Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ode to Saturday

Up just after the sun with the boys.
There is a flurry of activity as they seek and find uniform parts.
The red ones today.
Like a dervish they whirl out the door and the house is a refuge again.
I enjoy the quiet peace along with a cup of coffee.
These first moments when the day ahead is fresh with potential are my holiest of each morning.
I just sit and listen to the birds sing some with content and some with frenzy.
The blue jays and morning doves stand out amongst the calling chorus.
Then a garbage truck hisses forward and beeps backward on a rare Saturday pick up.
Like it or not it is a reminder that my day must begin as well.
I rouse a still sleepy girl who resists until she remembers that she has soft ball practice.
And that soft ball is now the game she most loves to play.
I decide I will resist the urge to get busy.
Instead I will stay at practice with my book and another cup of coffee.
As soon as I am situated in the shade of a tree with a view of the team, I am sure I made the right choice.
I almost finish my book.
Miss Bit hits every single ball when she is up for batting practice.
Coach Mario who is the coach of the 6th-8th graders and a helper this morning, deems her a natural.
He tells her he wants her on the Wild Cats next year.
She tells him she'll only be in 5th grade.
He says, "Don't worry'll be ready.  Heck you're ready now!"
On the way home, she is beaming because she really likes the name Wild Cats.
We get a call that the boys won their first game.
It's the first victory for this team and it is welcome.
Miss Bit showers and packs for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's.
Before she gets in Grandma's car, she gives me an extra hug, kiss and I love you.
I head to the basement to spend some time with my elliptical, some free weights and the RHONY.
Those mean girls help me to dig deep.
There are things like weeds and laundry that are beckoning, but I am ignoring them.
Instead I pay attention to my new cookbook.
It's All Good has filled me with some fresh inspiration.
I make a chimichurri sauce and a new salsa.
I am on a serious salsa kick.
Sauces and salad dressings too.
They are so simple, and they elevate everyday ingredients.
I marinate a pork tenderloin for tomorrow's dinner and make muffins for tomorrow's breakfast.
The boys will be on the road even earlier tomorrow and glazed donut muffins travel well.
The boys come home after a loss.
They are hungry and tired.
All T. Bone wants is a shower and a pizza all to himself.
Coach and I order Chinese and unwind on the patio.
It is a perfect night.
We eat our veggie egg rolls and put the Hunan and Kung Pao in the fridge too tired to be hungry any more.
Miss Bit calls to say goodnight.
And it was...
A good day and a good night.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Friday.  It's been a rough week in my head. I'm ready to leave it in the dust.

Unprepared written by Rob Lowe upon the occasion of his son Matthew's exodus to college.  What a guy and dad that Rob Lowe is!
This line from above excerpt: Don't ever compare your insides to someone else's outsides.  Amen to that!

Bluebirds.  They always make my heart skip a beat as they streak across the sky.
Chile Verde.  The most delicious combination of pulled pork, tomatillo salsa, chicken broth, white beans, onions, cilantro, cumin and chili powder.
Team family. After Coach's pitching lesson this week, T. Bone and Miss Bit stayed out until dark working on fine tuning her pitch.  He was sweet and patient and she was appreciative. 

She pitched last night for the first time ever.  She pitched great last night.  I know she was scared and excited, but she was cool as a cucumber.  She also had a double play that sort of made her star of the game. What I am grateful for is that these little victories give her self-confidence a boost and more passion for a game she already loves. 

Some Nerve has struck a nerve with me.  I read, Clutter is delayed decisions, and I got busy decluttering because it rang so very true.  I have boxes of my Mom's papers and mementos that I have turned a blind eye to in the last 5 years.  This weekend I began the happy sad process of sorting through the things (cards, letters, newspaper clippings, art projects, lockets of hair and baby teeth) that she felt were important enough to keep over the years.

Coach, the consummate salesman, put some of our old "junk" up on Craigslist and sold it for some good money.   (Of course, any money is good money.)
  The inspiration that is and will forever be Maya Angelou.  RIP wise one.  One of the most poignant bits of wisdom she left us with is: I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
My friend Jess who comes to cheer on Team Lightning and then stays to support me and doesn't complain when I serve her a meal of chick peas two ways. At least the pitas were homemade, and the wine didn't run out.
T. Bone's team played a great game tonight beating the only team they've lost to this season.

Another week of sublime spring weather.
This one...#13!
These two.
Movie night.

