I recently joined a new gym. I was ready for a change and this new establishment has more options for class times making it easier for me to get to. I’m still in the early stages of figuring it all out. I am meeting a lot of new people, remembering about a third of their names (eek!) and learning which spots on the workout floor are spoken for. One particular patron knows me from the previous gym we belonged to. She has been very helpful showing me the ropes and giving me lots of reasons why she is happy in the new place which is always a plus.
Even though I enjoy group workout classes, I am not a fan of big groups. This is completely counterintuitive but trying to stay fit always wins out over my loner tendencies,… well, mostly. My newly reacquainted friend told me if I don’t like a packed class, that coming to the 8:00am sessions is ideal. Typically, they are not crowded and have plenty of open space. I immediately told her there is no way I could make these classes since I have to get my boys (8 & 10) ready for school.
Over the next several days I had a sneaking, dawning realization. Something along the lines of my boys don’t really need me all that much to get ready for school, nor do I even have to get them there. Ninety-plus percent of the time, my husband will take them on his way to work.
I have always been a firm believer in having breakfast with the boys. I want them to know that someone in this uncertain world is happy to be in their company and looks forward to seeing their faces early in the morning. Most days are full of chatter, rare days are quiet and inevitably there are the I-hate-my-brother mornings that I could certainly do without. Still, I truly enjoy our time together.
Ultimately, I realized that I was avoiding 8:00am workouts for fear of missing out on some important part of their departure for school. This fear doesn’t have anything to do with them. It is all about me. They don’t need me as much and that is a fact. I can still have breakfast with them but I don’t need to personally usher them out the door. I can say my goodbyes and start my day right after that.
Sadly, I don’t think they will notice nearly as much as I will. They will be out the door and well on their way in this world.
And so, I must go, too.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent