Pick your battles
Last week, my former husband and I had a disagreement. A stand-off, really. And while not hotly contentious, it left me feeling unnerved that matters regarding our kids are not entirely up to me, no matter how strongly I feel about them. Allow me to explain.
It began thirteen years ago at a long conference table when two young professionals sparked a relationship that was beyond ordinary.
Wait. Too much.
Last week was baseball crazy. Juggling a little league schedule for two kids can be somewhat tricky. Coupled with the third grade college courses my son is enrolled in and CCD at church for both boys on Wednesday nights, it makes for one, er, two very busy families.
The first few weeks of baseball season were rainy. So rainy in fact, that many games were cancelled even if it wasn’t raining but because the fields were under water. As such, Sam has been scheduled make-up games. He’s in the “Minors” this season and they do things like keep score and team stats, count pitches and steal bases. (Unlike Max’s league where the kids focus on kicking the dirt and spinning circles in the outfield.) Sam’s regular baseball schedule includes one weekly practice, one weekday game and one Saturday game. Add a makeup game to the weekday madness and we’ve got full on baseball crazy.
Sam’s scheduled makeup game was on Wednesday which conflicted with CCD class. We tried to figure out if Jesus would forgive playing hooky for ball. I contemplated calling the Diocese to see if they participated in Senior Skip Day, but I was saved the indignity when I received an email from our baseball coach informing us the game had been pushed back one hour. The new game time was from 6:30 – 8:30pm and that conflicted with bedtime.
I called my former husband to discuss this problem and explained that school, followed by homework, followed by CCD class, followed by a baseball game was simply too much. I just couldn’t handle that much chauffeuring ALL IN ONE day. Besides, the kids needed to eat and shower and perhaps use the bathroom, so baseball was just out of the question. And because the game didn’t end until 8:30, the kids wouldn’t be home, showered, snacked and in bed until close to 10pm. It just wouldn’t work.
Sam already had two other games that week, so missing a makeup game wasn’t that big of a deal. Right?
Former disagreed. He thought the later game was perfect because the kids could scarf down some Micky D’s in the car after CCD and still make it to the ball field on time. It was only one late night; it wouldn’t kill them to be a little tired the next day.
And the argument ensued. I presented my case with Google references of AAP recommended bedtimes for children ages 6-11. I explained that one late night would domino into a four-day recovery and incite tantrums and weaken their immune systems.
My closing argument was simple, however. “It’s only baseball.”
He disagreed and repeated his side of things, almost word for word. Except he added, “Besides, it’s my night.”
My mouth opened and closed like a guppy. I couldn’t believe he used the custody schedule card for baseball! What was I to do? What could I say?
The answers are simple: nothing.
I reminded him that he knew where I stood on the subject, and hung up the phone with a really hard, highly ineffective push of the “END” button.
It wasn’t a screaming match. We didn’t even seem mad with one another. It was a civil disagreement that left me feeling like crap. I didn’t push the matter because I decided to “pick my battles,” but I wonder what the future holds when our disagreements are about things bigger and more impactful than late bedtime.
This is the part of divorce that sucks. The one part in many.