More ex­haust­ing: a soc­cer player or soc­cer grand­mother?

The Covington News - - LIFESTYLE | CLASSIFIEDS - Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be con­tacted at pnbtravis@att.net.

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

COLUM­NIST

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