Do you remember Stretch Armstrong? He was the superhero doll from the 70s who could be pulled and stretched to three times his size just for the fun of it. I’m not sure why many children from my generation spent so much wasted time stretching this otherwise useless toy to his limits just to see him warp back into himself again. Sometimes I think we did it just to see how far we could pull until he broke and that gross, gooey, syrupy stuff came oozing out of him. Looking back, I think whoever made that silly toy must have had a vision of the future. Somehow he knew that GenX was going to live the life of poor Stretch Armstrong every single day.
Let’s take a look at just this week in my life. On Monday, Ken left for a business trip at 4am, I had yoga at 8 (scratch that – girls were running late, so I had to make do with a yoga video at home), then I wrote the next chapter in the novel I’m currently writing. Off to take Morgan to the orthodontist at 2:30, then Katie to tennis at 3:30 so she could warm up for her match at 4. Somehow I managed to do a couple of loads of laundry and wash the dishes. That was a slow day. Tuesday saw us leaving on time for school, me on the resistance bike by 8:30, another chapter down, tennis practice at 3:30, and team dinner at 6. I finished my day folding more laundry. Today, yoga, blog, tennis match at 4, Morgan’s tennis lesson at 5:30, and then dinner (something, somewhere, somehow, with someone – maybe all of us if we can manage it). Tomorrow, girls to school, meeting in Annapolis for a board I’m on, at school by 1:30 to set up the desserts for the end of the year Awards Banquet, take Katie to tennis at 3:30, rush home to change for the banquet, pick up Katie, wait at the Y while she changes, be at the school by 5:30 and home by 10. Friday, well you get the picture. And guess what, this is an easy week! It’s the end of the school year, and activities are winding down!
Some days I feel like I have been stretched to my limits, like one more pull and that gross, gooey syrupy stuff will start flowing out of me. Other days, I feel like I’m already drowning in the gooey stuff. But here’s the thing, I already have one daughter in college (if you think my days are busy now – try imagining all of this with an extra child thrown into the mix). In just two years, Katie will be off as well. And it will go by so quickly! I can already feel the moments slipping away. So while I may be stretched to my limits, and my insides may be starting to feel syrupy and out of shape, I know that I wouldn’t trade a single thing I do or have done. Someday I will actually be able to write multiple chapters in a day, and I’ll wonder how I managed to survive all of those years spent driving children from one location to another while serving on boards and committees, and writing books and blogs, and cheering at games and crying at awards ceremonies. And you know what? It will have been worth every single stretch mark.
Amy Schisler is an author of mystery and suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home may be purchased in stores, online, and through ibooks. Her previously published children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad may be purchased in stores and on Amazon.