Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Football

Since our eldest boy was conceived, 16.5 years ago, my husband has been dreaming of the day when he could watch his child play football. The love of the game is rooted deep within their DNA, and by the time they are of school age they can talk the game with the best of them.

But our eldest child is not the football playing kind. He could strategize with the winningest coach, read books about the game, watch with his dad,  but running full force into other human beings is really not his thing.

Thankfully for their father, that is exactly Superboy's thing.

Superboy is playing his first year of club football, he is thirteen. His Dad informs me that they can play at 7! I think he is trying to talk me into letting my teeny Monkey boy play next year. I don't think so!

Superboy and football go together like peanut butter and jelly and he is totally blossoming in that environment. It is something just for him, away from the rest of our huge family and The Boy's shadow.  He is part of a team, they need him and he needs them.  My very social child thrives on that stuff.

As a first-timer, he started the year as a second-string running back, and he was perfectly happy there. For Mom and Dad watching, the first game or two were frustrating because he didn't get to play much in the first half, but it always seemed that he would get a fair amount of play in the second. And every time he took the field, he did amazingly well. He has played consistently, being where he needed to be, blocking and running as needed. Taking a ton of hits and ending up in the bottom of not a few dog-piles, while his momma bit her lip and prayed.

Injuries began to stack up and our boy was called on more and more. And he stepped up to the plate. We were so proud watching him run for first downs and taking hits to protect his quarterback. He wasn't the fastest or the biggest kid on the team, but he got the job done.

So last week, we travelled to a neighbouring town to watch our boy play. We get settled in and look for his jersey number on the field. And nothing. The whole first quarter went by without our son taking the field once. Now this mama bear is getting riled up. Do they not see what value my son brings to the team?! He gains yardage every time they pass him the ball! How can they afford not to put him on the field?! (our team had been blown out every game so far! Our offense had a hard time getting anything going throwing-wise and the defenders were always in our back field!)

Anyhoo, I was soon placated as my son joined his team for the rest of the game, and played really well. He had numerous first downs and his team managed a few touchdowns in an otherwise horrific game. After the game, his coach had nothing but praise for our boy. He told us what a team player Superboy is, how he gave up his shoulderpads at the beginning of the game for the quarterback who had forgot his at home. That is why our boy was not playing, he was waiting for the other boy's mom to return with his pads. The coach also spoke about Superboy's consistent play and how they know they can rely on him.

This was further confirmed after his first practice last week. The coach announced that Superboy was moving to starting running back, the running back was moving to full and the full back was moving to another position. My boy was grinning ear to ear and brimming with joy and confidence. My mama heart was full. Not only had my boy proven to be a great contributor to the team, his coaches had recognized and rewarded him for that effort. Something that does not always happen. Especially if you are not the most gifted athlete on the team. But they see in my son a little of what I see, the spirit and passion, the hard work and effort, the encouragement and team spirit.

I couldn't be more proud or more pleased.

PS
And! Superboy's team got their very first win this past Saturday! They beat the other team 28-6 and that was Superboy's first game as a starter. So exciting!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breakdown

I think the lack of sleep and 8.5 months pregnant thing is starting to get to me. Last night I had 2 complete breakdowns. At one point I was laying on my bed sobbing for everyone to just stop touching me. My whole body was sore and achy and my 3 littles wouldn't stop climbing all over me, leaning on my belly and jiggling the bed. Then my husband came home and laid himself down and then started wrestling with them. That was the breaking point. "Please, just get them off of me... He is hurting my tummy, please get him off of me... Please stop moving... All of you....hiccup... sob..."

Can I just say, he wasn't all that helpful.

Brent is working his last week at the refinery as a foreman on a shutdown. He is getting up at 4 to work a 13 hour shift and then drive an hour back home at night. He is exhausted when he comes home. He picks up Superboy from football on his way home, then helps me put the kids to bed and collapses on the bed.

After a week of really not connecting, last night he engaged me in conversation. He was asking me about some friends who are going through difficult times and so I shared a bit with him. He then proceeds to play devil's advocate for 45 minutes. This put his already over-emotional and over-tired wife on the defensive. So instead of having some connecting time, me sharing some of my burden with him and us praying together, we were kind of arguing.

So, breakdown number two. "Why do you always have to do that?! Why turn every conversation into a fight?! I am worried and upset and instead of caring about me and our friends, you are being an ASS!"
I am not even sure how I got so many awful, inflammatory words out of my mouth in between the earth shattering sobs wracking my body, but there you are.

I almost cried myself to sleep, but instead I roused myself to be mad that he wasn't comforting me in my sobbing. Poor guy. Couldn't win for losing.

Finally I got up to blow my nose, crawled into bed, buried my head in his chest and we both went to sleep. Thank goodness. I am sure if he had been more awake, he would have been thankful too.

This morning, I am feeling almost as fragile as I did last night, so I am going to be watching myself carefully. I have a big to do list, but that may become more 'nap and have a cup of tea' than 'clean my entire house and teach a full day of school.'

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Mouth's of Babes

As I was going into hour 3 of cleaning dried on diarrhea from Zed's crib yesterday, (I guess he pulled of his diaper during naptime, while I was out for coffee with a girlfriend, and it took my eldest a while to hear him and rescue him. Zed had lots of time to make a mess.) my 5 year old Girly piped up, "Mom, I think you need to get a new husband. One who will listen to you. So then he can do some of your work, like clean up this poop! You do all the cleaning, and sweeping, and bathrooms around here. If you had a new husband, he could do some of that stuff."

I just about peed my pants! I chatted with her a while, trying to figure out where that was coming from. And defending my current husband, who does do some of those things (and a lot more!) when he is home.

