By Dan Brosgol
For some people, weekends are a time to rest. For our family of seven, it’s the opposite—days so full of activities that it can be completely overwhelming…and exhilarating. This past Saturday we had 13 (!) different events over 18 hours. Just your (not, but sort of) typical day in the life of our family with five kids, ages 12, 10, 6, 3 and almost 2.
Here’s how it went on Saturday, April 30.
- 5:55 am: It might be Saturday but I’m up early. Today is a day of no less than 13 events on the family calendar. We spent some time last night writing out every event, who was driving who to which place and when, when and where we were swapping cars, and more. With all that about to get going, I need time to wake up and clear my head over coffee, sports highlights, and no other distractions. Which all changes at…
- 6:50 am: Everyone up! Some are happier than others. My just-about-2-year-old was born for mornings, full of love and chirping. My seventh-grader? Not so much. But he’s got baseball photos in less than an hour. And so does his brother.
- 7:25 am: My wife scoots out the door for her exercise boot camp. Five children are in various states of preparation and I’m throwing fruit and snacks in a reusable bag and doling out oatmeal for breakfast. Despite my “There’s no rush” pronouncements, we are, most definitely, in a rush.
- 7:44 am: But even though I’m about to deviate from the early-is-on-time doctrine, I make a requisite stop at Starbucks for coffee, tea, and goodies. Luckily one of my fellow coaches is there, so I will not be the last guy to pictures.
- 7:52 am: Which totally doesn’t matter since the baseball team photos are predictably behind schedule, even though we have the first time slot on the schedule. But don’t worry, I’ve only got five kids running around and the little one is very distressed that Mommy is not here.
- 8:15 am: Our team photos end and I leave my other son in the capable hands of his coaches as I pop over to another field for warmups, which go smoothly as it’s much warmer than expected. Of course my 3-year-old has no jacket, which she left in the car, but I’ll take that bullet in 15 minutes when my wife shows up.
- 8:32 am: God bless you, Mrs. Brosgol. Here is your passion-tea lemonade and three girls who love you. Sorry about the jacket-less girl.
- 8:55 am: First pitch for the A’s (and the Red Sox). I’ve got the big guy and the first-grader with me, my wife has the two little girls at my other son’s game at C Field. For another 45 minutes nothing changes.
- 9:30 am: Well, the score changes, as the A’s grab a fourth-inning lead and my son takes the mound. Over on C Field the Pirates are having less success, but my wife has left with the littles to go to a Build-A-Bear birthday party. That was cute. I saw the pictures and the new pony at some point later in the day. I forget exactly when. I think it was at 2:30.
- 10:15 am: A’s win 8-2 and my son was a beast. The Pirates got, um, looted, and lost like 12-2, but my son played great. The two boys and the big girl and I take a few deep breaths next to the field. My daughter shows me the dandelion-and-rock nature diorama she has set up on the ground. Beautiful! We all stick around until 11:15, talking to friends and watching the Orioles/Angels. It’s actually quite relaxing and enjoyable. Everyone is in a good mood.
- 11:20 am: I leave the boys at the field and scoot home with the girl, who assembles her baseball bag, soccer gear, and birthday dance party gear, makes a birthday card, and wolfs down some food. We then return to the field and I realize that I don’t know where my wallet is.
- 11:50 am: And somehow we are late for first-grade soccer. Again. Sorry, coach. I drop her at the field and then do a quick u-turn back to the house with the boys. I set them up with lunch and get them both changed into soccer gear and head back to the school fields. I still have no idea where my wallet is.
- 12:10 pm: Just me at first-grade soccer. And it’s sunny and warm. Nothing to worry about except a girl who must be exhausted already. And where’s my wallet?!
- 12:35 pm: My wife and I actually talk on the phone for a few minutes. She has already come to the school and traded cars with me and is now up at South Road for U10 soccer.
- 1:05 pm: Soccer wraps up and I make the 90-second drive to Kamate Fitness on Concord Road. The girl makes a quick change into the dance party outfit, poses for an adorable photo, and bounces into the dance party. Outside, I gratefully accept an invitation from another baseball mom to grab the girl at 2 to bring her back to school for her team photo. Still no sign of my wallet.
