Since moving to northern Durham, we've played with a certain rec soccer league for three fall seasons. This is our second year playing all three kids. Apparently, we are unusual because we have three kids playing in three different age groups. The league was a little delayed in getting the boys' full schedules out, so when they did earlier this week and I plugged the games into our calendar, I saw three Saturdays when all three kids had simultaneous games at three different locations. Discouraged, I wrote an email to the league coordinators explaining that it was impossible for us to be three places at one time--on three different occasions, no less. In writing my email, I tried my best to be reasonable and respectful of the difficult job they had coordinating with limited time and space.
I had no idea what to expect and was already going through a mental list of our kid-free friends who might be able to take a Smith kid to a soccer game (all games are at 9am and 10am, so not the most appealing volunteer schedule for a Saturday morning), but the league pleasantly surprised me by responding quickly. They switched Lauren's game to the earlier slot for this morning. And they're working on the other two dates. I responded with gratitude-laden emails.
This experience made me thankful for lessons I've learned and tried to put into practice, especially in the past year: assume everyone is doing their best; there's no harm in asking for what you need; and kindness is always the best place to start. While it's also true that I don't always live up to these ideals and that things don't always fall into place as neatly as I like, I can be grateful for pleasant surprises. I'm also musing over Lauren playing "up" on Evan's team next season to ease some of our logistical concerns.