This past Saturday presented an interesting dilemma for my wife and me.
We had known for a couple of months that our son’s JV high school football game was going to kick off at 9:15 in the morning so the plan was for both of us to attend that game. Then, a couple of weeks ago, we received our other son’s little league baseball schedule and, as luck would have it, he also had a game this past Saturday with first pitch at 9:00 am.
What do we do?
Well, since Bradley’s football game was a home contest and Jared’s little league game was at a field just five minutes away from the high school, the plan was for each of us to be at both games…sort of.
I took Jared to his baseball game, parked the car, and watched some of the warmups. A half-hour later, Sheryl drove our other car to the baseball field and got out for the start of the baseball game. I drove over to Bradley’s football game for the first half. Sheryl and I exchanged texts so that we could both know what was going on at each game.
At halftime of Bradley’s game, I drove back over to Jared’s baseball game to swap with my wife. I can’t say I didn’t sneak a peek at the live stream of the second half of Bradley’s football game in-between innings (isn’t technology great?), especially when Sheryl texted me to say that his team scored a touchdown, and the live stream was about a minute behind of real-time.
To sum it all up, Bradley’s team won the football game 44-24, Jared’s team won the baseball game 13-7, and both Sheryl and I were able to see half of each game. So at the end of the day, we had a wonderful plan to handle our scheduling conflict. This week, we have the same conflict. Since Bradley’s football game is away and about a half an hour away from the baseball field, we can’t do the halftime switch. So, I’ll go to Bradley’s football game and Sheryl will go to Jared’s baseball game. We’ll keep each other abreast of what’s happening in each game.
If you have two kids playing at the same time, the only thing that two parents can do is make the best out of the situation. If you can be creative like my wife and I were this past week, that’s one solution. If that’s not possible, like the situation my family is in this week, the only thing you can do is have one parent go to one game and one goes to the other. Then the next time there is a conflict, you switch up parent and child. So, when Bradley’s lacrosse season starts in a couple of weeks, I’ll go to Jared’s game and Sheryl will go to Bradley’s game.
Sometimes the conflicts can present a really cool scenario. A few years ago, Bradley and Jared played baseball games with start times half an hour apart. The great thing was that both games were separated by the two outfield fences. So, Sheryl and I stood between the outfield fences and we were able to watch both games. Again, sometimes you just have to be creative.
It can be a challenge for parents to maneuver their lives around the sports schedules of their kids, but the most important thing is being fair to each child. It’s hard enough with two kids so I really give a lot of credit to parents who have three or more kids. That can really involve a lot of juggling schedules, driving from location to location, and making sure everyone has what they need. There are also going to be sometimes where you have to enlist Grandma and/or Grandpa, another family member or friend to help when trying to coordinate the day.
If only a parent can be in two places at one time. This past Saturday was the closest that my wife and I could say that we were able to do that!
Peter is a sports anchor for the CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN Radio in New York. His son Bradley is a freshman in high school and is a participant in the U.S. National Team program while his younger son Jared enjoys playing flag football. Peter, his wife Sheryl and the boys are busy cheering on the New York Jets when they’re not at a high school or flag football field.