Friday, April 16, 2010


It seems a gale force wind has entered our home and is blowing the pages of our calendar - turning, turning, turning them so quickly it's as though they've been caught in the winds of a tornado.

And I am desperately trying to stop those pages from turning - wanting to throw myself against the kitchen wall on which the calendar hangs, hoping to flatten said calendar so that the pages will remain still.

Why oh why are we parents unable to stop time?

We parents who, it seems yesterday, were watching the clock wondering if this day would ever end, if we would ever get past this stage, then this stage, then this stage. Long days, short years.

Time - it sure is ticking away here at the house of W.

In two days my baby girl will be Sweet Sixteen. A couple of days after that, she will obtain her drivers license.

Who, I ask you, thought it was a good idea to give babies a license to drive?


Four weeks after our Sweet Sixteen celebration, my baby boy leaves for boot camp.

Who, I ask you, thought it was a good idea to put babies in combat boots and arm them with M-16s?


But lest we be overwhelmed with melancholy during these next few weeks - the weeks between our younger child getting her license and our older child leaving the nest - we find ourselves distracted by some upcoming excitement.

Because for those four weeks?



Any of you care to guess how well this decision has been received?

We are the meanest parents in the world.

*high fives all around*

Each of our children has brought their case to me in hopes that I could somehow convince their father to purchase another vehicle for those four weeks.

Each of them has, almost identically, thrown his or her hands in the air and proclaimed "This is not going to work."

To which I reply with great empathy:

"Well, make it work."

Feel free to use that bit of wisdom any time you want.

Kayla is enjoying a slight victory, however, because I have proclaimed that softball games and practices take priority. Since Blake is in no extra curricular activities at this time, he will be at the mercy of the girls' softball schedule when it comes to use of the vehicle.

Blake has used all of his debate and negotiating skills to get us to change our minds but I have held firm.

"You've given rides to your buddies for nearly three years. Make those hooligans reciprocate for a few weeks."

His argument, while heartbreaking, has left me unable to stand upright, so hard do I laugh when he brings it to me.

Since he appears unwilling to swallow his pride and drive my mini van it seems his only option, according to him, is to walk to school and hitch hike 7 miles up a major highway.

I told him that was fine as long as he wasn't tardy.

Or he know...ride the bus...if he doesn't want to ride with his sister.

This is when he informed me that he can't ride the bus. This won't work either:

"Mom, when I was a freshman I really gave this one senior a hard time for riding the bus. I was like 'why are you on the bus? Aren't you like 18? Why don't you drive to school? How about getting a job so you can buy a car?' Now I'm that senior riding the bus, with no job and no car of my own."

And, being the mean mom that I am, I had to point out the irony of his situation.

Again, our conversation left me laughing mercilessly at my poor son's dilemma. I even saw one corner of his mouth turn upward in what could almost be called half a smile. That boy of mine loves to push my buttons.

Yeah. I really look forward to the next five weeks. Watching my two offspring peacefully negotiate use of the third vehicle that is available for them to drive.

I suspect the excitement will only be surpassed by that of the spectators of the Roman Gladiator fights.

By May 23, the Coliseum will have nothing on us.

I, though, intend to remain calm and encourage my kids to "use their words" and "inside voices" as they come to a loving mutually agreeable arrangement.

All while sipping tequila and stabbing my eye with an ice pick.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


First, though, kudos to coach Applebee for giving the softball team such a treat today.

Apparently, when the game was cancelled today (due to thunderstorms, hail, and tornado sirens) the coach told the girls there would be practice anyway.

So they entered the gym and SURPRISE!!! They were going to have a pickle ball tournament instead of doing softball drills.

Do your kids play pickle ball?

My kids have explained it to me but I can't remember the details. It might have been invented here...I don't know.

I hope so, though, 'cause I want our community to be known for something besides The Soybean Capital of the World.

Pickle Ball capital will surely bring in more tourists.

