There She Blows!

Fall ball. It’s not serious. It’s training, learning, casual and fun. To most people. Repeat after me people,”Fall ball”.

Monday night I sat and listened as one father slammed my daughter. I stayed silent. He’s an idiot-or a genius who doesn’t know to come in out of the rain-either way he’s stupid. Let me interject something here–Contrary to most peoples beliefs I don’t seek drama. That’s my daddy in me.

There is a point where I don’t walk away from drama either. That’s my mama in me.

I am proud of both.

Next night. 3rd inning. My hero-coach Jesse gives everyone and I mean everyone a chance. The girls rotate. Outfield, sitting and infield..every girl moves thru his rotation. He teaches girls that would never be able to learn otherwise. He believes in them and they give him their all. And even if their all is not perfect they know he will still believe in them the next game, and the next and the one after that.

My precious girl gets to play 1st base-she gets to learn 1st base-during the 3rd inning. It’s her chance and she lives for the chance.

Pop fly to right field. Younger Player almost gets it. Moron behind me says, “if (insert his daughters name here) was playing that would have been an out.” My daddy side of me bit my tongue and watched the game. Moron dad keeps taking and talking and talking. First he laments to another parent that her daughter doesn’t belong in the outfield.

I want to shout,”hey $&$&&$!-my daughter plays outfield , but I don’t. I move down a little further on the bench and try to ignore ignoramous. He’s hard to ignore. Most idiots are.

“3rd inning is when he (coach) puts in the (I hears lesser) LESSER players.” Duuuuudddddeeee. I am right here!! We’ve played with this jerk for 2 years. He know me. He knows my daughter. The tone he used to portray his disgust at the outfield is grating.

Luckily, I am distracted by a shaky throw from 3rd to….you got it….first and my daughter who is playing first.
My girl grabs it (wahoo) and drops it (dang). Self-proclaimed commentator feels the need to voice his opinion. “I don’t know why HE does this.”

I am starting to feel less and less like my calm dad.

Because there are no outs and it’s 8:45 the ump calls last inning. Mush-for-brains has got an opinion about that,”well this game just got out of hand.” He’s talking about the defense. My daughter and the defense. “He needs to do something,” implying that he thinks he needs to remove all those lesser players from the field??? “Ohhhhhh! This could be never ending,” he’s still talking but I’ve become my mothers daughter and have had enough.

“Sir!” I take a deep breath. I am going to need it. I pivot around on the bench to where he sits-right behind my left shoulder. Word is wisdom here-if you are going to slam someone’s daughter perhaps you should sit farther away from her mother. Just sayin’. “That’s my daughter out there and that is about the 3rd negative thing you’ve had to say. This is fall ball. He’s giving them he chance to learn. It’s the only way they will learn,” I don’t raise my voice but I am using my best mom voice. He’s staring straight ahead and won’t look at me. The mother next to him is wide eyed. “Stop. Please!” He mumbles “well I am sorry” without ever looking at me. I turn back to my seat and resume watching the game. Smart-stupid-man thankfully quietens his commentary. There are whispers which I am positive involve me but that doesn’t bother me. Mess with me-okay-mess with my daughter or coach Jesse-not okay.

We lost the game. And guess what? The world didn’t end. No one was hurt and the earth kept spinning. IT IS FALL BALL!. And guess what-5 girls got to play infield. 5 girls left that field knowing that their coach believes in them. 5 girls learned a little but more about the game they love. And you know what?! That’s way more important to me.

Damn that man for making me use my softball mom voice.

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A Day

Today was my wedding anniversary. Well, I guess technically it is the anniversary of the day I got married. The second time.

It’s just a day. There are 364 days just like it. A day that started at 12:00a and that will end at 11:59. The sun came up. The sun will do down. This day will be made of 24 hours. That’s it. It’s just a day.

There wasn’t anything to celebrate on this day. Nothing to look back on or forward to…not the kind of things one typically looks back on or towards on their anniversary day.

There was no one to share anything with. My babies didn’t know this was anything but a Sunday. It’s not a day fhat matters to anyone else. I busied myself so as not to think too much about the day. I put the finishing touches on my little ones costume. I made my girls soft fuzzy pillows as a test for some Christmas presents I want to make. I sewed a new pillow for my couch. I made baked spaghetti and cheddar bay biscuits. It was a normal Sunday. There was laundry to be done and dishwashers to be unloaded. So that’s what I did. I did everything I was supposed to do. Everything that was expected of me.

