Sunday, November 20, 2011

Championship Goal

I was out of town for work on Saturday.

Casey's soccer team, which had lost a couple games over the season, somehow still managed to end the regular season in second place and was paired against the undefeated- and much bigger- first place team. I caught the last match between the two, and the other team was bigger, but I thought our team was faster. When we played, it was in the middle of the afternoon and it was hot. We held them off for most of the game, but they managed a single goal in the third quarter-- it went right over our goalie's head. Speed can beat size, but it's hard to do in the heat. Still, the boys played a great game.

At the championship play-off, the weather was much different. First, the game was at 8:30 in the morning. Second, it was rainy out. Not pouring, but it drizzled off and on. Also, our boys had not practiced in two or three weeks because of the time change-- just could not find time on a lit field.

At the end of the game, the score was tied. 0-0. So it went into sudden death overtime. Not long into the start of overtime, Casey's teammate made a break-away run toward the goal. He had three defenders on him. But Casey did exactly what he was supposed to do. He ran down the field, stayed in position, and was where he was supposed to be when his teammate, now swarmed by players from the other team, passed him the ball. Without hesitation, Casey captured it, kicked it toward the goal and scored the winning goal.

All the boys high fived hime and cheered. All the parents stood and screamed. After the game, everyone patted him on the head. He later told me he felt so happy and so proud. He got phone calls from grandparents congratulating him, and he got to hear the story re-told over and over again. It was probably one of the very best days of his life to date.

Of course, I wasn't there for any of it (figures, doesn't it), so all I got was a text message explaining briefly that he'd scored the winning goal, and this picture:

Oh, and I got the most amazing welcome home hug when I saw him Saturday evening.

It just goes to show you that it does not matter if you are the tallest or the smartest or even the best at something when you are on a team and you work together. That's what makes for championships. But, boy, it sure is nice to be the guy kicking the ball into the goal.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween!

With Halloween falling the Monday after Tate's birthday, things have been a bit on the crazy side this year. Last year, when I was home full time on maternity leave, I was able to get the kids all costumed up for their school's "Boogie Bash," get plenty of photos and head off for a fun time. Then, on the day Halloween came, we gathered at a neighbors for pizza before trick-or-treating. Again, plenty of time to get ready.

But things have been a bit more hectic this year.

First, on the afternoon of Boogie Bash, a small client emergency arose at work, which necessitated me working late into the day. Late enough that the family had just planned to go to Boogie Bash without me. Luckily, I was able to make it. But Marcie did not want to wear her pea-hen feathers (smartly), and Casey was worried his tail and feet would get ruined. So we sort of half-way dressed for Boogie Bash. Except Tate-- he was all in as Elmo.

Then, Saturday afternoon, we headed off to another costume party. Again, the kids were meh about the costumes. And we accidentally left Marcie's feathers at home. But Jason and I went all out. We each had two costumes-- our real costumes, and then we also dressed up like one of the couples at the party (Tate joined in the fun, too!).

I had planned to leave work early for Halloween, but again, it just was not going to happen. I hate feeling rushed at work when I have something else at home- so I figured I would just catch up with the family trick or treating. But then I got locked out of the house. And I did catch up. Just in my not-as-comfortable work clothes and shoes. And the kids were wildly uncooperative with photos. So, this was the best I could get:

Agent P (Perry the Platypus) from Phineas and Ferb.
A peahen is a female peacock (we learned that at the zoo in October). Marcie refused to wear her beautiful mask, which had more feathers to compliment the outfit. But that's okay. It was a homemade original, and she thought of it and put it together (except for the feathers, which Jason did) all herself.

Tate was super pleased to be dressed as Elmo. He insisted we keep the head up the whole time. he loved Halloween-- he wanted to stop and touch all the "scary" decorations and everything. A total trooper.

On the way down the street. Tate refused to stand still for any photos with a flash-- the light made him go wiggly. I think this is par for the course with three kids. . .

By the way, we let each child pick a piece of candy to eat on Halloween night, then 5 pieces of candy, one for each of the next five days. The rest gets donated to my office. Some people think we're mean. But how much candy does a kid need? When they were younger, I offered to trade books for candy-- to no avail. Then one year, I offered to buy the candy off of them. No dice. Finally, when I just said they could only keep five pieces, no one gave me a hard time-- so that's been our tradition ever since. They can pick any five pieces they want (except for Casey, for whom we recently cut out certain color dyes and so he was a little more limited). And they love the choosing. Plus putting out tons of leftover candy at work has been a good way to introduce myself to people at the new job. It's really a win-win.

What do you do for Halloween candy?