Team spirit.

BFFs on and off the field.


Monday, May 26, 2014

2 day pass

one memorial day weekend behind us and 12 days of school ahead of us.
summer starts in 25 days!
never mind that every one of my senses was tricked this weekend into believing it was already here.
the neighborhood came alive with the sound of children's laughter, the near constant drone of lawnmowers and birdsong that sounded from dawn to dusk.
i saw miss bit's bleeding heart grow overnight, an oriole streak through the yard, a palm-sized baby bunny take cover under the leaf of a hosta, and neighbors i forgot we had.
depending on the time of day, the smell of fresh-cut grass or grilled meats permeated the air.
and what didn't we grill?
we tasted the season's first all beef dogs, sticky bbq chicken and a batch of harp burgers, which were served with an around the world smorgasbord of sides...
another batch of tomatillo salsa, a new twist on hummus and my easy peasy caprese dip.
and simple salads like a mediterranean chick pea number and a caesar pasta salad that could, should and will be a meal unto itself.
i felt melancholy as i'm prone to do when something is ending for another beginning.
i found myself missing my mom much more than usual.
i had a moment at a gathering where i was sitting around this table and i wondered who these people i know so long are.
it was startling.
saddening too.
i also realized that i can be my pared down, true self with only a trusted few.
of course, my mom was in that cherished company.
the result of my somber mood was that i was not very lovely company.
good thing housework and yard work aren't discerning.
i felt conflicted about pouring so much energy into working all weekend long, but it is one of our only tournament-free weekends, and so we do what we must do.
i got a little taste for the impending need for strict screen time limits once the days open up like route 66.
the kids would go out for a bike ride, or a ball game and then come in and get sucked back to the world of mine craft like they had no choice or chance at resistance.
it's a phenomenon the likes of which i've never before encountered.
i demanded a movie night because we were too plum tired to play games.
we decided on the book thief  at my strong urging.
miss bit was the only one to stay awake for the entire movie, but i read the book.
we were both heavy hearted by the end of it all.
yet i woke up this morning feeling sunnier despite the cloud cover (go figure), less porous and lighter.
we stayed close to home again today.
more work, a sweaty walk, a couple play dates and finally family dinner.
delish pulled pork tonight spice rubbed and slow cooked all afternoon long.
it will be a short week, but still full.
and still i am searching for the pause button.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

My streptocarpella aka bluebells to my mom, and maybe cape primrose to others.  There is one nursery I know of that has a few available each spring.  I called the other day because they aren't exactly nearby, and the kind lady told me they only had 4 left.  That's exactly what I wanted so I decided it was a perfect day for a drive.  I strongly felt my mom's presence all afternoon.  I feel her presence whenever I look at the pretty violet sky blooms and especially when they attract hummingbirds as they are known to do.

I'm not a gardener.  I don't like dirt or bugs, but I do like flowers.  The extent of my gardening is a few pots of pretty annuals (this year all English garden white and green with ivy) and some groundcover.  Except that I spent hours in another nursery this week.  I was planning and visualizing and dreaming and it occurred to me that I am getting more into this gardening thing than I thought.   There is something grounding about digging in the earth, taking care of tiny roots, nurturing new plants until they burst with blooms, and then standing back and admiring the way they grow and thrive with less and less intervention on my part.  The metaphor is not lost on me.

T. Bone had his last choir concert this week.  He decided he will not continue choir in 8th grade.  I had mixed feelings about until I saw him on the risers looking pained at the whole experience.  Let me tell you sitting in the steamy gym on those chairs of torture is painful too.  He showed zero smiles, no light in his eyes, his lips were barely moving.  That image of him allowed me to reflect on what he had gained in the 3 years he enjoyed choir (well, I guess he only really enjoyed 2 of the 3) instead of focusing on what he would be giving up.  That was an epiphany for me.  I was all prepared to be a little nostalgic and weepy hearted at how fast he is growing up and another last once again thrust upon us, but I was like Yep, it's time, it was charming while it lasted.

Of course, Miss Bit is very excited to join choir next year so I'll still be summoned to the sweaty gym twice a year to be entertained.  I think she'll be bright eyed and smiling though, and there's no where I'd rather be.

Windows wide open days and nights.

