June 26, 1997 in Washington Voices

Everybody Gets Involved When Kids Are In Sports

By Correspondent

Balancing the day-to-day obligation of work and family is one thing.

Juggling the schedules of three youngsters participating in summer sports, my wife Tambra and I have found, is something else.

Our 15-year-old son Jared is entering high school next fall. As a three-sport aspirant, he feels the obligation of being in the weight room, attending two summer camps, taking traffic safety education and resolving the conflict between American Legion baseball and summer league basketball when games are on the same night.

We have the responsibility to get him there, starting as early as 7:30 a.m.

For the most part, at least, his Monday and Wednesday regimen doesn’t conflict with those of his younger sister and brother.

Linse, 10, and Brett, 8, play on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thank heavens Mom willingly shoulders the tasks of feeding, readying them and sharing transportation duties as the trio heads to its next assignment.

We, too, have been caught in the sports parent syndrome. Here’s a sampling of our schedule, one so similar to many others.

It begins on a Thursday in late May before school is out. Jared has his final junior high baseball game at East Valley Middle School and Tambra carts him from there to University High School for Legion tryouts.

Dad has boarded a plane to Tacoma for the state track meet. While he’s gone, Mom gets Linse and Brett to South Pines Elementary for their practices and takes Jared to U-Hi for his.

On Sunday she drives to the airport to pick up Dad, we stop at Dick’s for lunch and then drive Jared to Gonzaga University for Legion pictures.

Monday, Mom drives Jared to EV for a Legion game at 5 p.m. Dad joins them after buying heel cups for Jared’s baseball spikes.

On a rainy Tuesday Jared has practice between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Dad takes Brett to his Mini Pee Wee game at 6. Linse has the flu and misses her 5:30 practice.

The next day Jared’s scheduled game conflicts with a football meeting. Rain postpones the game so he makes the grid meeting after all. Dad is required to attend.

Thursday Brett and Linse have a game and practice, respectively, at South Pines. Jared has practice at 4. Mom takes him to U-Hi and returns with him to South Pines in time for Brett’s game.

Friday, Jared has basketball practice at 3:45 p.m. at U-Hi and a baseball game at Central Valley High School at 6 p.m. Dad transports him to and from U-Hi and gathers up the family on the way to CV.

Meals? The kids eat around 4:30 p.m. before heading out. The adults munch down around 8:30 p.m. after everything’s done. It’s not haute cuisine.

Monday, Jared is at Ferris for baseball. He hitches a ride with his coach, Cory Aitken, because his parents can’t be there until the 6 p.m. game time. Tuesday he’s at U-Hi for a makeup of the game that was rained out the previous week. Dad drives Brett and Linse to their game and practice at South Pines.

Wednesday, Mom takes Jared to baseball practice at Horizon Junior High at 4 p.m., then gathers up the family for Jared’s basketball game at West Valley at 5. Dinner comes later, courtesy of Senor Froggy’s.

On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Jared has his promotional ceremony at Bowdish Junior High. At 5:30, Dad skips out in time to cart Brett to a baseball game at Blake Elementary. Linse is already at practice at South Pines. The rest of the family arrives at Blake in time to watch Brett. Dinner comes afterwards, courtesy of the Thrifty Scotsman.

The next week, Linse’s games begin. Thank goodness they are at 4 p.m. All three kids play on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Jared also has basketball games at 5 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

On Monday we hurry to Centennial Middle School for the game, only to find Broadway Avenue closed by sewer construction. After winding through the neighborhood to the school and dropping Jared off, we leave to get a soda.

But before we’re out of the parking lot, Mom notices the kids coming back out of the school. We stop, find out the games have been moved back to West Valley and wind our way back there. Dinner that night is courtesy of Arby’s.

On Tuesday, mom drives Linse and Brett to Otis Orchards Elementary. Dad arrives to watch and at 5:15, he and Brett head back to Opportunity Elementary for Brett’s game.

Jared plays at U-Hi and again gets a ride with his coach. After Linse’s game, Mom drives to watch him play. We meet at home.

On Thursday, everyone arrives at University Elementary for Linse’s second game. Jared’s coach picks him up on his way to U-Hi. Dad and Brett drive to South Pines Elementary for their game. After Linse’s done, mom goes to Jared’s game.

Many years ago, when my folks consented to watch Jared while Tambra and I were involved in a softball tournament, my dad said, “You’re going to have to choose between sports and being parents.”

We would, except the kids have Hoopfest this weekend.

, DataTimes

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