Parenting is a game of getting things done, dinner on the table, homework in bags, and fingernails clipped. Warm houses, safe cars, etc., etc., etc.. All noble pursuits. And your friends will rightly tell you that you need a break. Go to a spa. Take a spa day. A stone massage. Aromatherapy. Celadon walls and a water feature.
The spa is very popular, but I think it might be misguided, which I didn’t realize until yesterday when a friend told me about a conference she attended with people in her field who, when they are together, make up pretty intense group. She was completely alive when she told me about her weekend, full of too little sleep and hobbyist triathletes.
There isn’t much room for intensity in parenting. Intensity comes in the form of the occasional baseball coach who will win at all costs. And what do you say to each other on the bench when faced with that guy?
They’re kids. Give them a break. It’s just a game.
Or, most likely, What an asshole.
But you won’t call him an asshole. You’ll call him a jerk because there might be a three-year-old behind you who is eager to repeat your words.
Intensity is watching your son at bat or waiting for your daughter to come on stage before a recital. It’s intensity by proxy, running hither and yon on a weekend.
It was a long weekend, a lot of time in the car. Book a mani/ pedi for Monday.
It’s impossible to find your own intensity when the kids are always in the back of your mind. You need to stay calm, focused. There’s homework to do. The house is a mess. The feeling of being at bat with all eyes on you, the nervousness of just before going on stage… That sort of edginess doesn’t belong to you anymore.
I don’t know that a lack of adrenaline will kill us, but it will bore us and probably make us bad drivers. So next time I’m going to skip the spa day and book a surf class or drive a race car.
I can’t think of anything more invigorating than being scared to death.