Except I didn’t get out of my pajamas. I didn’t put on make-up or even get out of my glasses. I didn’t go visit my friends. I didn’t function outside the walls of my tiny little house.

I couldn’t be sad. Not visibly anyway. I had little eyes on me all day. They wouldn’t have understood and I didn’t have the words to explain it to them. Instead they thought it was their lucky day. Their “hang out” and “do whatever” day. Those don’t happen so often around here.

Friday I got divorced and Sunday I ignored the day that started it all. It’s a lot to take in on such a short amount of time. And I had a bigger job to do than dealing with ME. I had costumes to make and driving lessons to give. There were groceries to buy. There wasn’t time to mourn things that were lost. No time to ponder things that are over. There was just time to do the Sunday chores and to treat this day, this day like any ordinary day.

Hoopla-less

When you get married there is hoopla. Even when you elope and get married under a tree in a Northern State wearing jeans…there is hoopla. Hoopla in the form of flowers, champagne, cake, cameras and people. There are people there smiling and happy. There is activity. There is merriment. There is happiness.

I got divorced today. Sitting at my desk. Alone at 2p on a Friday afternoon. No hoopla. No people. No merriment. Just a signed piece of plain, white paper. I got divorced on the day before I would have celebrated being married. It’s just a date on a piece if paper but the timing of it is just one more sad part of this story.

It’s a lot of work to get divorced. I am not sure what I expected…certainly not hoopla but I guess I thought it would feel different. Like the end of something. Like the final page of a book; a book with a twisted plot that I never saw coming. I thought there would be hoopla of some sort-even if it was just relief or closure. Maybe at the very least I thought the thing that ended it all would be on some special paper, legal and impressive paper-but it’s not. The final decree is on plain white copy paper with black ink and a red signature scrawled across the top that makes it official. It’s not impressive. And I am not quite sure how to feel about that. Something so powerful and altering should look the paper. It should look like it matters. But it doesn’t.

Am I supposed to be happy? Am I supposed to be sad? What am I supposed to feel or even do right now? I don’t know. I really don’t know. It feels like I should do something. But what? I don’t know.

This happened on a Friday. I’ve hated Friday’s since this all began. Fridays are the worst day. Friday is the day that most reminds that me that I am alone. No more making plans, no more Friday food or a cozy night at home. Friday mock me. They tease me like a school yard bully. I suppose it’s fitting that this would end on a Friday. The Friday before I would have celebrated being married.

On the middle of the plain white paper it reads: The prior name of Plaintiff, ELIZABETH HELEN HAYES, is restored to her.

Just like that. My original name is restored to me. Thanks to my piece of plain white paper I am back to where I started…name wise anyway.

So now I take my new old name and “restore” my life back. I’ll change my name in social media. I’ll alter my “about me paragraph” here on my blog. I’ll change my license, my checks and the name on all my bills. I’ll change my monogram. I’ll relearn my signature. I’ll start over with my old name. Guess it’s fitting-all these changes I have to make-fitting to have to change so much because of something that changed me.

And so, with the flourish of a red pen on a plain white piece is paper-it’s done. And that is that.

Rickets

All I know about rickets is that it happened a lot on ships (pirate in my mind) and that it is caused by a lack of fruit and vegetables. Think it makes your bow-legged? Suffice it to say I don’t know much.

I am convinced that my floundering little family is at risk for rickets. We are on the road at various events 4 days a week. They at all at their dad’s the other weekday. We are all eating cheap and fast and conveniently. Vegetables aren’t cheap or convenient. And no one likes them. And I don’t know how to cook them. Ergo we don’t eat them. (Like how I use of the word ergo as if it is going to erase how idiotic i am? )

My idea of a well balanced meal usually included opening a can of Mandarin oranges on $5 pizza night. With our schedules I haven’t been able to even do that. I rush to watch my 4year old NOT PLAY her Tuesday tee ball game. Leave her mid game (still NOT PLAYING) to rush her brother to the other side of town to diving lesson. Leave there and go all the way back to where I was to make the big girls 7:30 game. If I am good I am able to pick up the pizza pre-non-playing-tee-ball-game-time. That doesn’t happen a lot. If I am smart I leave early from
watching my daughter stubbornly sitting in the bench to get the pizza pre-diving. No ones ever accused me if being smart so that doesn’t happen a lot either. Plus, I gotta believe one day she WILL play and as soon as I leave she will step up to the tee.

