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20160626-BHP_3930.jpgReilly and his buddies have been playing together since they were six. This year marks the year that they will split due to the new US Soccer Calendar rules. I’ve read Gladwell, I get how certain birthdays can dictate a lot based on opportunity — and perhaps that worked to Reilly’s favor from a social and skill perspective when it came to this team BUT… I think shame on US Soccer for not adopting this over time. Instead of just inserting calendar year why not grandfather in those kids (not mine)that have played together since they were 6 and have a great thing going. Those kids that are on an 11v11 field with friends and great teammates, why split them up for the last few years of high school age soccer. I’m not sure how this will improve anything in the near term but my argument would be adopt it over time ie: start with U10 (or in this case 2007 birth year) and build from there. Heck, schools don’t even really care about birth year. Once you hit a certain age you are “public school eligible”.You can start your child in first grade two years later if you want.

We all know kids grow at different points in life, and no two are the same. Heck, look at this photo, four of these boys were born within 2 months of one another.

Anyway, the emotional side also plays a role, I feel bad these guys (and the rest of the team) are splitting up, they have really grown to appreciate each other as friends, classmates (in some cases) teammates, and families.

Rain rain 

 

 Mom is it still raining?

Yes.

How can the world hold all that water??

Hiatus is over

 

cake

Another year…

Another year… and another birthday has passed. Holy cow, I’m getting old. I have decided that the older I get the more opinionated I become. I vividly recall a conversation with my Dad years ago about the progression of age and attitude. I said Dad… I’ve got it figured out and this is how I see it:

  • You are 15-18 and everyone does NOT understand you so why bother trying to explain it? Specifically your parents and siblings, they’re pretty much the dumbest of all.
  • Twenty, you’re in college. You know everything (different from above because you know that you know everything) and the most common question at holidays is “how is school going?” You don’t realize how amazing this years are until they are a reference point.
  • Your mid-twenties, you are starting to discover more and more about yourself. You are trying to make a life for yourself, independently, and you start to realize you don’t know everything but in your self-assessment realize everything wrong with you is definitely your parents fault. You should probably call them and explain it to them.
  • Next there is 30 and your skin is getting more comfortable. I would like to go out on a limb and say the next five years seem to be the best five. They are just not that complicated… yet. Your family is developing, whatever that consists of… canines, felines, spouses, children, etc. The roof over your head is possibly under your name and the transportation is all at your cost, and a bit more humble than the transportation you had at your parents house. Your social network is evolving — and not the virtual one, the real thing.
  • 40 is here and you have resigned to the fact it’s okay if people don’t like you. You are who you are and you like you. Your closest family members have accepted you for who you are and you begin to see the value of those closest to you in life. You start to realize what a pivotal role certain people play in the world, and specifically your world. It’s good. Opinions are there but you don’t put as much weight in them. Gravity begins to defy your world and impact your wardrobe a little bit…
  • 45 means 50’s right around the corner. Other people’s opinions of you matter less because you get who you are, you realize where you are in life and that you may/may not be where you dreamed you’d be at 25. But… you are sort of okay with it. You gain perspective but lose vision and memory… ever so slightly… but you don’t tell anyone and those cheater glasses… they are just in case you might see a menu in the dark or someone leaves a rare phonebook attached to your mailbox. Gravity defies you even more and you are making a conscious decision to concede to your weight gain/shape change or give it the old college try for one more time.
  • 50…. I have no idea. I am still a few years away. But… I can only imagine. It’s probably going to be pretty good — attitude-wise anyway.

Funny thing is, I still feel young. I feel smart, energetic (most of the time) and I feel like I am really living the dream even though I joke often using that line. I’m proud to say I was born in the 60’s… just barely, but I was and I am loving living through the eyes of my children as I listen to their laughter and stories of heartache. Growing up is fun, and hard, and a lot more in control than you ever realize, until afterward.

Mother of the Year Again

My Peeps

This weekend is always fun for me. I love seeing how the kids can (or can not) hold out on sharing their Mother’s Day school projects. I received the Spanish class gifts (coloring and cards) on Thursday because they had Spanish class. Shad works really hard with them to try and keep it all a secret until Sunday, but they often just bust at the seams.
What do I want for Mother’s Day? Well, I think it’s pretty simple BUT it doesn’t always work out. I either want breakfast in bed (can be toast and a scrambled egg) and/or a shower that is peaceful. That means no knocking on the door and walking in 35 times in 4 minutes, no asking questions, just me and the hot water for as long as I want (or they can stand). I think as they get older, it’s getting easier for them to let me be but it’s also not feeling as special because they don’t really care. I, like most other Mom’s, want to be wanted. So, the fact that they want me less makes this less enjoyable – and actually a bit sad.
Good thing I have Shea, she just can’t go without talking and will settle for any audience, I should be able to count on that for a few more years. I hope.

