10.28.2020

Last Bat

[Note to reader: When I originally started this post, we were in the month of July....and then some life stuff happened and now it is October and I opened this up and thought, Oh.My.Gosh. It is no longer almost August, it is ALMOST NOVEMBER! And that pretty much sums up the entire year....I left the post as it was though and will try to get to the next post within the decade. Thanks for your patience.]

So here's the thing: I have no idea how it is already July, much less about to be AUGUST! WHAAAT? 

JULY! As in J-U-L-Y! The 7th month of the year, going on the 8th month and soon, back to school, whatever that might mean! I'm personally stuck somewhere between: "Where the heck did months 3 through 6 go??" and "Argh! We still have FIVE months in this year of insanity!"

We started 2020 with all this awesomeness and then March hit and HOLY GUACAMOLE! At first, I spent hours on end laughing at all the funny Covid memes, excited about the little "Spring break" we were having. But after a whirlwind trip to FL, a dumb concussion, and having to become my kids homeschool teacher long enough to realize I don't care enough about elementary school grades to actually worry about whether my boys were actually completing their work or not, (and then realizing that trying to explain that to their teachers was not my best idea ever)....well, like everyone else, we spent a lot of time in the trenches of this thing, trying to figure out how to spend so much time together in our house without kicking anyone off the island while also testing the social distancing waters and make our way back into our former life, now through a completely different lens. 

Exhale.

And still, FIVE months left in this year! 

I have been asked to keep writing. Well, I think someone may have mentioned it like six months ago but since I can't really recall what we did yesterday, I could be making that story up in my head. I am going to have to get back in the habit of making mental notes and getting to my computer every night. I wish I had been better about it from the beginning of this thing but instead, I had to learn how to Zoom....and how to coach soccer teams via the internet and how to make masks (note: I have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine and after a dozen tries, several cursed at bobbins, a broken needle or two, and that extra half hour it took me to remember how to put the presser foot back on correctly, I broke down and bought them like the other non-crafty people I know. Kind of kicking myself for not starting THERE but, I have in fact used my sewing machine for so many other fixes recently that I guess it is all worth it. Thanks, Covid!)

At any rate, I wanted to share a semi-uplifting story about one of my favorite characters: Liam. If you have been a reader long enough, (or are related) you know that Liam is a special kid. Yeah, yeah, we all think our kid is special, but as an extroverted kid on the Autistic Spectrum, who can't help but smile at just about everything and whose love for sports surpasses that of most athletes I know, well, he really is special.

And he LOVES baseball. I will be honest. I don't know how. I have such little patience for it myself but seeing how baseball lights up his face even more than it is naturally, well, his radiant joy becomes contagious. 

The only problem is, he is now 12 and there is no longer "rec" baseball for him to play. The only real option he has is to try out for a travel team and if we are honest with his ability at this point, his chance is slim to none. 

I was pondering this last night at the final game: a pick-up "sandlot" style game for the kids who don't play football. They chose captains and the captains chose the teams. I will admit, my stomach turned a little, knowing Liam would be one of the last ones selected. He was next to last but his huge smile and the cheers of his teammates eased this mama's heart. The camaraderie and supportiveness he has experienced in this league have been incredible. I took a deep breath and the game began. 

One of Liam's big struggles is hitting. He was okay when it was coach pitch and they could adjust the speed of the balls thrown for him. But with the kids getting so big and throwing so fast, Liam hadn't hit a ball all season, not even a tip. Last night though, the coaches pitched and as Liam made his way to the plate for the first time, I prayed my mama prayer: Please, just connect, just this once, in what might be his final game of baseball as a kid, please let him hit the ball.

The coach lobbed the ball his way; Liam let it go by. Again, the coach pitched and Liam swung and missed. And then, something awesome happened: as the next pitch came in, Liam got a sly little look on his face and bunted the ball. The coach took his time fielding the ball, threw to first and Liam found himself safe at the base! 

The boys went WILD! Liam was grinning ear to ear! 

Three times at bat, three bunted balls. And in that last bat, Liam bunted and started running; the coach slowly fielded the ball, purposefully overthrew first and round and round the bases Liam ran as the other boys scurried to catch up to the play. When Liam stopped at third base, everyone cheered and Liam could hardly stop laughing. 

While my heart grew three sizes that day, I still don't prefer baseball, but I am so glad Liam does. And I can't wait to see what he conjures up next! 