Patty Chang Anker's Some Nerve.  It's having more of an impact on me than I expected.  The whole idea of confronting fears, which whatever they are end up being road blocks to peace and growth, is making me reflect.  We're all scared of something.  I thought I knew what my fears were, but this book is making me realize that I'm scared of more than I thought. That is unsettling, but in the best of ways.

Tomato sandwiches.  I had my first one this week.  It may have been a bit premature because the tomato was still a tad tasteless.  I cannot wait for fresh tomatoes from a local garden instead of Mexico.

More spring cleaning.  Coach and his brother tamed our yard today.  They cut and cleared.  There's still plenty of work to do, but that will always be the case.  We are slowly working our way through the long list of to dos.

Summer camps and activities are signed up for and paid for (ouch!).  It will be golf, tennis and a summer fun camp at school for T. Bone, and Survivor Camp at the nature center, water ballet and perhaps, tennis too for Miss Bit.  That leaves plenty of time for spontaneity and slothhood.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

These Days...

Reading:  Eleanor and Park with Miss Bit, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and Happier at Home.

Wondering why I always feel the need to read between 3 and 7 books at a time???

Noticing that the trees are suddenly bursting with buds and the grass is greener than green seemingly overnight.

Watching Fargo. I didn't think I'd like it, but now I'm hooked.

Listening to Valley of Amazement while I walk, and at times, blushing just a bit. 

Eating the first round of summer fruit: the perfect tart green grapes, crisp watermelon and juicy nectarines. 

Drinking the usual suspects, but also the most refreshing pear vodka and club soda concoction.

Dreaming of the freedom of summer as we run ragged every night of the week to end of year concerts and meetings and practices and games. 

Feeling the affects of all the pollen in the air as the world around me greens up.  My allergies have never been this bothersome.

Wanting more hours in every day.

Wearing layers.  It is the time of the year of cool mornings and evenings, and cold fronts and cooler by the lake.  I just got both kids set for the warmer weather.  They outgrew E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G from last summer.

Hoping that I wasn't premature in getting most of my flowers yesterday. 

Thinking I'll weed and plant today after a long sunny walk (with lots of Kleenex).

Enjoying the birdsong that wafts in through open windows.

Loving tomatillos, the extended hours of daylight, Patty Chang Anker's Some Nerve (yes, another book I forgot to mention above), my spit shined car and Coach for all his elbow grease, a long weekend ahead, impromptu play dates even for adults, strepto carpella, country drives and going to bed early exhausted from a full day.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2 day pass

this weekend went by at warp speed -
it was a real good couple days.
the boys were away for a baseball tournament all saturday and part of sunday.
miss bit and i stayed behind so she could attend softball practice.
we declared it a girls day and night.
the two of us went out for an early dinner -
at a restaurant with a waiter, which delighted miss bit who thought we were noodles bound.
after our lovely time, grandma joined us for a play.
we saw west side story, which was being performed on the stage of my alma mater.
i haven't been back since i graduated -
decades ago in the same auditorium, crossing the same stage.
that stirred up more emotions in me than i expected.
walking up the stairs to the theater i saw myself in my beanie and red graduation gown surrounded by family and friends.
it was the same kind of beautiful night that june oh so many years ago.
the performance was everything i hoped for.
the talented young cast succeeded in making us question whether or not we were in the audience of a high school theatre.
grandma j. smiled all through the show remembering when she first saw it with her mom when she was miss bit's age.
after the finale and bows and applause, the seniors in the cast came forward.
one by one they kneeled to kiss the stage.
some of them were crying as they said their almost final farewells.
i was a puddle, of course, feeling all of their emotions and many of my own dormant for so long.
again those memories came flooding in, up and over.
from my seat in the balcony, i could see exactly where i sat during our senior assembly.
we weren't listening to i feel pretty or somewhere, but rather rem's superman as a slide show of the last four! years captured it all.
i am i am i am superman and i can do anything.
we were the 80's version of a flash mob, and the air was electric with celebration of what was and anticipation of what would be -
miss bit brought me back real time when she leaned in to ask me if i was crying.
she knows me so well.
and then i got ahead of myself imagining her as a graduate in a short decade's time.
i had a glimpse of the the happy sad way it will feel to witness her walk across the stage.
thankfully the parking ticket waiting on my windshield broke my mood of melancholy.
grandma suggested we stop for dessert and it seemed like a perfect idea lest we turn in before the end of the perfect night.
and it was...perfect.
the boys left so early sunday, i didn't even hear them stir.
after a loss, they were home before lunch to enjoy the rest of the beautiful spring day.
i opened all the windows to air out the house, and coach and i got to some deep spring cleaning inside and out.
the yard was soon filled with friends.
just when everyone went home, my brother and sil stopped by after golf.
we poured some cold cocktails and a bowl of the tomatillo salsa i made earlier in the day, and chilled.
coach grilled the first brats of the season.
they were perfect....just like the weekend.
he's at a football meeting now (already!) and the kids are showering or finishing homework -
and i'm already looking ahead to the next weekend...
memorial day!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Tomatillo dressing.  All I want to eat is salad after making this simple, spicy recipe.  The other ingredients are 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 c mayo, bunch of cilantro,  2 cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper.

