This spring, we decided to minimize the crazy and let the middle three enjoy sports while Will took a season off. Man, that was a good parenting decision. They don’t come along often, but when they do – oh boy. First, I’ll give you the d-low on the seasons so you can fully enjoy ten photos of pictorial sports bliss. Just remember these numbers: 4, 3, 24 and 31. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why.
First up was baseball. John Paul entered registration late (totally my fault) and ended up on a team with players a good half hour away. But, it ended up being an awesome team and we compromised on practices, just going to one a week since the other was an hour drive away in Friday afternoon traffic. Nothankyouverymuch. Most weeks, we had one game, but there were a few times we pulled a double and during tournament week that was just a whole big ball of crazy. That week we ended up having three baseball games, a PK graduation, a sports banquet and Anna-Laura’s birthday party. I almost committed myself. Unfortunately, Shoal Creek was full. Biggest lessons of the season?
1. John Paul hates to lose. Thankfully, it only happened once. The team ended up first in the regular season and swept the tournament. Yeah, we were a little proud. He is quite the baseball player. I can only remember a couple of times he struck out. He and baseball just “get” each other and it was a total blast watching him play and hearing the ‘ting’ as the bat made contact with the ball. I never thought I’d live to see the day when I would actually enjoy watching baseball.
2. The coaches make all the difference. Our head coach, Eric, and his many assistants did a great job teaching the boys the fundamentals. That mentality paid off.
3. The parents were equally great. We didn’t have one screamer in the bunch, thank you Jesus.
4. Don’t take pictures of John Paul when he’s up to bat. Everytime I did it, he batted horribly.
5. Don’t forget your lefty’s glove at home. He can’t borrow anyone else’s!
Clare Bear and her Soccer Coach Momma. Last season, I tried my hand at U5 soccer. Basically, I learned all you have to do is send the kids the right direction and teach them how to dribble. I use the word “coaching” fairly loosely. It didn’t really matter to Clare, though. She loved being on the field. I did have to tear her away from picking flowers on occasion. However, her dribbling, passing and goal making skills dramatically improved from the fall to the spring. If I had to give an award for most improved, Clare definitely gets it. The bonus was that our entire team came back from the fall and the other two coaches and I really had a good time working together. I don’t know if I’ll be coaching this spring as Clare has indicated dancing is her activity of choice. We ended the season with a pool party and the kids had a blast.
Anna-Laura is our tiger cub. For her, soccer is serious bizness. It wasn’t her first season playing, but it was the first time she could call several of her classmates from school her teammates. What a great season! As Scott said, “Man, when they start playing at school, look out!” They played so beautifully together and I believe that had much to do with her coach. Fortunately for us, he lives in the neighborhood and practices are at his house. It cut down on the crazy by the million. There are two photos, one of her from last season and one from this season.
Obviously, with three playing sports, we did a lot - A LOT - of dividing and conquering. When we weren’t snapping photos, bringing snacks, hauling baseball bats and soccer balls, forgetting water bottles and looking for parking spaces, we were busy playing “Star Wars” with sticks as light sabers and chasing Luke all over God’s creation. In total we brought 4 team snacks, attended 3 team parties, made it to 24 sports practices and cheered on our kids at 31 games.
I wouldn’t have wanted to spend our spring any other way. This is a great chapter of life.