- 1:15 pm: Zip up to South Road to watch the majority/remainder of the fourth-grader’s soccer game. It’s a little breezy but all in all a postcard kind of day. I walk over to the bench and talk to Coach Brosgol. Bless her heart—she has my wallet. Apparently it was in my car? Not sure how that happened, but whatever.
- 1:58 pm: My wife leaves to go to the school for the Tin Caps team photo. I watch the end of the game, make chitchat with friends and their kids and totally butcher a joke about the new “chicks in the classroom” to a fifth-grade boy when I was attempting to ask if he had any chicken eggs in his classroom. Haha. He was very embarrassed and so was I. Oops.
- 2:15 pm: Home!
- 2:20 pm: The big guy is picked up for an away soccer game in Medfield. The rest of the kids watch a new “Lion Guard.” No, wait, the baby is napping. I think there are only three kids in the house right now.
- 2:25 pm: I squeeze in a two-mile run. Up and down DeAngelo and the Depot. Not fun. Functional.
- 2:55 pm: Wake up the little one. Pack water. Forget jackets. I change for the rest of the day.
- 3:00 pm: I text my wife: “BTW our kids are awesome.” #lovefest
- 3:10 pm: Back to school, because where else? To the field to watch the first inning of the Tin Caps first-grade farm baseball. It’s cold. Somehow I do have a jacket for the first-grader in the car. She straps on catcher’s gear and it’s adorable. Mrs. Coach Brosgol puts the 1.95-year-old in the carrier, and we hug. See you in seven hours. I get back in my car and leave at…
- 3:35 pm: Off to Medfield, along with the fourth-grader. We are going to be late for the 4:00 game but that is officially not a big deal, right? The weekend traffic on 128 in Needham is definitely a thing now as they are redoing the lanes and adding the new off-ramp.
- 4:20 pm: Hello, Medfield. It’s the first half but we are losing U14 soccer 4-0 and it’s 5-0 a few minutes later; moving up from Division 2 to A1 has been harsh. My brother-in-law and his/my wife’s cousin show up to watch, which is nice. They live in Norfolk. We schmooze, the game passes lazily and nobody is stressed.
- 5:30 pm: Post-game pleasantries are dispensed, and now I’ve got two of my boys and a friend of the big guy’s. We zip through a few towns on Route 27 and hit up the Norwood/Route 1 Chipotle. I realize that I haven’t eaten since breakfast and lay waste to a burrito bowl and some chips. Yum. The three boys eat less voraciously. I drink no less than three iced teas.
- 6:35 pm: We arrive at Gillette early, VERY early, and the parking area is almost completely empty. The boys beg to kick around the soccer ball in the lot and I give my assent. It’s actually very fun. But cold.
7:10 pm: We cross Route 1 and enter Gillette for the Revs/Orlando City match. Luckily I brought my double fleece but the boys are all cold. Oops.
- 7:35 pm: Kickoff and soccer. It’s a great game but it feels like November with the wind chill. I snap some photos and tweet them at the Revs and BOOM, there we are on the big screen a few minutes later. The Revs score early but lose the lead, then they score again in the 71st and lead 2:1 late. At 88 minutes I tell the boys if they win 2:1, great, but if they concede a late equalizer I don’t want to see it. So we skip out to beat traffic. And of course the Revs give up a late goal to draw for the 100th time this season. Or the seventh. Ugh.
- 10:15 pm: Home. Finally. Smaller boy to bed. The big boy showers and hops off to bed. I shower.
- 10:45 pm: I sit on the couch next to Mrs. B. It’s so quiet that the silence actually hurts my ears. What a day.
- 11:15 pm: A very tired Mrs. B goes to sleep. I’m still sufficiently amped up that I watch the best parts of “Pitch Perfect 2” and write up the summary and pitching report from the morning baseball game. I finally fall asleep, where else but the girls’ room, since two of them have already taken my spot in the bed.
All in all, a full day. But I basically loved every minute of it, and got a measure of revenge on Sunday when the kids had to watch Mom and Dad play softball in the Bedford rec adult co-ed league and win 13-7. Mom and Dad may have also scored two runs each, and also Dad may have smoked a pair of doubles in his first two at-bats. Just saying. So I guess we’ll have to call the weekend a smashing success.
Editor’s Note: A Day in the Life of a Father of Five was originally posted in https://www.jewishboston.com; re-posted with permission.