Frogs.  Miss Bit was joyful when I told her that the pond was infested, and that yes, of course, I would take her. She schemed that she would be happy to catch a single frog, but that her goal was at least 8.  The seventh frog surprised her by attempting to swallow two of her fingers.  She decided seven was satisfactory enough!

 The most thoughtful cards and gifts I received for Mother's Day.  I was so touched by all 3 of the handmaid, heartfelt cards.  The gifts too.  T. Bone gave me a new visor, which I will wear when I sit in the stands and cheer him on.  Miss Bit gave me a new set of measuring cups, which we will use when we bake together. Coach gifted me some of my favorite lotion (Aveda), candy (dark chocolate and black licorice), and reading material (Mary Oliver).

Little leaguers who shuck corn after winning games.

Homemade tortillas and this fresh salsa.  I slightly adapt these recipes.  I add 2 cups of all purpose flour and a 1/2 cup of masa to give the tortillas a little more texture.  For the salsa I add a whole onion, 2 cloves of garlic and at least a teaspoon of sugar, salt and cumin.

A colorful spring, finally.  Buds and flowers.

And babies too. 

Tag teaming.  This was a very full 7 days of practices, games, matches, field trips and concerts. We found ourselves dividing and conquering.

Red winged blackbirds.

Cat naps.


Binge watching Fargo this week.

Spumoni for dinner.

Miss Bit's Spring Pops concert today.  I especially loved her class's rendition of Hall of Fame.  There is something both cute and ironically ridiculous about elementary school children singing today's hits, but it was sunny outside and Friday and her last concert in this school ever so I focused on the sweetness.

Now she is at the middle school enjoying her first activity night.  It is a welcome for the soon to be incoming 5th graders.  She was excited and seemed older and more mature already...lip gloss, purse and her own money to spend. 

Prayers answered.  My friend, who is a three time cancer survivor, was just given the all clear again.  


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Empty Nest

I was listening to the news this morning while I made breakfasts and lunches.  Miss Bit was extra chipper and alert because she is on her way to the state capital today with her fourth grade class.  All of the sudden she shot out of her seat and shouted with outrage, "Oh no! Squirrels were kidnapped!"  I set her straight and told her that girls were kidnapped.  Nigerian girls.  She calmed just a little and admitted she didn't want girls to be kidnapped any more than squirrels.  I laughed and made light of it because I didn't want her spending the hour and a half bus ride worrying about atrocities on another continent.  What is she going to do without me to gloss over the news someday?  What am I going to do without her?

I'm 99 percent certain T. Bone grew again overnight.  His face is more angular and he is hungry all the time.  Ravenous.  One of these mornings I won't be surprised if he eats a whole pan of cinnamon rolls and greets me with a changing voice.  He went through three sets of pants this winter because they became floods.  I'm grateful he's a healthy growing boy, but I cannot deny that I feel it is all going too fast.

I relish the comfort I feel when I wake in the middle of the night and know that my children are safely sleeping down the hall.  I cannot fathom the torment a mother must feel to not know where her children are, or that they are safe.  My heart aches for those Nigerian women.  When my children go out into the world, they are much safer than many children around the globe, and yet there are dangers always and everywhere.  That's the hardest part about motherhood for me...knowing I can't always protect them and won't always be able to tuck them in at night. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

