Craig Most mothers are more than happy to have one or two children involved in extracurricular activities, as long as their schedule permits.
Not Shannon Samuelson.
You see, Samuelson is a mother of four. Not four ordinary children who watch cartoons and play with dolls. These are four little sports nuts. They would rather tune in to ESPN and watch the Avalanche or Broncos than play with toys.
That's if they have time.
Michael, Lauren, Alex and Emma all partake in sporting activities.
Problem is, none of the kids can drive. The oldest is 13. How do they get to the practices and games?
Here comes sports mom to the rescue.
Most days, Samuelson spends half of her time at work - she's an English teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School - and the other half carting around potential future NFL, NHL and MLB superstars.
"My husband (Mark) and I encourage them to be active first and involved second," Samuelson said. "If they aren't playing sports, they have to work."
The kids get the point.
Michael, 13, plays hockey, football, baseball, soccer and track.
Twins Lauren and Alex, 10, play hockey, gymnastics, soccer and sing in choir.
Emma, the youngest at age 8, follows in her big sisters' shoes, participating in choir, gymnastics, soccer and hockey.
For a working mother, that amounts to a busy schedule.
Take her schedule for Tuesday as an example:
6 a.m. - wake up and start breakfast.
6:30 a.m. - feed the kids and get them ready for school.
7:30 a.m. - start work.
3:30 p.m. - arrive home from work.
3:35 p.m. 5:10 p.m. - review children's homework, feed them snacks.
5:15 p.m. - dress girls for hockey, dress Michael for football.
5:30 p.m. - drop Michael at football game; watch him play for 15 minutes.
She car pools with other mothers, picking up two more boys at the football game for hockey camp later in the evening.
5:45 p.m. - drop girls off at ice arena for hockey, lace up their skates.
"I cheated this week," Samuelson said. "I had the boys lace up the skates this time. I've got some nasty blisters."
Watch hockey for 15 minutes; scooping up one more hockey camp-bound boy.
6 p.m. - Load up the three boys and drive to Steamboat for hockey camp. Watch hockey.
9:15 p.m.- Drive back from Steamboat, dropping off the three boys.
10:30 p.m. - arrive at home.
That is just one day in the life of this sports mom.
Shannon never complains; she has always been involved in athletics.
"Mark played football through college," she said, "and we both have played hockey for more than seven years."
The duo runs a hardware store in town and dedicates their time to coaching as well.
When does she get a break?
"It is the best when the kids are involved in school sports," Samuelson laughs. "The schools have a bus to drive them around, and it's not named the Samuelson Express."
Shannon is hoping that having her children involved in so many different sporting events will pay off in the long run.
"Putting four kids through college can get expensive," she said. "If any of them gets a scholarship, that would be really nice."
If given the opportunity to change any of the family choices about dedicating so much time to extra curricular activities, sports mom wouldn't have it.
"I wouldn't change anything," she said. "I like to be social. The kids like to be social. It makes us more productive."
Thinking about all that she has to deal with throughout the course of the week, a smile engulfs her face.
"Did I mention we host a poker tournament on Saturdays?" she said.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org