Here’s the thing: ‘You are not pizza’

I’m not much of a sun worshiper, but I sure have missed it. If you’re like me when the sun comes out, you sit on the back porch in 50 degree weather for as long as your skin will handle it while the kids play outside and try not to get grossed out by bugs.

Alaskans are kind of big wimps about bugs. When I went to a church camp in Texas there was a cricket that chirped and I screamed while two locals stared at me. I was like, “Alaska is too cold, so there’s not a lot of bugs.” Then I walked away knowing my street cred just plummeted.

It’s in the same category as when you’re in 70 degree weather in Nevada and they tell you the swimming pool is closed for winter. What. Are you talking about. Am I right?! So I fully expect antsy Alaskans to go overboard with sunburns when summer starts to make an appearance.

I think every person in my life has gone somewhere warm this winter, while I’ve stayed home pretending not to cry every night. If we go to Hawaii during winter, someone might have to drag my sandy, clawing hands off of the beach. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I could use less mosquitoes and more mojitos. Especially this time of year where having a hayfield for a yard and a muddy spring time car stands out more than usual.

And of course, the end-of-school chaos that sneaks up on you. As a parent, you get phone calls, emails, and paperwork galore. Then you feel like you can’t forget any of it. My brain is so full that I’ll stand in front of the fruits and veggies at the store and feel like I really have to really commit to what I want. The kids always eat the good stuff, so I might have to hide the blackberries behind the milk and then try not to forget about it.

I’m pretty happy it’s grilling season too. I’m heavily considering switching to paper plates just to cut down on the pile of dishes. These are my simple, yet glamorous summer plans. Paper plates, hiding blackberries, and grilling. We’re almost there.

When the weather permits, the busy end-of-school festivities are fun. It’s a good a reminder that most of them can’t be done during the winter, so it’s necessary to have patience for jamming all the outdoor field trips together in May. I get to see what the kids have learned all year and there are always opportunities to help. One day I learned an important lesson in math. Both kids had two separate field trips on the same day. I took my son, then added two kids. That means three coats to zip up, three lunches to help with, and three carseats squished in the back of my mid-size SUV. I loved it. I earned my soccer mom badge.

Afterward, I dropped them off so I could join the other field trip. I missed most of it, but was happy to show up. I watched my nine year old daughter eat lunch with her friends, which isn’t extremely fun, and borderline creepy, but it was nice to be there for moral support. She likes the security blanket that I represent. I’m like a house plant. I’m improving her life by looking nice and being in a corner, yet if I tried to zip her coat or help her with lunch, she would stare at me until I slowly backed away.

Here’s the thing: These last few days of school, I’ve been trying to encourage my kids as much as possible and at the same time encourage myself. The “mom guilt” sneaks in around this time, because I want to help as much as I can, but it never seems like enough.

I came across a saying on the internet, “You can’t please everyone. You are not pizza.” I would have to agree. My priorities seem to pile up at the end of the school year. This isn’t new news for people in my wheelhouse. Balancing life doesn’t always come easy. It’s not about having pressure, stress, or about being high maintenance. It’s about taking care of what’s in front of you and doing your best to balance. So I take a daily inventory. Where do I need more time? What needs my immediate attention today? What areas do I need to put on hold?

Once I pull it together, everything is fine. Being a parent isn’t perfect. But we try, because we love our kids. No routine of homework, activities, or sunlight can compare to the truth that I’m just so excited to spend time with them this summer. Talk to me in August, though. It might be a different story.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at

More in Life

Powerful truth of resurrection reverberates even today

Don’t let the resurrection of Jesus become old news

Nell and Homer Crosby were early homesteaders in Happy Valley. Although they had left the area by the early 1950s, they sold two acres on their southern line to Rex Hanks. (Photo courtesy of Katie Matthews)
A Kind and Sensitive Man: The Rex Hanks Story — Part 1

The main action of this story takes place in Happy Valley, located between Anchor Point and Ninilchik on the southern Kenai Peninsula

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Chloe Jacko, Ada Bon and Emerson Kapp rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024.
Whodunit? ‘Clue’ to keep audiences guessing

Soldotna High School drama department puts on show with multiple endings and divergent casts

Leora McCaughey, Maggie Grenier and Oshie Broussard rehearse “Mamma Mia” at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Singing, dancing and a lot of ABBA

Nikiski Theater puts on jukebox musical ‘Mamma Mia!’

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A tasty project to fill the quiet hours

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer

Minister’s Message: How to grow old and not waste your life

At its core, the Bible speaks a great deal about the time allotted for one’s life

Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Stephen McKinley Henderson appear in “Civil War.” (Promotional photo courtesy A24)
Review: An unexpected battle for empathy in ‘Civil War’

Garland’s new film comments on political and personal divisions through a unique lens of conflict on American soil

What are almost certainly members of the Grönroos family pose in front of their Anchor Point home in this undated photograph courtesy of William Wade Carroll. The cabin was built in about 1903-04 just north of the mouth of the Anchor River.
Fresh Start: The Grönroos Family Story— Part 2

The five-member Grönroos family immigrated from Finland to Alaska in 1903 and 1904

Aurora Bukac is Alice in a rehearsal of Seward High School Theatre Collective’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” at Seward High School in Seward, Alaska, on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward in ‘Wonderland’

Seward High School Theatre Collective celebrates resurgence of theater on Eastern Kenai Peninsula

Most Read