Thursday, April 28, 2016

45 Degrees And Raining Sideways

You know it's a miserable evening when your kid literally shakes the rain out of his hair like a dog after a game and has white, frozen, soaked-pruny fingers UNDER his goalie gloves.  No wimps, these soccer players...rain and cold usually don't stop games, only lightning.

This was Thing Two's guest-goalie appearance I mentioned yesterday.  He played the entire game, every minute of both halves.  Not many trials by fire like playing goalie for a completely unfamiliar soccer team in freezing rain!  Game ended in a 2-2 tie.  One goal he couldn't have done anything about.  One maybe he could have stopped had he been positioned differently (his comment, not mine.)  But overall, he showed up mentally and made all the routine saves plus a couple of absolutely outstanding ones under really terrible playing conditions.  Couldn't ask for anything else; so unbelievably proud of that boy.  And the most amazing thing of all?  This club has no idea that he's classified; we haven't said anything to them yet about his language-processing difficulties. Clearly, he's doing just fine with them.  More proof (if we needed it) of his progress...hallelujah.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One Down, Two To Go

Last night, Thing One formally accepted a position on a travel soccer team for next year.  (Tryouts are held in spring for the following fall and spring seasons.)  This will be his sixth year of travel soccer, but the first five were all with one club and he will be switching clubs for next year. Even more significantly, he is leaving one club's B team to take a position on an equivalent club's A team, which virtually NEVER happens, particularly in his relatively advanced age group. It's almost impossible to break onto an established A team as an unknown outside player.  In the soccer world, this is as big an 'attaboy' as it gets, and directly reflects the fact that he has been busting his tail all year to improve his skills.  He is beyond overjoyed and I am so proud of the kid I am all but doing a jig, even though moving up a level means that some of his games will now be out of state (bring on the logistical issues for parents.)  It's his dream and he earned the opportunity fair and square with blood and sweat. Not a bad life lesson for a 12 year-old.

Thing Two and Petunia are also in the midst of the tryout process, but clubs generally deal with older age groups first and then work down. We've heard nothing yet for Petunia, but today Thing One's new club called Thing Two back for an invitation-only practice on Saturday (nice) and also asked him to guest-goalie for them in a game tomorrow night (a big deal) so it seems that they are interested in him as well. So far this looks a lot like the approach they took with Thing One, so we'll see how it goes. All the dust should have settled with both remaining kids by the second week of May and thank all the gods for that.  There is life beyond the soccer field, after all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Please Pardon The Lack Of Posting

It being the height of tryout season for travel soccer, the schedule on the whiteboard in my kitchen clearly reflects the level of craziness around here right now.  We haven't eaten dinner at home one night this week.  And of course, Himself is once *again* out of town, but the conference he's currently attending is for work and he was selected for it because the powers that be think he has significant potential for advancement, so it's hard to be too upset that he's gone even though having a second adult/car combination around this week would be really darned helpful.


I managed to escape the craziness today (while the kids were at school, anyway) by going for a hike with two of my good friends.  It was a glorious spring day here, high sixties, a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky.  Perfect for getting outside.  Both of my friends are also geocachers: the one is 56 and a retired salesman of electronic parts and the other is 71 and a retired architect.  Given that I am 42 and a soccer mom, it's not exactly the company you might predict for me, but it works.  Guess our collective hobby/addiction creates sufficient common ground.  I felt a lot better after a good long ramble through the woods, too.

In general, I'm far from the craziest of sports parents. All three are good enough soccer players that they will make at least one team somewhere (they are trying out at three clubs) so I'm not too worried about that. What stresses me out is the logistics...simply getting everyone to where they need to be when they need to be there with the correct equipment.  Oh, and also making sure that they are fed and have done their homework.  So far, all the tryouts are going well, especially for Thing One, but the go-here go-there rush-rush thing is getting old.  Hopefully only one more week.

In the meantime, a little soccer parent humor!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On The Major Benefit Of Getting Older

When I was a kid--hell, well into my twenties--I cared entirely too much about what pretty much everyone in the universe thought of me. Even though in retrospect, most of them probably weren't thinking about me at all.

These days, there's still a list of people whose opinion of me matters, but it's a pretty short one.  In general, I'm a decent human being.  Yeah, I have a quirk or two, but I think everyone is entitled to at least one eccentricity.  Keeps life interesting.  The odds are fairly low that I will undergo any major personality changes at this stage of my life, but I'm okay with that and hopefully the people I care about are too.

