Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Soccer Saturdays

I swore to myself my kids would not play soccer until they were 8, 9, 10 years old. It's ridiculous to toss the little ones, many of whom can barely kick the ball much less have anything that resembles a skill set, out on a field and let them go at it.

Yessiree, we were going to do some backyard lessons/play time and if they liked it? We'd take them down to the city where they could get schooled in pick-up games, but learn some creative skills. My kids were going to learn the old-fashioned way so they wouldn't have to do the boring and time-wasting stand-around-and-wait-your turn-to-kick-a-ball practice that is the hallmark of soccer practice in this age group. And I know I've offended some people by now, but you must know I really don't care.

So what are we doing? We signed them up. Why? Because for Ainsley, her best friend from Kindergarten (oh how we truly LOVE Olivia!) did it last year and had fun. For the trips, because theirs is a non-competitive soccer camp (no games) and since Gracie could spend as much time as we'd let her kicking a ball into a goal, why not? And, let's be honest, it's practically free.

How did it go?

Well, most of the children at the camp had fun. Not mine, but most. Of the 30-odd kids with the Trips, mine were 3 of the 5 kids who did everything they could to NOT participate. It was so painfully obvious that we don't get out much. Highlights for The Three? Purple soccer socks for the girls and blue for Johnny. Oh, and new soccer balls which they carried around. At one point they were supposed to kick the ball to one of the coaches, who would then stop it set it up so they could have the thrill of kicking it into a goal. What did Johnny do? Kicked it to the coach, then ran up, picked up the ball, and threw it into the goal. Sigh. I should add that I had to keep folding Lizzy and Johnny's socks down b/c they preferred to wear them as thigh-highs. Very fashionable. And cool.

For Ainsley? Hanging with her sweet friend, water breaks, and snacks were pretty much the highlights. Oh, and the team jersey. And her purple socks. And her purple soccer shorts.

And I'm over it. I'm super-selfish with my time and after an entire Saturday morning being occupied with soccer...I wouldn't be devastated if everything was cancelled.

Since it won't, at least I'll have a week under my belt and will be better prepared. All these professional soccer parents showed up with chairs, drinks for themselves (I had some for the kids), blankets, the works. I did not. I had nothing except for a laden backpack filled with water and snacks for the kiddos, so I totally looked like a newbie, which was annoying.

Johnny, holding the ball. Socks pulled down around his ankles b/c he didn't like them the traditional way. At least they no longer looked like leggings.

Gracie, just before camp started. I had to walk with her out to her coaches, clinging to my leg.

Buddies. I'm loving the fancy socks!

Lizzy, carrying her ball around. Again. She kept putting it down, which meant another kids would innocently use it, and she would get pretty frosted.

This week will be better, right? Right?!?!?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Put It In The Toilet!!!

Ranks in the top 10 of sentences every mother does not want to hear, especially when the four oldest have crammed themselves in the 1/2-bath, armed with glow-stick things, lights off, and the worst? The door was locked.

Happy shrieks, lots of the word "hiney" used (why are they sooo obsessed with hineys, and what in Creation were they doing that required the word?), and then the dreaded "put it in the toilet!!" was shouted. Oh My Stars. Put WHAT in the toilet??!??!?!?

Apparently, someone (Ainsley) thought it might be cool to see if the glow-axe in Johnny's possession lit up the toilet. Thankfully we never found out how cool it would have been because John started pounding on the door, telling our little urchins to open up and get out. Please.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

For My Children

Dear Ainsley, Johnny, Lizzy, Gracie, and Annie,

I've debated for days about whether or not I should write something about this day in history. My fear was being cliche' or impersonal or not respectful enough. Complete enough. Deep enough.

But then I felt it ought not to be ignored, if only at the very, very least, for its historical significance. My generation, born as Vietnam was raggedly coming to a close, thankfully hadn't experienced a major war, or at least one that deeply affected the nation as a whole. And that statement in itself doesn't acknowledge the soldiers involved in Desert Storm or the fear of the Cold War, but I will arguably state that neither of those created an instantaneous and intense emotional reaction as the symbolic representation of evil on September 11, 2001.

You will learn the details of the day from us and in school, so they would be redundant to repeat here. What you won't learn in school, but hopefully from us, is that this was not an event that stands in isolation. Because we are inherantly bad and are therefore capable of bad things, bad things will happen. Horrific and unspeakable events, such as what happened on that day in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York, will and currently take place, every minute of every day, because of the simple presence of humanity.

Your dad and I will fiercely try to protect you from the horrors that exist while you are children. We don't pretend the world and everyone in it is perfect and filled with gumdrops and lollipops, but we firmly believe children need to have a knowledge foundation built of the safety and beauty of God's perfect Love before they experience hatred. There will be too many years that Hatred will be a presence in your life, if even only on television and oh, let that be so.

We will point you to all that is perfect, He who is perfect. We will teach you that Evil exists but will not and can not prevail because already there is Victory.

For Thine is the Kingdom.

And the power.

And the glory forever.