Best Sports Moment in History

Today, in their last game, my son’s soccer team finished the season undefeated.

It was his 6th birthday.

And when he scored his goal, he sprinted straight off the field, shouting joy, and tackled me in front of his team, his coach, his opponents, the entire kindergarten-YMCA-soccer-world.

They say winning the Super Bowl is great. I cry when my basketball favorites win the NCAA tournament. A World Series win for the home team is amazing, especially when you are in the ballpark. A victory at the Kentucky Derby, a gold medal at the Olympics… until today, they were the best moments in sports.

But nothing in all of sports will ever again beat my son tackling me after his goal the day he turned six.

Why Parents Need Grandparents’ Day

My mother always wonders at the number of parents who stick around for Grandparents’ Day.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about it. First, some of us are starting to feel protective of our parents. We want to make things easier for them when they are with us, since they are often not.

Second, at my sons’ school, it is one of the only opportunities to watch our kids perform – Grandparents’ Day and the Spring Concert, which isn’t until nearly May. Maybe if there were more concerts throughout the year, we would force ourselves to stay away for this one.

I doubt it though, because as parents, we get something important out of Grandparents’ Day. Not from our children, but from our parents. And this is why I think we really go. We get validation. We get to see our kids through our own parents’ eyes. We watch carefully, waiting for our parents to smile proudly when our sons and daughters step on stage or raise their hand when a teacher asks for a volunteer.

“That’s my grandson!”

Because when they are proud, when they smile, when you see how happy they are receiving a hug from our kids, then we know we are on track as parents.

Parenting is our most important job, and we learned what we know mostly from our kids’ grandparents. We have always sought approval from them. But this is the one task that matters most. We want them to see all that we learned from them. And though grandparents may be unconditional in their love of their grandchildren, we still get so much out of seeing that smile.

So, we do tend to get in the way a little at Grandparents’ Day. But like our kids, who love performing for their grandparents, we come away feeling like we just got a standing ovation too. And as grandparents know, those can be hard to come by in the day-to-day of parenting.

Since Him

As of October 30, my husband and I have been married for 13 years. We were together for more than a handful of years before that. There was life before him, and life since him. I still think of life before him as this very long, adventure-filled journey in which I grew up, learned everything I know, and became the person he first met and who I am today. I also keep thinking that it was much, much longer than my life since him. Post-him life has sped by. There is no way, in my mind until I count it out, that we have been together that long.

This anniversary, doing the math, I realized that while pre-him life remains slightly longer, it’s not by much. And I also realized that I have grown up, learned a lot, gone on quite a few adventures, and keep becoming who I am today with him in the years since him.

We have lived together in four cities, built lives there and moved on. We have hiked the Grand Canyon and the trails of Crested Butte. We have skied more mountains than I ever imagined getting down and surviving. We have explored Napa Valley and the streets of New Orleans. We have compared pizza in New York and Chicago. We have debated politics in many restaurants over many bottles of wine – some good and some bad. We have danced badly and sung Sweet Caroline together many times. We have fought while trying to read a map and drive at the same time. We have been to the horse races and nearly ten major league baseball parks. We have watched hundreds of Cape Cod sunsets together, though my first was when I was eight. We have gone to two weddings in Ireland and walked the West Highland Way of Scotland. We have laughed at ourselves and each other a lot. We have had three children, one of whom is already ten. We have changed diapers, cleaned up their puke, watched them walk, learn to talk, survive a broken an arm, learn to read, ride a bike, make a basket, try for a touchdown in the street. We have taken them to Niagara Falls, the Air and Space Museum, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and Bahamas.

I remember being ten like it was yesterday. Like it was during the since him era.

But when I think of all the things we have done together, I realize how long ago since him began. And how much fun we’ve had since then.

Love Is…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My new favorite thing to do on Valentine’s Day is to ask the kids what love means to them. My eight year old said he couldn’t tell me what love means, but he could expound upon what love is.

That’s when a forgotten, but favorite, Charlie Brown book came to mind, Love is Walking Hand in Hand by Charles Schulz. This book expresses the meaning of love in small moments or actions, as a child does. So, like good ol’ Charlie, I am collecting the child’s view of what love is…

“Love is my mom snuggling with me and my dog kissing my face.”

“When Daddy tickles, that’s how he says I love you.”

“Love is when you have a place for someone in your heart.”

“Love is when you wear a t-shirt that says Free Hugs and walk around your neighborhood.”