When I do give up all my false hopes and leave the tee ball to get the $5 pizza it gives man child 15 minutes to wolf down his pieces before diving. Now that he’s learning flips he’s less inclined to eat pre-practice so it’s getting to be a waste of time to hustle there before making the trek to the UGA Natatorium. Plus he is actually doing his sport so I tend to get waylaid by the site is 15 kids at various heights all flipping, twisting , turning and catapulting into the water. It’s amazing to watch kids stand 5 stories above the water, step to the edge of a platform where they get into a handstand before twisting or flipping 4 times to the blue water below.

Seriously, I barely leave the Natatorium In time to get back to the other side of town to watch the 1 1/2 hour softball game. And now that man child is DRIVING I am not able to scooter poor from one place to the other as quickly (recklessly) as I once did. Ergo it’s typically 9:30 before we even get dinner. No one is waiting for oranges at 9:30. They aren’t even waiting for plates!

Life calms down in late November. Softball is over. The embarrassment that is Tee ball will thankfully be over and all that’s left is swimming/diving. It will be back to dinner like normal people. With real food. At a table. With plates. I’ll be back to slaving away over a tricky can opener. If we can just make it a few more weeks without succumbing to rickets than we should be okay. Maybe.

Who am I kidding? Life may slow down but that won’t change the fact that I don’t know how to cook vegetables. I don’t know how to cook them and no one at my house knows how to eat them! Hope mandarin oranges are enough to keep the rickets at bay. If you see is walking around like this feel free to administer a dose of green beans.

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Re-Creator—that’s me

I am 10 gallons of crazy in a 5 gallon bucket. Admittedly. And it’s never more evident than around Halloween. What started as a good mommy idea has turned into something else entirely.

For $9.99 you can have a Halloween costume. Kids can be anything they want…a princess, a cat, mickey mouse, that chick from Frozen, a witch or anything else imaginable. One trip to the store and VIOLA! The child is happy, the mom marks a ‘to-do’ item off the list and all is well. I KNOW THIS. She wants to be a Princess. I know this too. We could go to Party City and pick from any number of plastic, cheap Princess costumes. I know this.

Is that what I do? Oh no. Instead I take the bat&*^% crazy route and make costumes. I don’t know why I think this is necessary. I don’t know why I always think, “I can do that” when in reality, I can’t. Someday I must invest in therapy to figure out this absurd obsession with the HOMEMADE HALLOWEEN. But not right now…I am too busy making a list of items I need for THE HOMEMADE HALLOWEEN costume I’ve convinced myself I have to make.

I was so close…so very close…my little daughter will be with her Dad this Halloween. I am taking the BIGS to a football game—their school against my nephews school—out of town. Halloween wasn’t even on my radar. Halloween was going to be a non-event for me this year. No hot glue, no sequins, no plastic flowers and not a single piece of ribbon would be part of my Friday night. NADA. I pretended it was a relief. And it was. Until….

I freaking hate pintrest. I had accepted that Halloween wasn’t mine to stress over this year. I had. I had made peace with the fact that my little one would be in a costume that I didn’t make. I had. The peace lasted until late one sleepless night when I made the mistake of opening Pintrest. And there…there on the screen…was an adorable HANDMADE costume. I closed the app like a 13-year old boy caught sneaking a peek at a girlie magazine….but it was too late. The damage had been done. I had seen it. There was no taking it back. Denial is a strong emotion. Insanity is stronger. Visions of tulle and hot glue began dancing in my head.

Just like the dreaded 7th grade science project, the worst part of HOMEMADE HALLOWEEN is deciding what to do. Luckily there is pintrest. See, I don’t even come up with my own ideas. I see something I like and I re-create. I am a creative fraud. I am a re-creator and that isn’t the same thing. But I digress….I stalked, um….scoured…pintrest. It had to be something I could totally do on my own. In years past I’ve come up with ideas but needed help executing some part of it. I didn’t have that this year. It had to be stinking adorable…I have a rep to protect after all. The memory of the comment, “We can’t wait to see what she is from year to year” rang in my head as I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled through costume ideas. And, for the record, I am warped but there are some seriously obsessed people with wwwwaaaayyyyy tooooooooooo much time on their hands. Seeing some of the extravagant costumes I gave myself a list of rules.
• It has to be cute.
• It could NOT involve power tools.
• It had to be something her Dad could execute.
• It had to be manageable in case she got to wear it to school.
• It had to be cheap.
• It could not be elaborate.
• I had to be able to do it in a few hours here and there.

