garden. We found the perfect set-up for the four of us, and, although we're rebuilding because of the damage from storms Irene and Lee, sharing space has worked out pretty close to perfect. Linda has a bedroom that the previous owners used as a library and office, and she uses what would have been the playroom as her office / living room. The upper floor of the raised ranch has bedrooms for the boys and I, and then we share meals and hospitality in the kitchen, dining room and living room. My indoor plants LOVE the front bay window, as well as the re-done dining room, with windows galore. It's great that she and I mostly share the same tastes :-).
Because Linda loves my boys, and we operate like a family in many ways, and because I end up disabled many days, Linda is...the other parent. She is Edna Mode of the Incredibles, Rachel Ray in the kitchen, and the great administrator. When weeks get busier then usual, she creates a spreadsheet of the boys' activities for the week, color-coded and highly detailed.
I never started as a parent putting a child in four activities a day, eight days a week. I've studied child development, and I've always wanted children to have the freedom of space for creative thought and creative play. But my kids are close to college-age now. Up through their early elementary years, I put many things in front of them (paint, paper, play-doh, matchbox cars, legos...) for them to explore and to find their interests. Interests clicked with each of my boys and I nurtured what they wanted to learn. Caleb started viola in 5th grade; now he has been accepted to Crane School of Music. It all grew.
This is one of those weeks that ....those interests....and their offshoots of activities....have all intersected. We needed the most intense spreadsheet so far. Caleb is a member of ESYO, the Empire State Youth Orchestra. It's a pre-professional orchestra, and this week is a concert--which means rehearsal and a full dress rehearsal *at* the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall the night before as well.
It's "Spirit Week" at Averill Park High School. And, since Caleb was chosen as a candidate for "Mr. AP", he's required to participate in all of the spirit-activities, as well as prepare for the entire performance and show....which happens approximately an half hour after the ESYO concert is finished.
Elisha, my freshman, is in the school play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Anyone who's been involved with theater understands the time commitment of thespian activity.
My young guy is also working to test past his brown belt in TaeKwonDo.
And both boys are involved in the foreign language dinner (they have to prepare meals for their country). Caleb of course is taking both French and Japanese. Elisha, Spanish.
This is just a cursory list (we haven't cursed yet at all though; it's rather fun stuff still ;p). The detail-by-detail and moment-by-moment, if you miss a detail-details are mind-blowing. Tux for concert. Different tux for "Mr. AP"--oh and pick it up at the tailor's Thursday...when...? It makes my head spin, but it's good to see most of it on paper, color-coded, and to know where to turn next.
We all tried to catch up on dishes. I tried to catch up on laundry. At the end of Sunday night, after the spreadsheet was created and posted in various places in the house, Linda said with the type of intensity that one prepares for a Nor'ester blizzard, "Well, I think we're about as ready as we're going to be."
I've been to the supermarket. I'm preparing the food. Hit me, I'm READY FOR THE STORM!