My children are back in school. I did it, survived them, and am now going to hibernate until next summer. If anybody clings to my leg and yells "Mommy" before then, I will be an MJ blur fading into the middle distance.
First grade never looked so good
Lucien is playing soccer this Fall. I'm looking forward to burning some of the kid's energy. It's likely a futile effort because he has the energy of a thousand heavily caffeinated men, but I've got to try.
The problem is Lucien's coach, whose name is Tyson, is as disorganized as Lucien is hyper. I received an email from him last Monday afternoon stating our first practice would be Tuesday afternoon. He also said Lucien needed something called "shinguards" within those next 24 hours.
I'm not an athletic person so I asked Dan the Man, who was here working on the house at the time, where I could buy these "shinguards." His reply was "anywhere." I first tried Anthropologie. No shinguards there but I got a great dress.
Ten more stores and a fantastic new wardrobe later, I eventually stumbled into Target and bought shinguards. I even threw in a new water bottle and a glow-in-the-dark soccer ball. We were ready for our first practice.
Any soccer person out there can tell you what's wrong with this next picture --
I'm a newbie. Forgive me. But it still makes more sense to me to have the padding of the sock UNDER the velcro of the shinguard. Why are all you people doing it the harder, presumably less comfortable, way? I say let those Stormtropper shinguards shine in the sun.
I realized my shinguard folly when we arrived for practice and found five thousand kids running around the fields searching for their new soccer teams. I noted smugly that no other kids had shinguards. I was better prepared! I'm Mother of the Year! But then I realized the other kids' socks were extremely bulky and angular.
I looked down at my son, realized my mistake and how ridiculous he looked, and ordered him to sit down in the middle of the soccer melee. I began frantically pulling off his shoes, shinguards, and socks. Lucien laid on the ground and stared up at me pathetically, "Why are you doing this to me, Mommy?" he asked. "Sshhh" I hissed at him. "Be subtle about it, boy!"
After Lucien was correctly re-assembled, we stood up. We were alone. All other kids had found their teams, were already voting on team names and donning their uniform t-shirts.
I walked up to a few groups and asked the men with the clipboards, "Are you Tyson? I'm looking for Tyson." Nobody was Tyson. So then I did what any parent still flustered by shinguards would do -- cupped my hands around my mouth and yelled, "TYSON!" Nobody was Tyson. Or if they were, they didn't want to meet me.
Half an hour later, and with desperation setting in, we found Tyson, red-faced, trying to get out of his car with two kids and ten million soccer balls. Tyson was breathless and flustered. He kept calling Lucien "Lucent" and in the middle of the chaos, I chose not to correct him, just told Lucien that was his new special soccer name.
While Lucien warmed up with his team I took Coco to a nearby playground where she kicked off her shoes and ran far away from me. I chased her, grabbed her by the leg as she tried to climb up the slide, and told her we had to return to see if Tyson needed any help. I suspected he did.
We returned to where Coco kicked off her shoes only to discover they were gone, along with our brand new glow-in-the-dark soccer ball. It was about that time I started thinking someone was f*cking with me. It was also about that time I realized Tyson was yelling. I ran to Tyson with a shoeless Coco under my arm and found him wrestling his own son to the ground, who apparently had pitched some kind of fit and was hitting everybody.
I love soccer!
Tyson's son, Matthew, then ran off, yelling over his shoulder he was going to the bathroom. I asked Tyson if he wanted me to follow Matthew to the bathroom. He said "sure." I ran after Matthew into the community center, where I found Coco's shoes lying in the middle of the floor. I don't know.
I poked my head into the men's bathroom and called for Matthew. There was no response. I walked in and looked in all the stalls. No Matthew. I didn't know how, but I'd managed to find Coco's shoes and lose the coach's son all in the span of thirty seconds.
I asked everyone in the community center if they'd seen a little boy walking around by himself, possibly crying really hard. Nobody had. Then I was back yelling in the middle of the soccer fields, but I was yelling "MATTHEW!" this time. I knew I was about to develop a reputation as the woman who yells random mens' names in the middle of soccer fields, but only if my reputation as the mom who puts shinguards on incorrectly wasn't already firmly established.
I don't know how everyone survived that soccer practice, but we did. Matthew turned up later, completely unscathed and eating a candy bar. Our glow-in-the-dark soccer ball also reappeared. I don't know where it was because soccer balls can't talk, hard as I tried to shake the information out of it.
We had our first game over the weekend. In the chaos of our first practice, we never picked a team name. Alex began cheering for "Les Bleus," and it's likely that will stick.
"Allez, allez, Les Bleus!"
Lucien is a natural born goalie. He blocked a hard shot, everyone cheered for him, and the proud, almost embarrassed, grin on his face made the whole thing worth it. We're in this for the long haul, Tyson, so God help us all.
We had a Labor Day party. I forgot to take pictures. The party involved water balloons, a lot of alcohol, some broken furniture and a friend passed out in the guest room. It was a very good party.
An overturned chair in the middle of the lawn the next morning says, "Fun happened here."
I hope to blog more often now that the kids are in school. Prepare yourselves for a ton of indecipherable pictures of construction. Please don't leave me.
I'm off to "find shinguards" at Nordstrom Rack,