Friday, June 19, 2009

a reflection on youth sports and terrorism...

Those of you who know us well know that we are a bit on the competitive side. DS1 has always played sports and I'm the first mom jumping up and shouting for both good and bad stuff. I totally get that parents get 'into' the game and I like to see that support. Everyone on our side are also quick to shout out praise for a player on the opposing team - with an extraordinary the boys get older, I notice that we are the only ones doing that anymore. Even if a player is injured on our team - the other teams don't clap when they are ok. I think that stinks. But, there is one team in the league that we've played many times and they have a woman that we have fondly named "al-qaida". She has this yelping, high pitched screamy thing that she does ALL THE TIME. She does it if they do something good, but more bothersome - she does it if we do something bad. Like she's cheering for our downfall. It bugs the crap out of me to say the least. The fact that you can simply say "oh, we are playing al-qaida today" and every man, woman and child knows of whom we speak -'s terrible.
Tonight started the play offs. It went into extra innings and we lost by one...very sad and of course the boys were all disappointed. As they went out to shake hands - this woman is shrieking and then all the other parents start laughing at something she says. Of course our team is on their side of the field after the hand shakes - so it seems as though they are laughing AT OUR BOYS.
I did not react well...lots of anger flew out of me. I started laughing real loud and hitting the bleachers - once they were all looking I yelled "ha, ha, it's so funny to make 13 year old boys feel like losers...ha, ha, ha..." They looked shocked and I was burning mad. That was a tough loss - be happy for your kids without making mine feel crappy...
It only got worse. Their scorekeeper came over to tell me how great the boys did and I couldn't stop the verbal cascade. I looked at him and said "that woman is going to really start something bad someday, it's rude and totally unsportsmanlike and what is she teaching your team??? I'm disgusted." He claimed that all the other parents hate it too - well then - STAND UP TO HER.
The boys on our team were fired up about it and they were saying stuff loudly and then come to find out - she is the COACH'S wife. That just makes it worse to me. Why would he let her do that?
I'm not proud of myself - but in 5 years of this league, we've played them over 15 times...and I guess I just lost it a bit. Our coaching staff thought I was hilarious, because they didn't have to say anything - it was just the crazy lady! However, off note is that I am also the coach's wife...ooopppssss. But, DH wasn't upset, so I know I wasn't too nutso!
DS1 went to bed tonight thinking that his strike out is why they lost...tomorrow is another day, another al-qaida!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dull headache...DS2 had a bad day and therefore so did I...kind of. Then - just to top it off, I found out DD threw away her tennis shoes. They were dirty and I told her to throw them in the wash...she took that as throw them away. They are gone...

I can't count

We just got back from vacation. While I can't say it was 100% relaxing - we did have fun! In general, the kids are good travelers. We drove a long way (over 12 hours) and it wasn't all too bad...however, I can't count! I swore I sat down and very carefully laid out all the pills we'd need. I then set out the pills for Sunday morning (we were leaving bright and early)...well, I forgot to have everyone (including me) take the Sunday pills and then after going through what I'd packed, realized I was another day short in my count! Add that to the fact that DS2 "accidentally" dropped one of his Concerta down the sink and we had a lot of days where DS2 was not at his sweetest. We got through.
The boys shared a room (with our neighbor's son) and that only lasted two nights...quite the fight. They were verbally nasty with each other and then physically...which ended in a kick to the face, bloody nose and missing brackets on braces. They didn't sleep in the same room anymore. They fight in general - but pretty harmless stuff. I wasn't happy with this AT ALL. We had a boat and the next morning, they didn't get to come with us. Glad they brought those books!
Both boys learned to water ski on this trip (DD wanted to...but too small for the skis) and we all tubed until our teeth nearly fell out! Seriously, DH's goal was to get us off that tube as fast as possible. I hung on longer than I thought I could - proud of myself and this 'getting older' body!
Spent the last two days settling back in and all the doctor's appointments you can stand...what was I thinking when I scheduled them all the day after we got back!?
DS2 had his first track meet right before we left and he did well. I had forgotten how LONG a track meet can be. We were there 9 hours and he competed for all of 20 minutes! Anyway, he got 6th in the long jump - jumped 12 feet, 9.75 inches! He got 11th in the 100m - with a time of 14.67...and the 400 (which isn't his thing)...well, not as good! It was a large meet - so both of these places for a first timer and VERY good! His state meet is this weekend and we are looking forward to his competition. DS1 starts his baseball tourney this weekend and DD starts her cheer/hip hop class today! We are busy...but I like that!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The structure of summer

Oh, how I remember the days of my youth! Hop on my bike five minutes after breakfast with a buck and a smile and not come back until dark with scrapes on my knees and dirts under my fingers. I loved it! All the kids did this in my neighborhood. So many people now argue that it was 'safer then' - but I disagree. The media just didn't cover things like they do now...we weren't as scared. I digress...
When we moved to the farm, there weren't kids close by to ride around all day...but I still found things to do. I could run in the fields for hours...even sit on the porch with a book. My swingset was my favorite spot and I created a whole world of friends and an exciting 'big city' life while daydreaming out there. I don't remember ever saying "I'm bored" or asking to watch TV during the day. Boy, have times changed!
I want so badly to run a loose ship this summer...but I find that kids can't handle it. If I don't have an activity set up or a plan in place, they simply wander around the house looking lost or run off to plug into something! I'm still standing my ground and refuse to be the party planner all summer...GO FIND SOMETHING TO DO...seems to be my battle cry. They are finding that the bored routine is not getting positive stuff...instead we have breakfast, homework (yes, I'm THAT mean) and chores first thing in the morning. If that is too hard for you...I can find 'easier' chores! The homework is one thing per day - but my children can find a way to drag it out into an hour! As I explain that it's as quick or slow as they want to be...well, it falls on deaf ears!

Then, the mommy guilt comes in. Should I be planning things for them to do everyday? Is it simply the world we live in now? I must say that my neighborhood has a ton of kids and NONE of them are outside - EVER! Well...except mine and our good friends two houses up. Does that mean those 'good' moms are sitting inside playing board games all day and feeding the minds of their children? Are they taking day trips each day to show the world to these sweet young things? I worry about that and then I realize that the truth is probably closer to this: I'm doing it pretty dog-gone right. My kids should be able to find something to do...they have a million toys, a yard and park, bikes, blades, kites, dogs and EACH OTHER! I find time each day to spend with them - playing board games, shooting hoops and yes - taking day trips! But, at their ages, it is time to learn some level of autonomy. will pay off some day.