2 day pass

this weekend was both bitter and sweet.
it is lovely to be extra appreciated by my children and my husband...
yet my heart breaks open again and anew at the remembrance that i am now motherless.
but because i have come to know this precarious juxtaposition of feeling simultaneously blessed and robbed,
i brace myself for the joy and the melancholy...
and truth be told, they are there in most moments and every day.
you know...the heart aches, races and soars in the course of one single hour.
well, at least mine does.
but for the wonder of being a mama to my cherished two, i feel like i have done and am doing something right.
to read the words they put down on paper for and about me, is really the best gift.
another sweet sentiment from the one who made me a mother is more fuel in my tank...
coach and i...we're in this together.
we always have been and i know we will continue to be.
everything else is icing on the proverbial cake...
everything like taking miss bit to her first shakespeare was a little much for her, but she was happy that i so enjoyed it.
and i did.
another first: frogging at the singing many frogs and so much noise.
one walk on one of two perfect 70 degree days.
two baseball wins in between musical evening thunderstorms.
an impromptu family bbq that boasted the best burgers not just of the season, but ever according to my dad.
homemade guacamole, cookie bars and a competitive post dinner game of name that tune too.
eleanor and park before bed, and coffee and snuggles in bed on mother's day morn.
being honored by sweet gifts of my favorite things from my family who are my favorite people.
being taken care of...miss bit making me a mom's day breakfast, and coach grilling chicken fajitas for dinner.
everything big and small that make me thankful for the mother i had and the mother i am.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Late Spring Eve's Nightmare

By the end of the 2+ hour performance of this Shakespearean comedy, my girl was not laughing along with me.  No, she was on the verge of tears and sleep: dually confused by the early modern English and bored by the tricky verse speak.  It was my fault for not properly preparing her.  I told her the barebones of the three part story, but I neglected to warn her about the flowery language and all the thys, thous and thees.  That was both an intentional and a selfish decision.  I didn't want her to change her mind about seeing A Midsummer Night's Dream: a work that is one of my favorite.

I loved this performance.  The modern interpretation was clever and smart especially for a largely high school audience.  There were selfies and Starbucks....skateboards and strobe lights.  Oberon was a brilliant combo of Sid Vicious and the Joker.  Puck was a little sprite of a girl, and Lysander was a girl playing a girl, which defied 400 year old gender expectations.  The cast was amazingly talented, and that part Miss Bit honored with appropriate awe.

She was happy when the house curtain descended.  When we got in the car, she turned off the radio and starting firing questions at me.  She got more out of the show than I thought, and was no longer panning the performance.  That's all I can ask for.  And that she trusts me when I assure her she will love West Side Story next week.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

I thought I was going to have to come up with a new moniker for Coach.  See the plan was he wasn't going to coach this year.  The plan was he was just going to be a helper on the myriad of teams the kids are on.  But then he put on this team jersey Saturday and he stood in the dug out or on third base, and I realized that he was still coaching.  And all was right with the blog and the world.

Grilling.  Chicken this week and burgers this weekend.

Baseball season is in full swing.

Soft ball season is soon to follow.  Miss Bit had her first softball practice of the spring and she has a renewed love for the game now that her BFF is on the team, and her Dad is a "helper."

Watching SNL with T. Bone.  He loves it because it is a tiny bit taboo.  I know some of the skits aren't appropriate, but most are OK.  He gets more of it than I think he would or should, but he is a teenager.  There is a modicum of nostalgia because I remember how I felt when my Dad would let me curl up on the couch next to him and stay up for SNL.

I'm listening to Valley of Amazement.  I am a avid Amy Tan fan and I'm loving this story as much as all her others if not more because she is one of the readers.

A date tonight to see A Midsummer Night's Dream with Miss Bit.  I think it's a proper introduction to Shakepeare, and that she will especially like Puck.

She swam hard and fast in her meet yesterday.  She earned two firsts and two seconds.  T. Bone pointed out that she would have all firsts if she would dive off the starting block and learn the flip turn. 

Morning snuggles.

Coach for untangling my 5 favorite necklaces.

Making Lily lol while reading Eleanor and Park.  Apparently, I do a hilarious Korean accent.

Chobani peach, apricot and pear yogurts.

Orioles.  One streaked through the yard the other day.

I got the stains out of my brand new chinos after I washed and then dried them with a tube of my favorite lipstick.  Unfortunately, other laundry items did not fair as well, nor did the lipstick.

The stack of books I picked up from the library today.

Our IT guy.

Last Sunday school class this weekend until fall.