1.24.2020

That Time Mom Bought a Sloth

So here's the thing: I don't think anyone walks into a store with the intention of buying a pet sloth. Is it a LIVE pet sloth you ask? Well, of course not. I'm not crazy! (Wait, can you get a live one somewhere?)

But, sometimes things happen. And while it had been less than a week since Kurt told me we needed to cut back on our spending, there I was with this unfortunate dilemma. I really needed to buy a sloth. I couldn't explain it. Don't ask me why. It was definitely impulsive but once strapped into my car, I knew it was the right thing to do with that $20. (Some people might think it is questionable that I am being told to cut back on spending when clearly I make very good choices....hee hee.....apparently those people do not know me AT ALL!)

In my defense, I don't shop at Walmart if I can help it and when I do, I don't usually let my eyes wander to the big bargain bins of fun things. And I usually am not talking to my soccer team manager while doing those two things and wouldn't then mention the hilarity of the gigantic Llama stuffed animal that 'I am sure I need to get for my daughter Lily.....and oh look! A Smiling Sloth!' I blame my manager for telling me her daughter would love the sloth....because now I have one. In my car.

At any rate, here is Sloth strapped in.



Seriously. Something's very wrong with me. But look how happy he is!



So I picked up the girls from the bus stop that day.

"Mom, do we need to ask?" one of them said.

"No. Better if you don't. But, oh, you are giving a Sloth to your little sister, Leah, by the way." (They are in a mentorship program with my soccer teams and Leah is their little sis. It justifies everything.)

Anyway, they know me pretty well, so they snickered a bit, and I am pretty sure there may have been some eye rolling action going on, but they knew to leave it alone.

A little later, I went to the elementary school to pick up Solomon. He got into the car and there was this silent pause before he closed the door. Then I looked in my rearview mirror and saw him glaring at Sloth. The next thing I know, he is beating the snot out of Sloth with his book bag!

"Solly! Why are you beating up my pet Sloth?!" I intensely asked.

"Because.... HE STOLE MY SEAT!" Solly yelled back.


****

Later that night, a coaching friend texted me a bit upset because a basketball parent had become belligerent with him at his Futsal practice, called him arrogant, told him soccer did not belong on a basketball court, among other things.

"Want me to stick Sloth on him?" I texted back, hoping to lighten up the situation.

"No, the parent would probably just call him lazy," he said.

"Well," I replied, "Sloth's been sitting in the same damn seat ALL DAY! He IS lazy!"

I probably need to work on my empathy skills.

****

Meanwhile, Liam knew nothing about Sloth. He had been picked up and dropped off in my car several times during the day, but had been in and out of the front seat and never looked back. We were on the way to school and running a bit late the next morning when I came to a quick stop and commented, "Hopefully my pet Sloth doesn't fall out of his seat."

Liam looked at me confused as he struggled to get his seatbelt on.

"Are you calling me a Sloth?" he questioned.

"Um, no. I am referring to my pet Sloth," I said, pointing to the back seat.

Liam turned around and immediately started belly laughing like I have never heard from him. He was so tickled he could hardly contain it.

Solly, quietly sitting next to Sloth, was not amused.

"It really isn't that funny," Solly scolded Liam.

"Yes, it really is!" Liam snorted.

"No, he is REALLY ANNOYING!" Solomon exclaimed. "Why do we even have to have him IN THE CAR?!"

"Well," I said calmly. "I could hide him in your bed as a little surprise if you'd rather."

"Well then I will just put him outside your bedroom door before you wake up and see how YOU like it!" Solly exclaimed.

"You are right. That would probably startle me....Sloth would definitely make me jump first thing in the morning," I admitted.

Solly got really quiet....and then, out of nowhere, starts laughing and laughing and laughing....

"Mom, why can't you take me to school first? I might be late now!" Solly asked once he got a hold of himself.

"Just tell your teacher Sloth made you late," I told him.

"But I blame you!" he said.

"That may be more true, but it is WAY more interesting if you tell her it was your pet sloth!"

"Still annoying," he said before getting out of the car, a half smile still planted on his face.

"Have a great day, Solly!" I yelled back.

It's about making memories y'all!

I heard a quote recently that resonated with me. It went something like this:
"Now I know, my life will not make me happy but happiness will make my life."

And that is why I bought the happiest Sloth ever.....

(Totally. Worth. Every. Penny! hee hee hee)


The Sunrise

Sloth watching the sunrise

Sloth meeting the cat

Totally. Worth. It.