My younger Macon granddaughter spent the week with me. It was exhausting for both of us. She had to be across the road from Parkview High School at 8 a.m. each morning. My alarm went off at 6 a.m. and I woke my granddaughter 15 minutes later. The 15 minutes gave me time to get the paper, drink a cup of tea and read the headlines.
She then had to text her mother to see what she had to wear for the day. Once she had on the right colored socks, shirt and shorts for the appropriate day, she then packed her soccer balls, turf shoes and cleats and snacks. We had to ensure that she had her sleeves and shin guards and then fill a large water jug full of ice and water. (The uniform was different each morning.)
Then she sat down to breakfast. No milk and cereal as per the coach’s orders. He didn’t want anyone throwing up the milk, he explained. All this before 6:45 a.m. That is the time we had to be in the car to make sure we got to the soccer fields in time.
The hour ride up to the fields was pleasant. It was peaceful and my granddaughter and I talked about various things. She confided that she wanted to be a dentist. She said she wanted to be a teacher until she found out that teachers didn’t make much money. (I don’t want to get side tracked about that comment. But, truly, education of our children is of paramount importance. If this country values education, it should prove it by paying teachers a salary commensurate with their education and by making sure that only the best and brightest become teachers. It is a no brainer, and I fail to see why no one else sees it.)
We talked about the difference between coffee and tea. She wanted to know why tea came in bags and wasn’t loose like coffee. I explained how loose tea is brewed.
We talked about some of the houses we passed and what they might look like inside. She told me about two of her friends (sisters) who had bedroom makeovers and how she wanted one too. She said she was now too old for bright colors. She will be in the fifth grade next month.
We would arrive about 15 minutes early and she would join her teammates. Practice lasted until 11 a.m. I had three hours to waste. I found a local grocery store and wandered around it. I took my ebook and read. I took the living section of the AJC and did all the puzzles. I walked in the parking lot for about 40 minutes before it got too hot.
We’d get home about 12:15 p.m. On the way home she usually listened and sang along to music on the radio. I got an education in today’s pop music. Some of it I actually liked.
After a shower and some lunch and a short rest, she usually went to visit her Covington cousins. While she was at her cousins’, I made sure the laundry was done and she had the correct clothes for the next practice clean. I made beds, took a bath myself and got dinner ready. She had to eat at 5 p.m. on the dot, way earlier than my husband and I eat. She also had evening soccer practice. (The procedure for packing for evening camp was the same as for morning camp. The uniform, however, was the same each evening.)
At 5:15 p.m. her father or mother picked her up and took her to another soccer camp in Suwanee. I would clean up the kitchen and get dinner ready for my husband. I usually ate early with my granddaughter.
The second camp was from 7 to 9 p.m. They usually got home about 10:30. We would try to get her to go straight to bed, but she generally had to wind down some.
Up at 6 and not down until 11 is a long day for me. I would think it would be an even longer day for my granddaughter. But she seems to be showing less wear than I am. I don’t think I could do this more than one week a year.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.