Screaming Finale

Eh, let's file this one under "glass half full."

Saturday morning was Kassie's last soccer game for the outdoor season and we were once again in the presence of "Cody's" screaming banshees, er, family.

I won't bore you with repetitive type but suffice to say it as "Cody! Cody! Cody!" ALL over again. "Mercedes" parents were mercifully silent. Perhaps they read my blog?

Anywho, Cody's gallery, perhaps realizing we had all become numb to their constant stream of screaming decided to trick it up a bit by adding helpful commentary to the game. This, I supposed, in case Cody had somehow plumb FORGOT how to play soccer since taking to the field and would be forced to rely on the screaming from his grandfather (?), Uncle (?), Own personal demon (?) to keep him on track .

What Gramps decided to scream was "she's pushing! Don't let HER push you! She's pushing you Cody. Don't let her push you! Hey that GIRL is pushing you! That girl's pushing!" "She" you may have guessed, was Kassie. She was not pushing him, she was jockeying for the ball and, since she kept taking it off Cody, Cody's people were understandably less than impressed.

Poor Cody having to be jostled in play by a GIRL. Oh the horror.

Now, not five minute later, Cody, in legal play, inadvertently plowed in to another girl on our team, Lucy. Lucy is about as tall as my thumb and weighs only slightly less than, say, a puff of air. So when Cody plowed in to her (accidently) she went down like a sack of bricks. At this point Cody's people shouted "Yeah! Get her Cody! Take her down!"

To which I could only turn and say, incredulous, "is that the same gentleman that was incensed because my daughter was jostling HIM?"

To their credit three OTHER fans from that team, turned to me, rolled their eyes and one spoke "he's like this at EVERY game. He's SUCH a chauvinist!" They also added "please don't judge all of us by him."

I promised not to.

And yet, after the game, Mr. Yelled-himself-Hoarse (but sadly not quite enough) approached Mike, as coach. He explained that he knows he gets really loud but he's just so EXCITED and that this was the best game he'd seen all season and he had a really nice time at our field and he just likes the boy to know he's there, show his support and all.

And suddenly, he's  human. Sure, he's still quite possibly the loudest human I've personally met - but human nonetheless. And I thought that in a world where we hear how kids are falling through the cracks and don't get enough support at home, and extended family aren't there for each other - is a grandfather who screams himself hoarse at every single game not because he has to but because he's proud, and he wants to. I decided there are probably worse things than being "Cody" and having your name shouted far and wide by people who care about you - even if this does make the soccer moms deaf.

So, go Cody! And all the other kids who went out in the stifling heat and later freezing rain and took to the field whether they love the game or joined a team and by golly they weren't going to quit before the season ended.

I cheer for each and every one of you. I just cheer QUIETLY because I don't have the lung capacity to compete with Super Fan.


Y ou know how I said that a certain local soccer league is where sportsmanship goes to die? Well, I am pleased to be able to say publicly that I am going to eat my words.

Today Matthew played his final game for the season. It is bitter, frigid, cold. They play in shorts and short sleeves. We could see our breath. Not ten minutes in Matthew makes an amazing play for the ball which, unfortunately, ends in a graceful slide right into a very deep, very wide, puddle. He was completely in it. Laid out, his entire body half submerged. One of the parents on OUR team yelled "Swim Matthew Swim!" It was THAT bad. There were gasps along the sideline. Even the OTHER team's players offered him a hand up and  "dude that's bad" commiseration. Gamely he stood up - shook his head like a dog, and trotted back down the field. His clothes dripping wet, water streaming down his legs.

Not five minutes later a very lovely woman comes trotting toward us from the other team's fan base. She is holding out a thick, black sweatshirt and ever-so-graciously asks us if Matthew would like to wear it. She doesn't know us from a hole in the wall, we are the opposition, but as a mother she saw one wet, dripping child and didn't think "game advantage" but "I have an extra shirt here."

That's class. It's also a reminder that good sportsmanship doesn't begin - or end - on the field.

Being a boy he did, of course, say "no thank you" (arrgh!) and I am ashamed to say I didn't catch her name. However, I want to give a shout out to the lovely mother who offered a sweatshirt in kindness. It may not have had a chance to warm my son but it definitely warmed this mother's heart.

Wanted: Your Decorating .02 Sense

Okay, so let's say that I'm getting the yen to actually, finally, decorate the attic/play space. I mean sure, it's been nine years and we'd hate to rush in to anything but I'm thinking it might be time.

So I need input, opinions. I could just go ahead and do what I want but I'd rather endlessly hash over the ifs, ands, or buts. If I play my cards right I could put off a decision - and thus not have to actually bust a move to do anything - for a few more years, easy.

So right now we have worn, scrubby old stairs. Rustic, yes but splintery too. Being a lover of typography I'm kind of drawn to this look. Finished tread, white back, some lettering. Is this a "love it" or a "hate it" do we think?

