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Spring Sports Mean Lots of Running Around

This mother is looking forward to getting out of her car.

After some crazy days of spring, I’m looking forward to some lazy days of summer.

Like many families in Naperville, spring has us running from practices to games all season long. There are overlapping sports — soccer and baseball for us. Schedules shift as game and practice days change week to week.

Then there are the last-minute practices that might be announced only a few hours before they start. Add to that the drive time all over town from to to to and parks. And, finally, the chaos of rainouts and makeup games.

It takes a hefty calendar to keep track of it all.

I use two. My monthly calendar has the numbers of the month running down the long side of the calendar and then five open spaces across from each number, making a grid. I use four of the spaces to track activities of each kid and the fifth for family activities.

Then each week I fill out a dry erase calendar kept on the front of the refrigerator. It has the days of the week running across the top and the name of each boy down the side so each kid has a space for each day of the week.

A quick glance tells me what field we need to go to, who is handling a carpool, what color jersey to grab and whether or not we have to provide snack or work the baseball announcer’s booth.

A look at last week reveals: a friend’s barbecue and soccer practice Monday; a blissfully empty Tuesday; soccer practice, two baseball practices, a swim lesson, a birthday party and a baseball game Wednesday; baseball practice, baseball game and taekwondo Thursday; baseball game and soccer practice Friday; two soccer games, two baseball games and taekwondo Saturday; and one baseball game and taekwondo Sunday.

It is crazy. We’re constantly tracking down the right pair of cleats and making sure uniforms are clean. Meals can happen on the fly. Sometimes a boy is changing for a soccer game in the car after leaving a baseball game.

But when you factor in the four kids and the fact that soccer and baseball seasons overlap, it makes some sense. Three boys are in baseball, two in soccer, one in taekwondo and our kindergartener takes swim lessons when the others are in school.

We want the boys active and busy. Sports teach them about teamwork, goal setting, hard work, time management and more. So although I’m looking forward to a little break from all the running this spring, I’m not complaining.

After all, we signed up for it.

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