Unfortunately, I think maybe she was taking some of my complaining to heart. I remember saying last week, that I was the only one in this house who ever sweeps. And complaining to my husband because he had promised to help me with some things and then he wasn't getting around to it. I guess I need to watch my words a little more carefully! And maybe cut the drama just a little.

My Girly really empathizes with me and embraces our sisterhood in this house of boys. I guess she was feeling sorry for me, though I do find it hilarious that she thinks my husband should listen to me...

I think I will keep the husband I have, but I wouldn't mind a maid!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Love

Baby Zed has become quite the lover boy. Every time Daddy tries to kiss Mommy, Zed pushes Daddy away with a loud, "No, MY Mama!" Then Zed grabs my face with both hands and plants a big kiss on my lips. As long as Daddy is hanging around, he keeps kissing me, usually with a sloppy grin on his face. This makes both Daddy and Mommy giggle, and Daddy keeps teasing and trying to kiss Mommy. The other night, Zed was kissing me so enthusiastically that he knocked me right over on the bed, and then we were all laughing.
I don't know how long this little game will last, but it sure melts my mommy heart and I will take all the kisses and cuddles I can get from my sweet boy. But there is a downside (other than a slobbery face) to all this kissing.
Last weekend at Superboy's football game, we were playing in the playground with the coach's wife and their 2 year old twins. The 3 two year olds were having a blast together, running and sliding and chattering. At one point, their little girl was sitting at the bottom of the slide when Zed decided to go down. I called for him to stop, but by the time I ran (read: waddled) the 2 steps, he had slid into her. She was fine, but I quickly explained to Zed that he should wait and asked him to apologize. "Sowwy," she said. "Oh, no sweetheart, not you. Zed, please tell the girl that you are sorry."
So he bent down a little, patted her head, made sympathetic sounds and then proceeded to put both hands on her face and go in for the big smooch! Then he kissed her again!
The mom and I killed ourselves laughing, I apologized and she started teasing her daughter about having a boyfriend. It really was adorable, we had a laugh and the kids went back to playing.

At least I don't have to worry about that kind of boy-girl interaction between 2 year olds. I am a bit more concerned about my fifteen year old. sigh.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Baby Zed is 2!

"2! 2!" He has been chanting for weeks. Our baby boy is a big boy now and he makes sure we all know it. Ever since Superboy's 13th birthday on Friday, Zed has been running around yelling, "No! Ma birf!" and now it finally is.
yummy whales!
He is such a sweetheart and he melts my heart each and every day with his sweet, shrugging smile and his crazy antics. 8 months ago, I thought I might lose my mind. He still wasn't sleeping through the night, and every waking moment was filled with mischief and destruction. Then we found out that we were expecting another baby. I literally thought that I would be pushed over the edge. But by 18 months, he was sleeping through most nights. And he was communicating with greater ease, making him a happier baby. He could also figure out how to get into all the things he couldn't reach before and that was joy unspeakable for Zed.
Last night as we were waiting for Daddy to come and finish the bedtime routine, Zed had Girly's maracas and was rockin' out. He was shaking them with all his might, scream singing (like some of his teen brothers' music) and then playing some air guitar before pausing for applause and smiles. I couldn't help but squeeze him in delight! Half an hour later, my ears were ringing and my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing.
He is so very smart. I have, of course, thought this of all my children. And they all are! But this baby Zed is determined too. If he wants something, he will stop at nothing to get it. A number of months ago, when we started putting valuables like the video camera, on top of the fridge for safe-keeping he immediately figured out how to use the broom to knock them down. He will climb anything in his pursuit of mischief. He plays in the sink and the toilet. He will get the jar of peanut butter (buuu-er) open and double-fist it into his grinning maw. Child-proof containers do not even slow him down, nor do cupboard door latches. He has been able to open doors for at least 6 months....
Sorry, got interupted there... Zed took off his poopy diaper and sat on my bed and then he peed. ugh. The laundry and messes are endless. But the bedtime kisses and wuv woo's, and snuggles more than make up for the craziness.
At 2, Zed loves peanut butter, meat, mashed potatoes, fruit, corn on the cob, music (louder the better), robots and puppies. He also loves everything his older siblings like. He thoroughly enjoys drawing with markers (all over himself), climbing, sitting in the sink with the water running, and TV (especially Phineas and Ferb and anything with music). When he is feeling shy or sheepish, he will shrug one shoulder while turning on one foot. If you ask him a silly question, he will scrunch up his nose and lower his chin, say,"No-oo," and give you the goofiest grin. He loves to tickle and beat up his Dad and big brothers, wrestle with Monkey, and cuddle dolls. He is sunny and sweet, loud and quick, fun and independent. We have so much fun with our friendly sweetheart. 
Baby Zed and Grandma!
Love you Baby Zed! You are not a baby any more, you are such a big kid, but you are still my baby. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Broken

Profoundly sad this morning. There is a young woman in our church who thinks herself 'in love' with my eldest boy. And really, who wouldn't be?! There has been some normal teenage angst happening there for a bit, but that seems supremely unimportant right now. This young girl and her four sisters lost their mom to cancer yesterday. My heart is broken for them. I can not begin to imagine what their family has been through and will go through. I can't imagine being without my mother and I am a grown woman with 6 kids of my own. How much more devastating for a teenage girl.
My husband lost his Dad, his stepfather to cancer this summer, after a short and absolutely devastating struggle. It was horrific watching him waste away and watching dh's mother suffer with him. This family has been through a similar, but prolonged experience in which they had great hope of their mother being well again. May God wrap his big arms around them and keep them close and comfort them.
If you are a praying person, please keep these five young girls in your prayers.