Calendar Tetris: a game worth playing

Here we are in April again, friends. The temperature is warming up (shhhh, this week doesn't count!), birds are nesting on my front porch and the Silberberg family calendar is bursting at the seams. Some entries are mine or my husband's but the majority belong to the 4-feet-and-under contingent of our crew.

First there's education. Pretty standard, as times and locations have been unchanged since August. Add baseball, T-ball, soccer and basketball, all with games and practices. Pepper in end-of-the-year activities at two schools. Plus birthday parties for a slew of mini friends. In short, it's a pretty busy spring.

OK, I've played Tetris before. I can make everything work, get everyone where they need to be and still have room to spare. Let's do this! Alright this fits there nicely, whew barely slid that one in, inch a little to the right, move a smidge to the left, we're looking good! Wait a second, why are so many of these times overlapping and why is one game on the opposite side of town from the other?! Breathe, Lex. Not a big deal - except for the fact that my cloning device is on the fritz, my friend Hermione borrowed my time turner and we are a one-car family. Ugh, I just lost.

Before we started a family, my husband and I assumed we were ready for parenthood and all it entailed. The signs were there: He's organized and patient, I'm creative and adaptable. Still, we read, researched and prepared for every scenario. We thought, "Hey! We might pull this thing off!" but as it turns out, theoretical offspring are much more agreeable, far less time-consuming and haven't figured out puppy dog eyes. We realized pretty quickly that we still had a lot to learn and are still finding our way nearly seven years later. Things aren't perfect - our kids use iPads in restaurants and have selective hearing when dessert embargoes are instituted - but we wouldn't change a thing ... including this stressful scheduling situation we're currently navigating.

Regardless of who you are, what you have or where you came from, every parent wants to give their kids the world. For me, any worries about my time and sanity go out the window with one goofy grin, waist-high bear hug or overexaggerated "PLLLEEEAAASSSEEE???" from my sons. Plain and simple, I just want these little guys to be happy, so Calendar Tetris is my past, present and future game of choice. Yes, even when I'm expected to be in two places at once, a cleat has gone missing and I left the team snacks in the mudroom.

Game on!

- Lex Silberberg of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].