A relatively quiet weekend ahead...for sure some baseball and perhaps a bbq.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

First Timer

T. Bone played his first tennis match yesterday.  I sat courtside shivering in early May despite the sunshine.  I didn't want to miss it.  I think it was kind of a big deal because other than a friendly family game here or there, he's never played tennis.  I was impressed that he would try something new that he wasn't necessarily very good at.  More than one of his friends are ranked in the state so there is some serious talent on the team too. That didn't intimidate motivated him.

He played doubles with his friend Javier against two boys he knew from the other school.  It was a friendly match.  He and Javier had never played together and at first that was obvious.  They started off getting in one another's way, and mostly losing points and games.  There were numerous double faults.  And then all the sudden, they really found their stride and started coming back.  They ended the match losing in a tiebreaker. I was duly impressed by their perseverance and progress.  Of course, they would have rather won, but were still smiling and admitting it was fun at the end of the match. 

I don't know that I'd have joined the tennis team if I were T. Bone.  I think I would have been intimidated given all the pressure.  Some of these kids have been taking lessons and competing since they were in pre-school in the same way he has been dedicated to baseball for almost a decade.  We push these kids so hard and from such tender ages.  The rec. leagues of yesteryear are almost obsolete.  Everyone who is anyone is on all star teams and tournament teams often for multiple sports.  There is this pressure to excel so that just playing a game for fun is almost scoffed at.

I was proud that my son had the confidence to join the team.  At the end of the day, he's a natural athlete so of course, he's actually a pretty decent tennis player even when using his Dad's racket.  I offered to buy him a new racket when he first told me he was going out for tennis.  New shoes too. He told me it wasn't necessary for the few matches he would be playing.  I was proud of that most of all.  He's not only confident and motivated, but sensible too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Old Soul

We grabbed her from the playground on the way to the car.  She was teary eyed when I looked back to see she was buckled up.  I didn't think she would lose it after her brother's loss when he had already moved on.  I knew she wasn't sad to be going to the hotel for swimming and pizza two of her all time faves.  When I pried, she sobbed and told me she just didn't want to talk about it because it would make her even more upset.  I pried harder and finally she spilled.  Her heart hurt because she witnessed a little boy disrespecting his elderly grandma at the park.  The grandma didn't feel well and needed to leave stat.  The boy refused to listen. "It was just so so sad because I could tell that the grandma really really didn't feel good and he just wouldn't listen."  And suddenly I'm worrying not just about this sick woman, but also how I can possibly protect my Miss Tender Heart when she suffers so even for absolute strangers.

Her strong sense of empathy and compassionate heart are both blessing and curse.  She is a constant champion of the underdog.  A tireless cheerleader for the downtrodden.  The blessing is that she possesses a kindness that is beautifully contagious.  The curse is that it is emotionally exhausting to walk through life carrying the burdens of others, and yet I cannot fathom her any other way.

I'm constantly marveled that she is mine.  That she is nine.  Nine and one of the wisest, deepest souls I know.

Monday, May 5, 2014

2 day pass

if there were only one word for the weekend it would be b-a-s-e-b-a-l-l.
friday, saturday and, sunday too.
t. bone went from our home field friday evening to a ballpark in rockford the next morning.
we rolled into town early saturday tired and cold and a little excited.
this was his first tournament with his new all star team.
a new team that thanks to our delayed spring has never even been on a field together.
keeping that in mind, i really thought the players had many reasons to be proud.
i know i was.
they never gave up, and they made the other more seasoned teams work for their wins.
and what i love about 13 year old boys is that they are still boys.
they can be serious ballplayers when on the field and then total goofballs at game's end.
as soon as we left the ballpark, they were all silliness and smiles.
they took over the pool, and the parents took over the lobby.
they were bonding, and we were getting to know our summer traveling companions/fellow stand mates.
it was a really fun, chill night for all ages.
miss bit even made friends with some girls in town for a soccer tournament.
all day she had watched and cheered in between trips to the playground and concession stand.
we sat together in the shade and read in between games.
she was attracted to the cover of eleanor and park tempting her from my nightstand.
i agreed to read it to her so i can edit it for her almost 10 year old ears and beyond tender heart.
of course, she is absolutely in love with this love story.
we rolled out of rockford without a win, or a visit to the japanese gardens or the nicholas conservancy as planned, but i assured miss bit that we'll be back and t. bone knows the only direction from here is up.
and i must confess that it was nice to get home with time to prepare for the week ahead and cook a proper meal.
we were all wind burned and wiped out, but it was an all star weekend.