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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Soccer Mom Freak!

This was our second season of soccer for Kiel. It was a tough start, because we were assigned to a different team and had to leave our buddies from last spring, Sam and Nick.

Two of the coolest dudes a guy could ever play with. (Not too mention that their parents are good friends of ours and some of the funnest people in the world!)

Not only is it tough on the kids to join a new team, but sometimes it's tough on the moms, too! We're forced to "make new friends" as well. I was mourning the loss of the familiar moms and dads from our last team!

First couple practices and I was ready to quit. Kiel was fine, but I was stressed. The boys looked like trees next to my son, and they all seemed to be a year advanced in skill level. No more kick and chase,,,, this was real soccer! Kiel was going to have to get better fast to be able to keep up.

So.... HE DID! He increased his playing 100%. He worked hard at practices, in the back yard, in the street, whenever/wherever he could. He listened to his dad and the couch and really kicked in an amazing effort! I was SO proud of him. Above all, he had the most hustle of anyone on the team...he never gave up! (Sorry moms, you can nominate your kids in your own blog!) He runs full speed all the time, even when he's subbing out. Full speed until he reaches the sidelines. One of his nicknames became "Speedy." That's my boy!

He started to really shine at games and that's when it happend. I BECAME THE SOCCER MOM FREAK!!!!! I would scream my guts out for my son! I got so into the game I would jump up and down and act like a spazz. You would think that might be embarrassing to a 9 year old. But Kiel loved it.. he loved the sight of his mom flopping around on the sidelines, yelling and clapping for him.

I don't know what it is... somehow it must take you back to the "glory days" of your youth and you channel all that raw hormonal energy! I don't know, but there is something very cool, something beautiful and strangely redemptive. Pooring all your heart and pride into your children is better than pooring all your heart and pride into yourself, yes, but it's more than that. There is an amazing joy in seeing your kids work hard and succeed. Rooting for them and letting them know that you are their biggest fan is a privilege and a responsibility. They must feel that their parents are in awe of them, and will support them through wins and losses....and will scream and wave their hands up in the air like a crazy person every time they take the field.

I, for one, cannot help myself from doing so!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or treat and other foolishness!

Halloween....Never been one of my favorite holidays! I guess it would rank as third lowest on my list of most annoying holidays.

Just above it at number two would be April Fool's Day (Because my father used to TORTURE us on this day! For example: 5:00am he would run into our bedroom yelling, "FIRE! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!" Screaming, crying, and running out into the hallway in our jammies, he would then cheerfully announce "April Fools!" That sucked, I ain't gonna lie. Thus, I'm not a fan of pranks.)

Number one would have to be the 4th of July (I had a sparkler incident as a child. I also hate explosions and smelly, smokey things. More stories of my father and M80's that I won't get into on this blog.)

All that to say.... Halloween would come and go throughout the years without much consideration on my part. Until..... I had children. Now, the whole "darkside" thing creeps me out, and I'm not a fan of celebrating skulls, ghosts, serial killers or witches either! BUT, there is something so whimsical about dressing up.

My kids totally get into the whole make-believe, dress-up, pretend you're something or someone different part of Halloween. And guess what? This year I discovered....I LIKE IT, TOO!

We attended Andy and Denise Carson's annual Chili feed/Halloween party. It's our second year, and our favorite new tradition. The adults were supposed to dress like famous couples. Here's what we all came up with:

The Carsons were TomKat (Tom Kruise and Katie Holmes), their dog, Luci played Suri Cruise. She basically barked all night at the trick or treaters, and Andy would yell, "SHUT UP, SURI!" at the top of his lungs. Hysterical

Andy B. and Kelly B. were Andy and Denise Carson. They get the "freaky, single white female" costume award.

Jenni and Matt were Mr. and Mrs. Roper... Sort of. Matt looked more like Taylor Hicks from American Idol, and Jen just looked priceless.

Scott and I came as Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. (I figured it was the only way to get Scott to dress up. He could just wear his regular clothes. This is his number one least favorite holiday.)

The big hit of the night was what I like to call "Wig Swapping." We laughed, we cried, we ate chili and drank Pumkin Ale.. it was a good night.

So...I guess Halloween is what you want to make of it. It doesn't have to be all dark and creepy. It can be about opening your door to your neighbors. Getting together with good friends to laugh and act ridiculous. It can even be about trying out a new hair color for a night... the point is: have fun with your kids, your friends and let yourself "play dress-up" one day a year.

Oh...and the candy is like a bonus.