Tag Archives: kids

I Don’t Understand Sports


I’ve never understood sports, and even if I did understand sports, all it would take is the game of cricket to confuse me. I’m not sure anyone really understands cricket.

We drove 114 miles to watch my daughter play soccer today. After 1 hour of actual play, we drove 114 miles back.

I don’t understand soccer. They say even professional soccer players can’t quite figure out the off-sides rule, so I’m in good company.

But I do understand that I live and work for my family.

If that includes 2 hours each way (plus or minus) time to talk with my wife and whichever kid is playing; if that includes being there for my family and if that includes building memories my kids will carry with them, that I understand.

Too Close

One of the problems with living in the real world is that we spend our time too close with the people who are important to us – spouses, children, and friends. As such, we’re so close that we sometimes don’t notice things or if we do, we don’t realize how important they are.

My older son grew to over six foot tall in high school. I was buying his clothes – “Extra Extra Large”, “Tall” and very, very large shoes (size 14 and 15 – just slightly smaller than “Bozo”.)

However, even with all that, he was still my little boy It wasn’t until one Sunday at Mass when I turned to him and realized that my eyes were at the same level as his armpit that it actually registered that my child had grown up.

My younger kids hit different phases in which they suddenly make major progress in one area or another. Sometimes, I don’t notice. Hey, you’re talking to the dad who can buy size 15 shoes for his son and not realize that he’s grown.

My wife is the one that notices all these things and nudges me – “Have you noticed that Adam is doing so well at such and such?” “Isn’t Katie getting good at (fill in the blank)?”

Now, I like to think of myself as intelligent, and I’m actually not oblivious to the world around me. However, having said that, I know that I view the world differently than my wife does. I notice the funny noise when I drive her car and know it needs attention. I realize that the toilet is making an odd sound and needs a new flapper valve and fill mechanism. I do my part. Nevertheless, I miss a lot of important things that she points out to me.

The wonderful thing is that I can’t do her part and she doesn’t do mine. However, between the two of us we get pretty much all of it figured out.

It’s actually a great system.

Murphy’s Law and Other Thoughts

The kids normally have their soccer games on Sunday, which can be a schedule juggle for a number of reasons. Church is one. Having a full day of driving cheering, etc. before diving back into the work scene is another. So you’d think I’d prefer Saturday.

Not necessarily.

Both kids had games in Richmond – about a two hour drive. The games were at the same time. Convenient, huh? Wrong.

They were about an hour’s drive apart from one another.

If you don’t have kids in soccer, this may require some explaining. Soccer complexes don’t have a convenient place to kill an hour, except in your car. Most don’t have indoor plumbing, much less concessions, etc. Therefore the only logical alternative was to drive two cars halfway across the state in the same direction at the same time.

To add insult to injury, to get to the games on time we had to get up about 6:30 – not exactly weekend hours.

But the kids had fun.

An I guess that’s what it’s all about.

Pets & Who Owns Whom

When we lived in Wyoming we adopted a dog from the shelter. She ran away the first day, jumping a 6 foot fence. After that she never was happy if she was more than 6 feet distant from my wife.

A cat that someone had abandoned in the country stopped by for a visit and stayed for quite a while. He lived outdoors but slept indoors. It was Wyoming, after all. When we moved, both moved with us. The cat would head out each night, and return in the morning, after which he’d try to get the dog’s attention. The dog would ignore the cat, after which the cat would spend time with my wife.

One day when the cat was well over thirteen years old, he went out one night but never came back the next morning. The dog was despondent and quickly deteriorated in health. We lost her several months later.

Soon all we had was Alex, my parrot.

That didn’t last.

The kids talked us into a kitten. Each. The usual promises of responsibility for caring for them were made, dismissed, and eventually caved into after which the follow through was somewhat lacking. Then, of course came the inevitable replacement for Jazz, the dog we lost.

And yes, the same promises were made again and promptly forgotten at the first taste of inconvenience.

Now that you’ve taught the cat to come when you call, what are you going to do?

I finished fencing in the yard today so that the dog can run without being on a chain. So much for the “inexpensive” dog from the animal shelter. In the meantime, the parrot calls for a snack, at which time the cats cluster around his cage as if he’s offering, not asking. As if that weren’t enough, the parrot calls my son’s cat mimicking my son’s voice.

The journey to the dark side is complete. The inmates are now officially running the zoo.

End of the Weekend

Katie’s team won the first game in a downpour one to nothing with Katie scoring the winning goal in the last minute of play.

It was worth getting soaked, but I was sorry that it was raining so hard I had to put the camera in the car.

Katie on the move.
Hey! The upload worked!

Katie was very disappointed that they didn’t place first. I was proud of the fact that they were playing here as a midfield and both the players and parents were excited by her contributions to the team over the weekend.

I guess I’ve gained enough wisdom to know what’s important.

In other words, I know when the glass is half full.


If it’s Saturday (or Sunday) it must be soccer!

(There’s supposed to be a picture here, but the computer gods are angry.  I’ll try to upload a file 96 times, but after that, even we obsessive-compulsive types say, “Fugedaboutit!”)

The hard part is splitting up the parents so that each child gets equal attention. However, the adults also like to divide up the really long driving trips.

Without meaning to, my kids quote Tommy Smothers – “Mom always liked you best!”

I quote another of his lines, “Oh yeah! – That’s my snappy comeback!”

We long ago realized that juggling the kids’ activities makes for the perfectly designed no-win scenario. So we just divvy things up the best we can and try to enjoy the events.

I take pictures at whichever game I attend and post them on the team website. I may have mentioned it before, but I put myself through school shooting wedding pictures. Since it was a “job” I stopped taking pictures for enjoyment. Fortunately, after letting my photographic muse lie fallow for 30 years, I started enjoying it again.

Tonight after winning one and tying one, with a shot at the championship, my daughter’s team ate dinner together while most the parents went out for Mexican. I elected to edit 700 pictures from 2 games down to 120-ish. I then cropped and posted them on the websites. Since I’m in a hotel, I didn’t have my Photoshop available to me and had to use the minimal online tools (Complain, complain, complain). However, I did have a nice cup of tomato basil bisque, a ciabatta hamburger with Swiss cheese and some wine, so all in all it was okay.

I’ve never been very good at being a sports nut. However, I make up for it by being a nut about my children, so it works, no matter how you slice it.

It’s getting late. My pictures are posted. I’ve written my blog. Katie is watching Netflix on her computer.

All is right with the world.