With those in mind I kept up the search. I’d have moments of clarity—mostly when I realized I had no clean underwear or towels—when I asked myself when exactly I planned to do this silly, silly task. Those moments were short lived. I am a re-creator…I can’t be bothered with logistics like time or necessity. Not me.

My sleepless nights quit being filled of ‘woe is me’ or sad thoughts and instead were filled with ideas of how exactly to make her into a box of cutie oranges while still allowing her to go to the bathroom.; or, how to get that yarn to stick to her tights when I made her look like spaghetti and meatballs. At 3am following my self-imposed list of rules didn’t happen. Luckily, in the light of day and after LOTS of coffee I remembered the ‘rules’ and went back to concocting ideas that were much saner—like the tulle penguin or the cupcake. Although with orange balloons and a large printer I could have pulled off the Orange Cutie costume.

And there it is…my admission that I have crossed back over into the dark side of HOMEMADE HALLOWEEN. I would write more but I am off to tackle the growing list of supplies needed to pull of this year’s debacle. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned. Here is last years re-creation of a Pinterest idea.20141022-172640-62800442.jpg

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Double Shot

My son and nephew are the best of pals…always have been. They are 6 weeks apart and have been friends their entire lives. They live an hour and half a way from one another. My son is a city boy and my nephew is a country fella but they make it work. C (my son) is talkative and hyper and excitable but charming and funny when he wants to be. D (my nephew is laid back and calm. His dry sense of humor and perfect sense of timing make me laugh. Together they are like a little comedy duo.

For all of their little lives my son and nephew have been hunting. They pack up in the fall and head to the ‘hunting club’ with my dad. He expanded his cabin and added bunk beds when they started going regularly. He’s taught them the ropes of the ‘club’ and of the woods. When the girls get to make their yearly visit the boys treat us to grilled chicken wings made from a hand-welded grill in the center of camp. They know their way around the camp which is neat to see. My dad has hunted pretty much with this same club all the years I’ve been aware of. It’s a serious camp and there are certain ways of doing things. To be part of this camp you adhere to the rules. My dad’s taught them well. I grew up knowing these men and getting to visit the camp in the off season. Now my son is growing up knowing them and their grandsons. It’s pretty cool.

Before anyone gets up in arms about hunting let me tell you that my dad and son don’t hunt for sport. They hunt for food. If they kill it, they eat it. That’s the deal. Fried squirrel 3 Thanksgiving’s ago is proof of that.

Back to this weekend. Just the 3 of them headed to the woods this weekend. Opening day is Saturday, October 18th but my nephew read that under 16 could hunt this weekend. Last year they hunted and when Dustin saw a deer he fired but didn’t have a bullet in the gun. Another time they were both asleep when a deer came by. They’ve taken gun safety courses together and even took a DNR class with my dad. They read the magazines and talk the talk but, to date, they haven’t walked the walk. They tend to be talkative and rambunctious when they are together so I never imagined that they had the patience or the ability to stay quiet long enough to actually hunt.

This weekend, like all the others, they took over the RHINO (my dad’s all-terrain vehicle). No telling how many miles they put on that poor vehicle. From what I understand they blazed trails that hadn’t been blazed before. They learned to seed a field which was a whole lot like dancing I thought as my son and nephew illustrated their moves. My dad told them to do it evenly and to get their own rhythm. My son’s rhthym involved a whole lotta hip action. I don’t forsee that field growing very evenly. Their adventures even toppled over their poor grandpa as they were exploring. I guess a white lawn chair and a bungee cord in the back of an all-terrain vehicle with a 15 year old driver isn’t too steady. “Momma-we told grandpa that wasn’t a good idea but he said it’d be alright. When he fell out of that chair D and I were afraid to even look back there. We just sat there a minute. D finally said, ‘you alright back there’ and grandpa said he was. D said ‘well your drink a’int’ ‘cause Momma-his drink went everywhere! We let him drive after that.”

Eventually they quit driving and started walking. According to them they were walking thru the woods shaking horns to attract deer. (How do shaking horns make sounds? I didn’t want to appear stupid so I didn’t ask.) Midway thru the woods my fella poked my nephew and pointed out a deer. He mimed how he slowly put down the antlers. The both raised their guns and fired. “Man I didn’t even feel the gun recoil,” they both said. C said he was ready to fire again but the buck went down. They tracked their prey as it ran a few feet away.

