How do you solve a problem like overscheduling?

Four years ago, Sam performed at an annual fundraiser for a theatre we love in AZ. We had just moved into our new house. Craig was out of town for work. Aidan was a baby. Lauren was 5. We were rushing to get Sam to dress rehearsal that morning when I told him to take a quick shower (everything in my house is quick. We’ll have a quick dinner, a quick walk, a quick, um, nap. You get my drift. We are always rushed over here.)

Shortly after he got in the shower, I heard a bang and then he came out covered in blood. “I got soap in my eyes and couldn’t find the shower door. I bumped my head.” When I looked, I saw that half of his scalp was hanging off his head. We rushed to the ER where they told me he needed 8 staples in his head. “Can it be quick? He has a show.”

Fast forward to this week. Craig is again out of town. He will tell you it’s for work, but he’s in Hawaii, so, you do the math. Honolulu was the only place he and his “business group” could properly strategize and bond. When I pointed out that this was ridiculous, his retort was, “Well, we wanted to go to Cuba, but it didn’t work out.” So, logically, the next spot would be Hawaii.

I spent the week rushing. I rushed to take Aidan to and from his new school. I rushed to get Lauren to and from cheerleading practice. I rushed to get sam to rehearsals and auditions. I rushed to get homework done, lunches made, stories read and teeth brushed.

One day, an orthodontist running late threw my whole world out of whack. 15 minutes can change everything. I sped to downtown Phoenix to drop Sam off at rehearsal and threw him out of the car a half mile away from the theatre with a credit card and told him to find his way; I failed altogether in driving Lauren’s carpool to cheer, and arrived 15 minutes late to pick up Aidan from school. As I told Craig, I dropped one son off in downtown Phoenix, left one outside with an angry teacher in Scottsdale and just plain had no time left for the one in the middle.

But the highlight came when I was rushing in high heels to my car Friday night after seeing a show so I could pick up Aidan from a football game. While thinking how much I enjoyed Fiddler on the Roof and badly singing Tradition and not watching where I was going, I tripped and fell over a curb. Hard. Bloody knees, feet, hands and all, I hobbled to my car. Aidan covered me up in his bandaids and I fell into an ambien sleep.

And so, last night Sam and I again attended the same fundraiser
as 4 years ago. Only this time it was me who was bloody and bruised. By the way, short cocktail dresses and Star Wars bandages on the knees are all the rage now in Phoenix.

On Friday we learned that Sam will be playing Frederich in Sound of Music at a fabulous dinner theatre in AZ that is 30 minutes away from home. How will we do this without more injuries? How will this work? And why did no one ever notice the similarities between Fiddler and Sound of Music. They are both about families that have too many children with ethic first names who have to flee their countries because of hatred and prejudice. Does Edelweiss equal the Shabbat Prayer? Ooooh, I smell a term paper out there for someone looking for a topic. The similarities are endless! Discuss.

I’m pretty sure the answer is asking for help. And carpools. Because when you get down to it, we cannot do this alone. We are all scrambling to get our kids to and from where they need to be. So thank you to my cheer mom carpool friend Lesley, who picked up Lauren and drove an extra shift this week. And thanks to my mom who picked up oAidan from his Famous Artists after school club so I could drive Sam to Peoria, AZ for his callback. (Yes the Kindergarteners study Monet. Aidan is still stunned that they don’t make fruit snacks shaped like US Presidents and yelled at the Halloween store for not having Thomas Jefferson costumes in his size. Trust me, this is the school for him.)

All of these things are challenging and I know I don’t have to do any of it. But when I look at the joy in Aidan’s eyes when I take him to his new school, or the excitement that I hear from Lauren over some flip or turn she can now do, or the pure thrill that Sam experiences up on stage. I pause and say its all worth it. The best thing you can give your child is self confidence and inner happiness. If I have to make myself crazy to get them to the places that make them feel this way, so be it. I am thankful that these places exist for my kids. And thankful for family and friends here to help.

And thank you to whatever the hell airlines is bringing Craig back to AZ tonight. It is time for him to get back here so he can assist with his children. Unless he tells me he will be too tired to drive carpool because of his trip. That his hours on the beach and in the sun, the late night beers and morning jogs on the beach have just “worn him out.”

In which case, there will be one more Primack headed to the ER tomorrow who will need staples in his head.





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