A Mother’s Pride

What makes me smile?  Maybe it is watching my 6-year-old score 4 goals in a soccer game.  Or listening to that same beautiful girl read me the book she took out of the library.  This same little girl who used to think it was funny to look at a color and tell me the wrong answer and laugh.

For years I worked tirelessly hoping to achieve success.  The kind of success that the powers that be measure in scorecards and pay bonuses on and yes base you overall job on.  I smoked heavily and stressed even more heavily.  I lost friends along the way because my priorities were often misguided.  If the scorecards or the paychecks were the measure I was successful.  There was a problem, I was not happy.

Today I experienced pure happiness.  It started with a 6 year old’s soccer game and my baby controlling the soccer field.  The coolest part was actually in the car before we arrived when she explained that one of the other little girl had not scored a goal yet this year so she intended to help her finally achieve that goal today.  How awesome is that?  My little girl concerned about the feeling of a friend and planning how to help.

Megan had a different experience today.  Since the beginning of the soccer season she has been the starting (and only) goalie of her team.  Today due to some political silliness and forgetfulness she was made to sit for the first 10 minutes of the game.  So a small step back first, when my daughter was asked to try out the goalkeeper position last year I was not a fan.  She was interested so I agreed.  It has not always been easy and there is a TON of extra pressure playing the position.  Since she has decided she enjoys it, my husband and I have invested in her success.  She attends goalkeeper camps that typically run about 8 weeks at a time and add an extra cost of anywhere from $170-$200 each to our lives.  She is about to attend the fourth of such camps in 2 weeks which would put the overall investment at 32 hours and roughly $720.  So when my child misses one practice in order to fit everything in and enjoy Halloween and some one complains forcing my child to sit for 10 minute the mama bear in me rears up just a bit.  Since I understand the position of the coach I bite my tongue and suck it up and deal with the situation.

So back to real-time, fourth quarter game tied 1-1 and a call of hand ball inside the 18 yard line on our team.  A direct kick straight on my baby with no help.  As a parent I am of course concerned with the safety of my child first.  As a parent on the team I worry about the possible goal that is sure to go in setting up only the second loss of the season.  The time seemed to slow to a crawl.  The referee talked to my daughter, words I could not hear from the side line.  The talk seemed to last for minutes and all the while there was silence from the parents.  Sitting in our local park maybe it was just me but there was purse silence.  Once finished talking to Megan the ref went to the other girls and pushed them all back behind the 18 yard line.  Time continued to stand still.  He positioned himself and finally blew his whistle.  As I held my breath the play finally started.  The young lady from the other team took a minute and stepped to the ball launching it to the top of the net.  My baby reach up knocking the ball down and with the ball bouncing in front of the goal line, a live ball, all 12 girls from each side rushed into the net attempting to take control of the ball.  My baby totally unphased by the rush dropped to the ground covering the ball putting an end to the play. She grabbed the ball, ran to one end of the 18 and dropped a punt to mid field.  A skill learned though many hours of camps and practice.

Our entire team players and families cheered but only my husband and I could fully understand just how great this was.   See, my daughter has never been a natural athlete.  Quiet the contrary she is a book-worm would much prefer to sit and read all day.  It has taken many hour of work stress and sometimes tears to get this far. She has dedicated herself to improving her game. To see her leadership on the field taking control and basically telling the others “hey follow me I have this”, as a parent you can not help but feel pride.  Is there any better definition of a leader?

So as a parent, to sit on the side lines watching a child who does not even realize that due to circumstances beyond her control she is being punished, step into a game and take the team onto her shoulders as a true leader, well if that does not instill pride into a mother what does?

Take a breath

The last few days I have felt unsettled, annoyed and just plain pissy.   Today was a nice family day.  We had a lazy morning since Madison did not have a soccer game. Megan’s game was not until 2 and then we went to dinner.  In the end, no matter how much everything else seems out of control, not matter how much the world just drives me crazy, I love my family!


Piano, soccer and homework, it must be the weekend!

I don’t know how people with 3+ children do it!  This weekend was the first of what we will call a normal weekend for the forseeable future.  Saturday Morning started with a 10:30 am piano lesson for Megan.  I took her to that because Madison had a soccer game at 11:30 and Frank is the assistant coach.  Megan and I planned to go right to the game until we received the panicked phone call from Frank that he had lost his wallet. I always love calls like that, I mean I did not have the wallet.  What made this loss more important than the normal “can’t find my wallet” dance is the fact that he had to drive to Washington DC Saturday night for a convention and needed photo ID to get in.

Funny, I can vote without photo ID but Frank was going to be unable to attend his convention without one.

Megan and I changed course after her lesson and headed home.  We were in the house under 5 minutes when I was able to locate the wallet..thankfully.  I don’t understand how this happens so often.  I place my purse and keys in the exact same spots every time I enter the house.  When I need them, I know exactly where to go.  At least once a week we search for something that belongs to my husband and after all of these years I guess that is something that will not change.

So back across town for Megan and I to catch Madison’s game.  We arrived just in time.  It was hot and humid.  The kids energy levels faded quickly due to the heat.  At Madison’s age they do not keep score, which is a good thing :-)!  They tried and we were all happy when the game was over.  They all looked like they had been swimming.

Back home for some lunch and preparation for Megan’s soccer game.  By late afternoon it was even hotter but there was at least a small breeze making it tolerable to sit in the full sun.  I need to buy a hat.  AFter the game back home for FRank to pack and head to Washington.

On Sunday Madison and I sat and completed her first school project.  It was an “All about me” poster.  The kids could draw pictures if they were not able to fill in the answers but Madison would have none of it.  She would answer the question and I would spell each word as she filled in the lines.  Then we colored it together.  This took a while to complete.  When we were finished, she was so pleased with herself…and I was very proud I must admit!

I am happy that the girls go back to school tomorrow, I need a day off!