Sunday, May 15, 2011

Matthew and Soccer

One of the many new things that Matthew has been exposed to this spring, since starting school full time, is team soccer. He is, of course familiar with the concept. He's been kicking a soccer ball around the yard since he could walk. And he would come with me to watch his sister's soccer practice every week for the last two years. He would always grab one of the extra balls and kick it around while Embry practiced. And every couple of minutes I would have to pull him back off the field because he wanted so badly to join in.

So, when the opportunity came, we signed him right up. Here's some footage from the first after school practice. Because a lot of the kids have never played before, they are doing very basic stuff like dribbling the ball without using their hands. They are playing on the tennis courts because the it had just rained a whole lot that afternoon and the grassy field was a muddy mess.

Also, all of the kids ages 3 through 6 are playing together for the first practice. The coaches do this so they can sort them out according to ability and split them up into two groups for all of the following sessions.

So, as you can see, Matthew is engaged and seems really excited to finally be included.

Around the 3rd or 4th session, I started to notice a difference. When I would arrive to watch Matthew was no longer engaged with the other kids following instructions. He was sitting on the ground off to the side of the field... playing in the dirt. I would get his attention and tell him to go back to the group. He would reluctantly go back to the soccer, but after about 5 minutes, he would return to the dirt.

You see, Matthew has befriended another boy in his class. And together... they... are... trouble. And not just at soccer practice. Apparently, neither one of the cares too much about doing what everyone else is doing. Now to be clear, if the coach addresses them specifically, they'll grab their ball and return to the group. But, the two of them get bored real quick and spend most of the hour playing in the dirt, watching the older kids' group, and playing hide-and-seek.

Matthew's teacher has told me that the two of them continue this behavior in the classroom. She has much less patience than the soccer coaches, though. She constantly has to separate them to keep them from doing their own thing during group activities. Unlike Embry, who has always been concerned with being part of the group, Matthew (and his friend) don't seem to care.

We're talking to Matthew about listening to his teacher and not disrupting the rest of the class. But, I say, if he wants to be an individual, then go for it! Bill Gates is an individual, and I'm sure that Mark Zuckerburg was never the teacher's favorite.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


*This post is brought to you by UPS*

Why UPS? Well, there are two things that I should be doing right now. One is grocery shopping, and the other is sleeping. But, because I am awaiting the delivery of my shiny new vacuum cleaner, and because I know that UPS will not leave it here without a signature... I have to stay home and I have to stay awake. Technically, there is a third thing that I could be doing and that is working on my grilling class for Sunday. But, I've got 3 more days to put that off!

ANYWAY, because it has been months since my last post, I decided to focus on the biggest change around here since my last post. After being a stay-at-home Mom since February of 2005, I have started working (some) days again because my baby boy is now attending school full time. That's right. I am now without children all day, all week.

Yes, it has been 4 months since this change, but I am still not used to it. When I'm out and about during the day I always feel like I'm forgetting something, like I should be holding onto something with my free hand. Or I'll remember that I didn't pack a snack and then realize that I didn't need to pack one for just me. The absence of kids in my day to day life still seems huge.

In the beginning, everyone kept telling me that, OK, I'd miss them at first, but then I'd find all this free time. And after a while I'd realize how nice it actually is to have both kids in school. But, even now, I still miss them a ton and somehow, I have no free time during the day at all. Because my schedule at work has opened up, I have more responsibilities. It seems that conference calls, errands, and class organizing has sucked up any free time that I might have otherwise had.

However, I am still only working part-time. And now that I can do more work during the day, I can spend more evenings with my family. Before, I would get to eat dinner with J and the kids maybe twice a week. But now it's more like four or five times a week. So, although I'm spending much less time with Matthew, I'm spending more time with the entire family.

Embry still complains regularly that I work too much, which hurts every time she says it. I just calmly try to explain to her that, "Mama has to work so that you can go to school." She loves school, so this explanation seems to satisfy her... until the next day when she complains again. (I don't know where she get this constant complaining stuff from. It must have skipped a generation.)

So, despite feeling like I've had my children ripped from my arms at way too young an age, I know that these changes are good for everyone. More responsibility at work means that despite being one of the newest people there, I won't be the first one fired if they have to cut payroll. Matthew loves school (more details about this in a separate post), and is making great strides socially and with his speech delay. And I'm sure that J is thrilled that he doesn't have to make dinner and put the kids to bed by himself every night. Winners all around!

(But I still miss my babies.)