My husband and I are x-tra neurotic parents--in case you haven't figured that out by reading my posts. I'd like to say that it's because of my daughter's special needs, but it's not. We were neurotic since the day I found out I was pregnant. Actually, we were neurotic way before then too! The parenting gig just magnifies it a million times!
While we're x-tra neurotic, I've seen other parents that are x-tra relaxed. They just go with the flow and have a blast doing whatever they're doing. I sometimes think they're a tad crazy, but they always do seem to be having a good time!
For example, last Sunday was my daughter's last soccer game of the spring season. The Coach is an unbelievably nice man and is what I'd call an x-tra relaxed parent. He actually heads up the Boys and Girls Club in our area, so not only is he the Coach for our team, but he's responsible for the entire league in addition to all the other activities done through his organization. We've known the Coach for 4 years when our kids started preschool together. His soccer league is great! There is no official score keeping, and we only go once a week to play. The first half hour is drills, the second half hour is a game. The kids have a great time, and everyone is happy! It's a wonderful event to be headed up by an x-tra relaxed parent!
Now, the Coach was gracious enough to host a pool party at his house to celebrate the end of the spring soccer! The plan was to go to his house a couple of hours after the game to have hot dogs, swim, and have fun! My daughter and I made brownies the day before to bring with us. We were planning on having a fun time.
However, during soccer, the Coach's son didn't want to participate because he said his stomach hurt. While he was sitting out the drills, his x-tra relaxed dad (Coach) kept trying to get him out to play. No one was taking the kid's complaints seriously. After drills, when the game was starting, he did jump in to play--he loves soccer! But it didn't take long for us to realize that he was actually sick. He started throwing up on the side of the soccer field. All the other x-tra relaxed parents helped him out, then buried his vomit in the dirt while us x-tra neurotic parents looked on horrified.
The poor boy looked so sick! He continued to vomit off and on during the duration of the game. He sat away from everyone else during the trophy ceremony and pizza-eating after the game. Since I'm an x-tra neurotic parent, I didn't want my daughter to get sick. I knew the Coach wasn't going to cancel the pool party even if his wife probably wanted him to (she's x-tra relaxed too, but not to the same degree as her husband). I cornered one of the other moms, who is neither x-tra neurotic nor x-tra relaxed. She's one of those rare people who find the perfect balance. Anyway, I asked her is they were going to the pool party. She diplomatically said that they couldn't. They were leaving for a trip the next day and had to pack. Then her voice started to trail off as she said that she really didn't want to travel with any of the kids getting sick.
When the Coach walked by, she told him that they couldn't make it because of the packing. He encouraged them to feel free to stop by anyway, even if it's just for a minute or two! I then clumsily said we were bailing as well. My daughter had her first day of camp the next day, and we didn't want her to get sick! He again said to feel free to pop by just for a minute or so!
Before we left, the remaining parents staged an intervention in the parking lot to convince the Coach that he really shouldn't be having a pool party at his house. His wife needed to tend to the son and none of us wanted our families to get sick! He finally agreed.
Now THAT is an x-tra relaxed parent! My daughter was disappointed that there wasn't going to be a pool party, and she was x-tra upset that her friend was sick. But we did have x-tra brownies to eat, so all was not lost!