First night of "gymnastics for diving" . . . resulted in no gymnastics being performed. Well, other than the mental kind.
Notes to file:
1) Signing the kids up for a gymnastics class taught in a suburb of Fort Worth because it was significantly cheaper than the equivalent class in Fort Worth: great idea on paper, horrible idea in reality.
2) Given the ongoing construction of the Highway 121 project in North Texas, relative distances are not an accurate predictor of actual driving time.
3) I really, REALLY hate I-35 northbound.
4) Particularly at night, when big eighteen-wheelers ride your bumper.
5) The only thoroughfare that I hate driving more than I-35 northbound is, apparently, Golden Triangle Boulevard. Having never driven Golden Triangle Boulevard until last Thursday night, this was news to me. Per the City of Keller Web site, the driving Hades that I navigated Thursday night represents a "$19 million project [that] will turn Golden Triangle
Boulevard into a four-lane divided concrete roadway with traffic
signals, raised medians, left and right turn lanes, curbs, gutters and a
storm drain system. . . . Road construction on this major project began in October 2010, and the projected end date is early 2013."
6) It is, apparently, not "early 2013" yet.
7) The precursor to a "four-lane divide concrete roadway with traffic signals, raised medians, left and right turn lanes, curbs, gutters and a storm drain system" is a "nightmarish two-lane roadway with no buffer between you and oncoming traffic, no shoulder and zero visibility, because that part of Keller isn't built up yet, and you might as well be driving through a cow pasture for the lack of available illumination."
8) People in Keller drive really, REALLY fast. Maybe it's the close proximity to Texas Motor Speedway?
9) I don't particularly like playing chicken with wannabe NASCAR drivers on an unlit two-lane road with no shoulder and two children in the backseat.
10) Sometimes buildings that exist on paper don't exist in actual reality. Or, at least, don't correspond to their street addresses. This seems to be a very suburban phenomenon. It is also a reason why I don't venture out into the suburbs very often.
11) Thirteen year-old copilots don't really "get" the concept of maps.
I had to remind myself of #11 several times when copilot C was melting down because he had been charged with trying to find our destination on Google Maps and he could not figure out which icon represented our moving vehicle and which represented the gym. More fundamentally, he could not figure out which end, literally, was "up." It didn't matter. Even after I made a semi-illegal turn into a gas station and enabled the voice-activated GPS, we made no progress. GPS told me that the gym was where Google Maps said it was, which is where I thought it was going to be in the first place. Except, it wasn't actually, factually there.
Thirty minutes after the class was supposed to start, and after our fifth round trip through the parking lot of where the gym was SUPPOSED to be, C ran into the lobby of 24-Hour Fitness, found a mom who purported to have a daughter who was a student at the gym, and came back out and reported, "Get back on the highway, take the second right turn, and [blah, blah, blah]." I stopped listening, on account of how: (a) she didn't specify, and therefore he didn't know, which highway; (b) ditto which direction to go; and (c) what was being described had ZERO relation to the street address assigned to our "destination" (in quotes, because I am now utterly convinced that the concept of this gym was a figment of my imagination). At this point, I decided to give up almost entirely on principle.
Life is too short to risk life and limb trying to save a few bucks by driving dark-and-scary roads at hours that kids ought to be in bed (seriously, a gymnastics class that starts at 7:30?).
We have gyms in Fort Worth. And they are open in the summer.
Life for the McGlincheys going forward will be tremendously simpler if we focus on swimming this spring and pick up gymnastics actually during summer dive season, when swim practice is in the mornings and our afternoons and evenings are more open.
A few bucks lost on a Groupon is nothing compared to the Zen-like calm that descends upon you when you give yourself license to simplify.
We took a vote (me, the kids and Dad via telephone - caught him on a changeover, mid-tennis match), and it was unanimous: our days of playing chicken on Golden Triangle Boulevard were over. Make that "day." On the way home, God let us know that we made the right decision by playing "Thrift Shop" and that ridiculously catchy Will.i.am song that I let the kids sing, provided that they sing it, "Will.i.am and Britney BEEEEEEEP." We did a little car-dancing while we were stuck amidst the eighteen-wheelers. All was right with the world.
And things got right-er the next morning when C announced that he did not want to run track, because he had had his own epiphany: going to a magnet school across town makes AM track practices, basically, unfeasible. "I would have to be up at 6 every morning, and we would have to leave here shortly after 6:30. EVERY MORNING. You don't want to do that, I don't want to do that, and I KNOW that Dad doesn't want to do that. [He's not wrong. Spouse: not a morning person.] It would make getting PJ ready for school a nightmare. I would be tired all of the time, between getting up early, and running track for two hours, and then swimming in the evenings. And it would eventually all be for nothing, because if you miss practice, you get cut, and you know that we would end up missing practices."
Yeah, that particular apple didn't fall far from this here tree. I applauded him for being realistic, and for speaking out for what he wanted, which was to swim. Spouse, I think, was a bit disappointed that the kids have once again veered away from the sports that he played growing up, in favor of aquatic pursuits. See, he's never been a fan of the water: I think he can count the number of times that he's been on a boat on one hand, and his idea of pool time involves a noodle and a beer. (In his defense, he's ridiculously Irish. In my experience, "Irish" and "aqua-nut" are two separate circles on a Venn diagram.) However, even he agreed that C's "do even less" proposal was a healthy extension of Mom's "don't do as much" plan.
So, Plan B: no one drives anyone anywhere in the AM, unless C misses the bus, or it's raining and no one feels like walking PJ to school. PJ swims twice a week, C swims three or four times, with some flexibility as to what nights he has off. Dad can go to tennis secure in the knowledge that Mom is not cursing his name while dodging big trucks on the freeway.
Liking Plan B already.