I'd like to say I'm inspired to write battle scenes by watching my daughter's team play soccer.
Or maybe I should have blinding flashes of insight about discipline and dropping people to the floor when my son does karate.
And maybe I should know the mystic ways of inspirational and patient teachers when I homeschool my son.
But most of all, I read books or do on-paper editing work during soccer practice (I'm not social enough to sustain a conversation with the other moms for more than a few minutes) and spend the games wincing (privately) and cheering (loudly). The girls are 6- and 7-year-olds. They aren't quite as bad about running in a cluster as younger kids, but it's still their strategy.
And karate practice means either I go run errands and come back in an hour or I sit down with my laptop and work. Or I bring a book. Eight years of karate classes later and...yeah, I look up sometimes. I watch close to the end of the cycle, when the class is doing the moves right.
And teaching? Let's just say I have not achieved Being Inspirational. Today I yelled. Does that count? He did do the assignment eventually. He even did it decently well. I don't think he did the math, though.
I like to be present for all those important moments of my kids' lives. But the practices? Really? Someone out there will judge me and say, "YES, REALLY!" Which is fine with me. Part of enlightenment is letting judgment roll off, right? And finding your own path? But while some people announce that their children are their whole world, I say my children are my biggest priority.
Part of raising children is to let them develop their own identities. And to see that others have their own identities and it's OK. Even moms get to have things that interest them other than soccer practice. I refuse to subsume myself to the point that I only take interest in what my kids are doing. That's not to say that I don't take any interest in what they're doing. How many hours of Minecraft monologue have I listened to? And paid attention to what a kid has to say about school/friend/books/random thoughts?
When I am reading or writing, I am feeding my soul (or trying to anyway, depending on how good the work I'm reading or writing is).
When I appreciate my kids' games and karate moves, I am feeding my soul with satisfaction about how hard they worked.
They are learning to feed their own souls.