Anyway, the kids were on their best behavior today and they tried soooo hard to make the day fun, even though Mother’s Day is a day away. We drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk and played four square. It was pretty cool…. I’m a lucky one.

Leprechaun Trapping

First grade means you build a leprechaun trap on your own, not with your classmates. Shea was over the moon with this assignment — that is until anyone wanted to help.
Supposedly a family project with very specific instructions was not enough for Shea to appreciate anyone’s idea or conversation if it was not her own. I crack up that she is so emphatic about what she wants. I roll my eyes at the tears we get when she doesn’t get what she wants.
Shea thought about this project the whole time until she brought it in. It consumed her and I can only hope that she continues on this path to get her work done… Oh and maybe that this doesn’t impact her experience moving ahead.
So after some Pinterest browsing with me and some architectural presentations with a shoebox from Reilly she had made up her mind, she was talking to Dad. She decided on a giant cinnamon container and some duck tape to be her main elements. We actually started the taping process with yellow until the uninvited Mom (me) came time to give her opinion. Okay… So maybe that’s overkill I wasn’t totally uninvited but… Anyway. She builds her great little trap and follows all instructions (except starting with a yellow trap vs the specified green).
She took about 4 hours making and exclaiming from the trap on the owning to the ladder on the side. She took this work very seriously. Once completed she put it on the counter for all to see…. And… And then I heard the sobbing and eventual tears. Kate had decided to investigate on her own. She shoved in the trap door and could not get it back in to place. Uh-oh.

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Good with balls

Shortly after “deflategate” was a dinner table discussion because Reilly single-handedly divided the house into Seahawks and Patriots fans. His choice being the former. He was proud to find any and all reasons to want the Seahawks to win, but his most thoughtful reason was that the Patriots had all veteran players and he thought the Seahawks deserved it because they were a dynamic team. Shad and I, although we felt worthy of an argument, gave him credit for being thoughtful and personal about his convictions.

A terrible segue follows…

Shad found a recipe for no-bake, organic, gluten-free cookies. He made the batter and was rolling it into small balls and placing them on wax paper. Shea walks in and asks if she can help Dad, she went and washed her hands, dragged her little hand-me-down stool to the counter and started copying Shad. Shea would try to roll this “batter” into balls and place them on the sheet.

First one hits the floor.
She yells at the dog not to eat because she suspects the brown is chocolate.
She rolls the next two and gets them on the paper.
The novelty has worn off.

“Dad, I’m not going to do this anymore. I don’t like balls. You are really good with balls.”
Shad and I exchange one of those non-smiling but thinking the same thing glances about the innocence of this remark.
“Wait, B is a bad word”
No, it’s not a bad word… it’s like the Patriots and the footballs… it’s just balls.
Reilly interjects, “yah, it’s like deflategate”
“Reilly, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“I do know….”
“Well it’s the thing on boys.”… “And we don’t talk about them.”
Yes, it is also the thing on boys and we don’t talk about them but cookie balls are different.
“Oh, okay, I don’t want to make them anymore”
She drags her stool back to where it came from and moved on to something else leaving Shad with a bowl of batter and his cookie balls.

Undefeated

Tonight Kate’s rec league basketball team did something that I suspect she will remember for a long time. They were undefeated this season. Because there is not a big pool of girls playing in Milford there were two teams for our town and they played against the surrounding towns.

I love how Kate goes with the flow. She was not ruffled about not being in school with any of these girls and being one of the, if not the youngest on the team. She was as happy as could be to be playing with these girls. Her coaches were great.

Being undefeated is one of those things that you can go your whole athletic career and never experience — I’m psyched for her that she has this story, it’s just plain fun.

Sadly, even to this day Shad and I love to recall our sports experiences and share them with the kids. I’m confident the stories and memories are often better than the reality. I played an undefeated season, I was a older than Kate by a grade or so. I recall constantly asking the coach if I could go in — being a coach now that drives me nuts– I’m sure I was twice as annoying because I was one of the weaker players. After all the reality I recall is of that team six of those girls if not more went on to play in college, mostly D1.

So… Kate, congrats! Enjoy this season and these girls because this may be your story that you share with your kids one day. Tomorrow night you are the 1/2 time show at the girls Varsity game, have fun! Go Team Shock!

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