Posted on March 27, 2015 by Jennifer Wolfe
Looking back over the last eight years, I realize I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my cars. I’ve worn through two sets of snow tires, at least three sets of snow cables, and bottle after bottle of anti-freeze windshield washer liquid. I’ve learned to keep blankets, towels, shovels, lighters, lanterns, water and kitty liter available at all times-just in case. I’ve mastered the art of breakfast-in-the-car, preheating burritos at 4am, and how to pack enough food to keep two teens and a dad satisfied until wearily, they return home for dinner.
This year, I’ve had a shift in parenting, creating a shift in lifestyle. One of my athletes is on her own, stuffing her ski bag with Cliff bars, water bottles and squished pb & j sandwiches. She remembers her goggles and glasses and wax and poles all by herself. She follows in our family footsteps of preparedness like a champ.
My other athlete has been sidelined, injuries forcing him to rest, heal, and reevaluate. He’s found – finally – a few new outlets for his every-present energy (I never thought I’d be so grateful for skateboarding), and is, at this moment, tossing a lacrosse ball with his buddy to try out a new sport.
Tomorrow we head up for our first – and last – ski day of the season. Broken legs and ski slopes don’t make good friends, it turns out. We’ll still wake in the dark, bundle up and tumble to the car in the pre-dawn hours, armed with strong coffee and warm burritos. We’ll watch the sun rise over the Sierras, and breathe deeply the air of our home away from home. We’ll have one more day to test the muscles ripped apart last summer. One more chance to get my athlete back where he belongs.
I’m pleased that this all coincides with a feature I have on Ten To Twenty Parenting – a post I wrote a few years ago, when these kids were in the throes of racing, when parenting an athlete was as normal as sending them off to school each day – when I never even considered doing anything else.
To read my feature article, Parenting Athletes: How And Why I Do It, click here. Maybe it will trigger some fond memories of parenting your own athletes, too.
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Jennifer Wolfe
I’m coming up on the four year mark with mamawolfe – that’s a lot of stories, thoughts and reflections I’ve shared with you!
This week, I’ve been re-publishing some past essays on several different websites – not only can you catch up with mamawolfe, but you will find new writers with wonderful stories to tell, too.
One of my favorite pieces from last year’s ski racing season – Thanks, Coach, For Helping My Girl Grow Stronger – is up on Ten To Twenty Parenting:
On Midlife Boulevard, I’m sharing a piece I wrote about feeling uncentered, and looking for inspiration – “Finding My Muse: Searching In Tahoe Snow and Pine Trees”.
And I’m featured for the first time on Everyday Windshield with my story about going back to work after becoming a mom – click over and read “Moms At Work” – they’ve added one of my all time favorite photos of me and my babies, too.
Thank you for your ongoing support – it means everything to me.
Posted on March 2, 2012 by Jennifer Wolfe
Parenting athletes requires particular obligations-some sport specific, some general to having athletic kids living in the house. Until they move out, we are responsible for keeping track of practices, purchasing equipment and locating lost parts of uniforms.
We calendar games, attend training clinics and volunteer to work in snack shacks or host end of the season banquets. We learn how to run a scoreboard, rake a field and wax skis.
Parents write the checks for tuitions and races, replace cleats on what seems like a monthly basis, and stock the pantry with excessive amounts of food to feed their famished bellies. We know the value of having duffel bags for each sport, and invest in sturdy folding chairs, seat cushions and endless tubes of SPF 45 sunscreen.
Parenting athletes means we wash mouth guards and uniforms, and know the value of Oxi Clean to make grass stains disappear. We wait in cars and on benches for practices to end, and we trudge through heat, wind, rain, and snow to show our supportive faces.
People always ask me how I do it. Why do I drive 125 hours each way, every weekend, to transport my children to a ski hill in the wee hours of the morning. My answer? I just do. Everyone has a busy life. Everyone has places to go, people to see, things to do, jobs to work. And I don’t sleep much.
When your kids have a passion for something, parents make it work. It’s what we do. Our payment is the smile on their faces as they finish a race course, the laugh that erupts as they play with friends in the snow, and the comfort of knowing exactly where they are every weekend night-asleep early in their beds to prepare for the next morning’s 7:00 a.m. training runs.
That’s how I do it. And the why? The photo my daughter texted I received from my daughter last weekend at 7:15 a.m. from the top of Squaw Valley says it all.
She knows a good thing when she sees it. Me, too.