Oh! And then? After Pickle Ball, the coaches treated the girls to ice cream sundaes in the cafetorium.

Okay then, where was I?

Oh yeah, quitting.

So last week (Tuesday I think) Kayla had a game at a rather large school 7 miles from us.

I was especially eager to go to this game because this school had just recently been featured on the local news for some sort of "mob action" amongst its students. You know. Gang stuff.

And I was having a really tough week, so I was all like "bring it on...I'm ready to rumble." Plus it might be kind of nice to make the local news.

So I put on my very best gangsta look - jeans and a black twinset with a very chic plaid scarf to keep my neck warm against the strong winds - and drove my mini van to said school, parked and walked across the parking lot thinking "Nobody better mess with me or I'm likely to .....well....probably call my friend J-net crying like a baby...." But anyway.

So then.

My in-laws were already at the game, along with Paul's great aunt and her developmentally delayed adult son, whom I think is just so fun and sweet. He likes to pick on me. So after he told me he was going to pick me up and throw me over the fence into the ball diamond, he whipped his camera out of his pocket and proceeded to snap several pictures of me.

None of the pictures show my whole face but they do show my twinset and scarf so I requested a copy of each one. I'm thinking Christmas cards.

Once the camera was put away, I was able to concentrate on the game. The Varsity girls did quite well - we were winning by so much, in fact, that our coach instructed our runners to get some intentional outs by leaving the base early - a mercy move - to move the game along.

I was excited for the JV game. Blake was home resting comfortably under the very competent care of Cubby and I was enjoying the brisk but pleasant outdoors.

And it turns out that our JV girls were going to be playing quite well also - we had two outs before we started scoring, and then we scored twelve runs before the inning was out. Once again, the coach instructed our runner on first to leave the base early to get an out, so that we could move that inning along.

My girl pitched quite well and the defense kept their opponents scoreless.

First inning over. Score: twelve to zero.

Before we could start the second inning, though, the opposing coach walked out to the field and told the umpire "That's it for us. My pitcher is tired and she has a lot more games this week."

Wait, what?

You mean you can do that?

You can just, like, quit, when you're tired? Even if the game isn't over? Even when there's still enough light left to play another inning or two?

You can just, like, decide that it's over?

Ummmm. I was so confused.

So our girls had donned their uniforms, packed their gear, boarded the bus and prepared for a game, all to be told their pitcher was tired?

I left my son at home healing from oral surgery to come to a game that was going to be called off because the pitcher was tired?

My in-laws drove 40 miles to sit on the bleachers in the howling wind and dropping temperatures to watch their grand daughter play ball only to have her game be called after one inning? BECAUSE THEIR PITCHER WAS TIRED?


Well, my daughter was tired too. She had played a double header the previous Saturday, pitched a game just the previous night and had two more games scheduled that week.

You don't think she was tired???

And more importantly, I WAS EXHAUSTED!!!

I was shocked that a coach would stop a game because they were getting beat so badly.

And believe me, our team knows about getting beat. The next night, our girls got their tails kicked. I mean, it was NOT PRETTY.

But did they quit? Did they stop trying? No. No they did not. Sure it was painful, but they hung in there and finished.

Here's the thing. Not only do I think this decision to call the game was a very poor example for the team - it taught them that when things are a little tough, you pack up and go home instead of seeing things through - but it was also discourteous.

It was inconsiderate of them not to allow our girls to play the game they had come to play. Sure we had all only driven a few miles. But we all showed up. The parents made time in their schedules to be there for their daughters; but, more importantly, the girls showed up ready to play ball. And that's what they wanted to do.

So that evening was a good news/bad news kind of night.

Good news - our girls won
Bad news - they only played one inning
Good news - we got home earlier than usual
Bad news - I had nothing ready for dinner
Good news - I wasn't involved in any "mob action"
Bad news - I won't be on the local news any time soon.

There's always next season.