Being a tennis parent is hard enough when you have just the one player in the family. But what happens when your tennis player is only 1/3 of your parenting responsibility, when you have “Others” who need your time and attention and love?
My “Others” – 22 year old daughter, Emma, and 20 year old daughter, Savannah – have come up with a very creative way to show me EXACTLY what happens. Shortly after I published my first article for ParentingAces, they started their own blog called 2Deuces, cleverly subtitled “The Other Children of a Tennis Mom”.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of their blog. Were they angry at me? Angry at their brother? I read the first couple of entries with trepidation and quickly recognized their unique senses of humor and wit, then breathed a sigh of relief.
While I know that all humor is based in truth and that they almost certainly DO feel neglected at times (okay, maybe more often than not!), I also know that they each had their time with me where their siblings were cast in the roles of “Others”.
For Emma, it was mostly in middle and high school. She was – and still is – my Drama Kid, and I was her Drama Mama. From the time she was very small, she knew she wanted to act. I spent countless hours waiting for her at acting classes and rehearsals. I spent countless hours serving as co-president of her high school Drama Club. I spent countless hours sitting in the audience, watching 5 performances of the same play where she might only be on stage for a brief time. I spent countless hours taking her to auditions for college theatre programs. And, guess who was left at home? Yep, the “Others”.
For Savannah, it was mostly in elementary and middle school. She was – and still is – my Horsey Kid, and I was her Pony Pal. She developed a love for horses at a young age and finally got to pursue her love in 3rd grade when a riding instructor moved into the house next door. Riding lessons are complicated. It’s not just about the time on the horse but also about grooming the horse, tacking up the horse, mucking the stalls, and putting the horse in the pasture after the ride. So, a one-hour lesson would often take three times that long when you added in all that other stuff. I spent countless hours sitting at the barn watching her ride. I spent countless hours managing the barn’s client communications and website. I spent countless hours at horse shows. The shows lasted all weekend, and guess who was left at home? Yep, the “Others”.
I feel very fortunate that my children each found their own passions in life – I think that’s what we all hope for our kids. Along with the kids’ passions come hours of rehearsals or lessons or practices, and when the kids are young, that means someone (in our case, ME) has to be available to drive them, manage all the little details, and basically just be on call. And for the “Others” it can mean hours and hours and hours of being dragged along for the ride.
As a parent, I often struggle with divvying up my time fairly among my kids and even my husband. But, the reality is that sometimes one person needs my undivided attention. Sometimes one person needs to monopolize my time. In the past, it’s been Emma or it’s been Savannah. Right now, it’s my son, especially now that he’s the only one left at home. And the “Others” are okay with that (I hope!) because they know I love them equally and that they each hold a special place in my heart.
And now it’s only a matter of time until my husband starts HIS blog which he has threatened to call “The Joker”!