So if my daughter wants to dance at the bus stop, I will cheerfully join her.  If people think I'm nuts for hanging off the side of bridges or climbing up trees while caching, that's just fine.  I don't care if people think I'm a dork for posting jokes about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.  I am a dork and I cheerfully own it.

WYSIWYG, baby, that's the name of the game.  I am what I am and in general I'm happy about it.  Worth the trade for a few wrinkles and gray hairs at the temples, I think.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Oh, The Memories...

Out tonight for dinner with Himself to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary, the actual day of which fell while he was out of town last month but no big deal.  These sorts of occasions are what we used to call "moveable feasts" in my family while I was growing up...Dad also traveled a lot for work and we just celebrated whenever he got home.

Anyway, we got to reminiscing about our wedding reception (about which neither of us remember all that much, other than that we were introduced to the gathered crowd as husband and wife with the theme from "Rocky" blaring in the background, Himself being from Philly and all) and the wedding itself.  The ceremony was less overwhelming than the reception, so it's easier to remember, and a few recollections in particular really made us laugh.

1) His godparents, who were supposed to be IN the ceremony, got whoppingly lost and showed up to the church 45 minutes late, so we were scrambling to find replacements as the service was starting.
2) We each lit a taper on the altar at the beginning of the Mass, which our mothers were later going to use to jointly light a central unity candle.  One of the tapers burned down much faster than the other, and we remember wondering if the Mass would end before or after the altarcloth caught on fire!  (Before, thankfully. But just.)
3) Oh, and speaking of fire...the church in which we were married happened to be very near to the town's volunteer fire department's firehouse and the fire siren went off very loudly THROUGH THE WHOLE MASS.

Hey, *anyone* can have a wedding service in which nobody at any point stops to think about the local fire department for any reason...guess we're just special!  We thought it was funny even then and are now on our way to the fifteenth anniversary of maintaining our senses of humor and perspective.  :)  At the end of the day, we were married, and that was the important thing back then and still today.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dork Humor

My college roommate posted this on her Facebook page yesterday.

So Heisenberg is out driving and gets pulled over. The cop says "You know, you were going 100 miles an hour!" Heisenberg rolls his eyes and says, "Oh, thanks, now I'm lost."

For those who get this, enjoy!!  For those who don't, rest peacefully in the knowledge that you are MUCH less geeky than I am.  :)

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Himself is out of town yet again.  Good god this single parenting thing is getting old, as much as I love my kids.

Spent two hours standing out in 45 degree rain this morning watching Petunia play soccer.  Luckily the field configuration was such that I could leave the boys in the car with video games to keep them warm and dry.  Fed them lunch, got them all spiffed up and then took them to the first memorial service of their lives (for a friend's mother), which was an adventure in and of itself.

They behaved amazingly well, all things considered.  Especially since they were the only kids there.  We rehearsed beforehand what is and is NOT appropriate to say to the bereaved, and luckily all three remembered their manners.  On the bright side, the bereaved in question is a guy with a good sense of humor who has known them all for years, and would doubtless have been able to muster the proper perspective had one of them banged it up.  I would have left them home with Himself had the man been in town, but considering that the kids have known the bereaved gentleman as long as I have, I decided to just bring them with me rather than getting a sitter, after first ascertaining that there was not going to be an open casket involved.  That gives me the heebie-jeebies and I'm a grown-ass woman.

Anyway, under the best of circumstances, a first memorial service is a situation that comes just LOADED with questions.  "What's a funeral home?  What do they do here? Why are we waiting in this line?"  Then it gets real.  "What's that vase thing by the flowers up in front, and why are people crying by it?"  (Detour to explain the concept of cremation at an age-appropriate level, which flipped the hell out of Petunia since she initially thought family members had to watch.)  THEN Thing One read the obituary, which was printed on the back of the memorial service program, and noticed the part where it referred to our friend's husband, so another detour to explain that yes, he is both gay and married to another guy and by the way, that changes NOTHING about how we interact with him.  Which news, I will say, did not appear to faze Thing One in the slightest, so happily I do appear to be successfully raising a non-homophobic son.  But kee-rist on a goldfish, what a series of conversations.

Home to change afterward, out to the local neighborhood Italian joint for a comfort-food dinner, a quick stop at the grocery store and then back for pjs and bed.  Kids are down and there's a nice glass of Merlot sharing the desk with my computer right now.

Preview, Part 2

(Or maybe this should have been part 1 since it will happen first.) We dropped Thing One off at his first sleepaway soccer camp on Saturda...