And, what is "our" opinion on paint/stain hybrids for railings ala'

Please comment or e-me. I just can't do this alone!

Things Better Left Unsaid

Isuspect everyone who knows me thinks "oh that Kym, she's so outspoken" (that or "her big mouth is going to get her beat down one day") but I often say I don't get enough back-pats for my remarkable self-control.

Case in point yesterday's soccer game in a nearby community. This I refer to as "the place where sportsmanship goes to die." I'm sure not EVERY Fan in their league is annoying but they definitely do take annoyance and poor sportsmanship to a higher art form than other communities. I'm just sayin'.

For Matthew's U15 game, their player  knocked out our goalie by kicking her when she had the ball. When that didn't work he simply grabbed her jersey and threw her down. She's a tough one but being body slammed did, in fact, cause her to lose her grip on the ball. As she fell their player then stepped around her and kicked the now dropped ball into the goal. While the poor girl lay, prone on the field with our coach assessing her injuries, a little gaggle of parents from the other team mused, idly, "so do we get to keep that goal?" This is when I knew I was sitting on the sidelines with Satan's own soccer fans.

Meanwhile, another community was removed from the league a few years ago for "being too rough and playing dirty." To which I can only suggest that unless they brought guns and knives to the field, I find it hard to believe they were any rougher than this group.

During Kassie's game we were sitting near "Cody's" family. Cody's family, it should be noted, was very vocal. Now, hey, I love to cheer for the kids - mine and anyone else's - as much as the next soccer fan. I like a nice "good job Morgan, great hustle Nick, it's okay we'll get 'em the next time!" as much as the next person. I aim to cheer as much, if not more, for other people's kids because I know the little thrill of excitement when someone else is cheering for a kid. I am not, I promise, the Grinch that stole soccer fandom.

Then we come to  "Cody." Or shall I say "CODY! CODY! CODY! CODY! CODY! CODY! CODY!" screamed at top pitch ad nausea throughout the entire game. Seriously. "Go Cody! Get the ball CODY! Good job CODY! Get 'em CODY! You go CODY! GO CODY! GO CODY! GO CODY! GO!!!" Maybe I'm just jealous because Cody had about fifteen fans and every last damned one of them was bent on making sure that Cody - and people in the next county - knew they were there by God. Lest you think that Cody was special needs and only repeated instruction from the sidelines kept him on track let me assure you that is not the case. Cody could play ball. I kind of suspected he ran faster just to get the he@$ away from all the screaming from the sidelines.  We just leaned over to each other from time to time and said, wryly, "I'm not sure, but I think one of those kids might be named Cody ..." It was that or resort to yelling "Cody please come poke my eardrums out so I don't have to listen to these people screaming your name another second!"

Of course, "Mercedes" parents were not to be outdone by Cody's fan base. So THEY started screaming "Go Mercedes, Run Mercedes!" etc. etc. What they lacked in getting such a late start in making sure their child's name was out there loud and proud they more than made up for in volume.

Now, I am usually a fairly nice person and I pick on people my own age - not children. I also  have children named out of thin air and after a soap opera character, respectively, so I am hardly one to throw stones. However, after already being worn to a nub with "Cody," "MERCEDES!" was just the icing on the cake.

It took all I had to keep me from leaping up and starting to randomly  yell my own cheers at non-existent players on OUR team. I was dying to start with "GO TOYOTA CORROLLA!" "MOVE THAT BALL Impala!"

Somehow I just knew, however, that when I started to cheer for "Toyota Prius" and "Ford Focus" the jig would most definitely be UP.

Memories are made of this ...

H ad a ball at Kayla's field hockey last night. Visited my old high school. I don't think I've been back since shortly after I graduated. I got all choked up and missed it for a moment. So many memories.

I probably crossed a line, however, when I took a quick snapshot of the girl's bathroom. It was as if I could still smell the AquaNet and strawberry lip gloss ...

Is that to-go or will you be wearing it here?

E veryone should be pleased to know that I no longer smell like cappuccino - much.

And, for the record, french-vanilla cappuccino really does offer excellent curl enhancement. Marvelous holding power.

Soccer smells a lot like ... French Vanilla?

You would think as a veteran soccer mom I would have better reflexes - or cooler moves.

One moment I was sitting court side, sipping a tasty french vanilla cappucino. The next, a soccer ball came flying off field right at my head. Now, I may be bad at soccer but I ROCK at self-preservation. I instinctively put up my arm to shield my face. Yay me! Except the ball hit my cup instead of my head, causing the lid to fly off with a mighty "crack!" and the cappuccino I was holding to drench me. People two seats down were hit in the back splash. The entire game came to a halt so the official could say "are you okay?!" while he struggled not to laugh.

Fortunately Dawn, Kayla, Adam and Matthew had a front row seat. For the rest of the afternoon I smelled great - like french vanilla mocha! ;-)