At this point I wish I could have been a witness. My son tells a hysterical version of them standing over looking at the young buck. “Before we got there I think we were both thinking the other one got it,” C admitted. “I was saying I did and he was saying he did.” D jumped in,”…but then we got up to it and I thought it was a doe so I said “nope man, that’s all yours’,” he was laughing. C jumped in, “…and I said NOPE-it’s all yours!” I asked why and they explained that there were rules to what you could hunt this time of year. When they thought their catch was something out of season and would come with a hefty fine they were content to let the other take the glory/fall. “But then it twitched,” and my nephew explained how he jumped away and babbled, “it’s moving, it’s moving, it’s moving”. C was laughing at him. He wasn’t taking any chances and made my son get the head end of the deer and together they carried it through the woods and back to the RHINO. I asked how they got it onto the bed of the rhino and they illustrated how they pushed and tossed until they got it up there. “It was heavy!” my nephew said. “And it was sorta weird ‘cause it’s head was facing the wrong way by the time we got it up there. That adrenaline is something,” picturing the 2 of them a) realizing that they had gotten him b) concocting a way to get it on the trailer and c) actually getting in there makes me laugh.

I asked about the reaction they got when they got back to camp. Since ‘both my dad’s boys were girls’ he’d never gotten to experience the pride of seeing his offspring carry on the hunting tradition. I figured he had to be over the moon at seeing his ‘boys’ carry on the sport. “You know Grandpa, he don’t show a lot of emotion,” drawled my nephew when I asked if my dad was excited. My son picked up the next sentence, “His voice never changed—it stayed even,” he slide his hand horizontal to the ground. “We pulled up and said ‘Want to help us skin a deer?’ and he said ‘good job boys’ but his voice was even. It didn’t even go up.”

However, when I asked my dad about the events he seemed tickled. He explained that the entrance wounds were inches apart and that they shared an exit wound. The boys had to shoot at exactly the same time for that to happen. How fitting; the very best of pals sharing this rite of passage. I think it’s so awesome that they did it together, they had to figure out how to get it back to the camp and then they got to learn how to…well…finish the job. He explained that the boys were excited and that my nephew was so thrilled that he was trembling. Being boys they were much more graphic about that experience than I would have liked. My son is 15 and my nephew is almost 15 so they tried to be real cool as they talked about it but they couldn’t quite mask the excitement as they took me moment-by-moment thru the experience.
It was the perfect way for this story to end..or to begin…and one that they will always remember.

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Ladies and gentleman start your engines

I made my first ride with my 15-year-old son today. I didn’t cry and I didn’t make him cry. We’ll just slide this experience into the win-win column.

I have a question. Where do boys learn to the I am so cool I can drive with my wrist move? Seriously. First legal drive ever (yep-there is a story there. Picture my aunt looking at me and saying incredulously -was that Colton that just drove by????) but I digress. It’s his first drive and he already had one hand casually thrown over the wheel like a college frat boy crusin the PCB strip during spring break. Uh 10 and 2 stud.

And that sideways, semi-propped slouch? Where does that come from? Too much The Fast and the Furious? Warning little Vin Diesel wanna be….you go fast and I’ll be furious. Sit up straight homeslice.

So there sat my boy-hat backwards, semi-slouched with his arm flung casually in a cranked car trying as hard as he could to not smile and give away how excited he was. He feels grown and I feel like he should still be laying on the ground making vroom, vroom noises as he races his matchbox cars round and round and round the den.

He was calm and cool and collected on the outside. I saw peeks of the little boy inside of him jumping up and down like a little boy on his first trip to Disney. He’s feeling the freedom of the road for oh, at least a quarter mile when a sleek, black, intimidating vehicle pulls out behind him. “He’s following too close! He’s following too close!” As cool as he wants to be his voice cracks a little and I have to laugh. I instruct him to pull into a neighborhood. The forbidding car streaks past. He starts breathing again and we take back to the road. In 500 feet another policeman can be seen. “Moooooommmm! Did you do this?!? Did you call them!” He asked in total
Seriousness as I was laughing. I assured him I didn’t. It was priceless. The PERFECT first drive story.

It won’t be long until we’ve got skrillex tunes (I don’t even know that was a genre-my 11 year old had to spell it for me) blaring and base thumping. I’ll yell “turn it down” and he will glance over from his semi-slouch with his wrist at 12 o’clock and cock that semi-grin at me while head dancing to music I can’t even understand. It’s coming-oh it’s coming.

For now though-10 and 2 and sit up like your momma taught you!

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