It’s a Dog’s Life…


As a working mom, I often feel like I miss out on opportunities to be there for the little things my kids do at school and daycare (recitals, parties, picture day etc).  Last Friday, for example, though I had the day off, I missed two Valentine’s Day parties at preschool and daycare because errands and appointments typically fill up the calendar on my “day off” due to the limited amount of time during a regular work week.

Our day went from bad to worse after a mix-up on keys and car seats which led one parent locked out of the house with the infant and the other showing up for preschool pick up (can’t be late!) without any way of leaving with the cargo… By the time it was all said and done, we had missed two doctor appointments and the Valentine’s Day parties. Needless to say, I was feeling like a failure as a parent.  However, as I was picking up my son Tommy from preschool, his teacher informed me it was his turn to take “Clifford the Big Red Dog” home for the weekend to share in “Tommy’s adventures”. She told me Tommy had really been looking forward to this and to record their time together we could draw a picture of what they did, or take pictures so he could show his classmates on Monday.

My first thought was to bury my head in a pillow and yell at the top of my lungs as I just didn’t think I could stand “disappointing” my kid one more time this week. (Really, he probably won’t remember any of this…) But alas, as we drove home I thought, no, we are going to show Clifford an adventure, and it will be the best weekend of that dog’s whole life!

I didn’t have time to make a special weekend agenda for Clifford as I already had plans to drive back to Glenwood Springs for the weekend to spend time with family, so I decided we would just have to incorporate “Adventures” into our trip.  I decided to “talk up” the project that night before bedtime to get my 4 year old on board with the idea of chronicling our trip back over the hill. By morning, he was rearing to go. I decided this was going to be fun and with any luck, something he might someday remember…

Our first “adventure” would occur before we even left town, a quick “road tour” through Garden of the Gods.

We usually drive right by the pull off on Hoosier Pass, but today on our tour, we would spare the time.

It is just part of the everyday chores at Grandpa Tractor’s house to collect the chicken eggs, but with Clifford along, it was a special occasion.

Plowing the snow can be an adventure too!

At the end of the weekend, I had logged a story of good times for Tommy to report back to school about and I had turned what felt like a stressful parenting responsibility into a positive, memorable venture for myself and my son!

How do you stay involved with your kids’ activities at school? Do you ever feel like you miss out or fall short?

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.