Bragging Rights

My seven year old decided to join a lacrosse team last month. He had never picked up a lacrosse stick, and needs to focus on schoolwork, but he persisted that he needed to try it. Fall lacrosse is casual, I was told. No practices. Just games. And I thought, how is a kid who has never picked up a stick going to figure this out?

A seven year old boy with a little rage might just end up swinging his stick wildly like a weapon. Yellow card. Yellow card.

But I signed him up.

And on the same day that he brought home a perfect spelling test, he scored his second goal of the season.

At seven, with only five games under his belt, he has already scored more goals than I did in my seven-year career warming the bench on my middle school, high school and college lacrosse teams.

Thank goodness I still have him on spelling tests… for now.

Snooze Fest

When I was a kid, I always used to say that I wanted to be a Dad. Not a likely prospect, however, for a girl. Now I remember where and why that wish was born.

For Fathers’ Day, I had our boys write cards to their Dad, and to tell him why they love him. But I should not have read the cards, because now I am mad at our eleven year old. Pretty unhappy with the six year old too.

“I wish you were home more often,” wrote the eldest. “Half the time you’re not here, it’s a snooze fest.”

A snooze fest?

This blasphemy after a week in which we – mom at the helm = went back and forth to the pool daily, took golf lessons (so we can play as a family), played a multi-game Ping-Pong tournament, entertained numerous friends and made homemade pizza.

Snooze fest?

Then he has the gall to say, “Dad, you want to play Ping-Pong?” And does a fist-pump when Dad says yes!

I played Ping-Pong!

Even worse? It turns out that this is not just preteen anti-mom activity! Our six year old wrote that when Dad is at work, “I just wait around for you to come play with me.”

Oh please!

I am thrilled that my husband is a great Dad, whose kids love to be around him. As soon as he comes home from work, he is all theirs, and they know it. I am happy that he is involved, throws the football until his arm falls off, helps them with math, brainwashes them about politics, listens to their stories, laughs at the same jokes, belts out the same loud music, expects the best of them and helps them rise to the occasion. He is an awesome Dad who continuously earns his Fathers’ Day.

I’m just wondering what a mom has to do to be as much fun as Dad.




1980s Girl Ping-Pong Champ Rises Again

Many years ago, at a small summer swim club, an unassuming teenage girl learned to play Ping-Pong. She wasn’t an athlete. Rarely earned a ribbon at a swim meet. Was known for getting out her aggressions on the tennis backboard, but never played against a single, real foe.

Then one fine summer, she dominated at the Ping-Pong table. In fact, that year, she was proclaimed “girl champ.” Top of her game.

A fine summer indeed.

Today, nearly a quarter of a century later, that champion found three new foes – tough and agile at 6, 10 and 11.

The six-year-old played her first. He added rules in-play. He threw all he had at her. Even saw things that might not have happened. Added imagined points. But the champ held on.

The ten-year-old tried his slams on her. Tricked her with crazy serves that spun. Laughed to disarm her. But the champ held on.

Then, as the eleven-year-old battled fiercely in a two-point match all the way to the finish, she revealed, “Well, I was the girl Ping-Pong champ at my pool when I was a kid.”

“Well that explains it,” he said, relieved.

“You never told us!” said the ten-year-old, suddenly reconsidering his recent loss. Not too shabby when it’s against the champ, eh?

And when that 11-year-old shook the champion’s hand, conceding a narrow defeat, he said, “It’s okay, mom. I had a good swim meet today. I am still in a really good mood.”

“Me too.” It looks like another fine summer lies before us.


On Monday, I checked my fourth grader’s homework assignment notebook. His Wednesday column was marked by a single word, “CHILL.”

“Why did you write CHILL here?” I asked.

He looked at it, “I don’t know. I didn’t write that.”

“It’s in your handwriting.” His very sloppy handwriting is quite identifiable.

“But I didn’t write it.”

The school had standardized testing Thursday and Friday, so I thought that maybe “CHILL” meant they had no homework for the rest of the week. Makes sense, right?

“No other tests this week?” I asked just to be sure.


On Wednesday, he climbed into the car clearly mad at me. “It didn’t say CHILL. It said, chapter 11. I had a math test today on chapter 11! If you hadn’t said…”


Not “CHILL”.

A lesson on why good handwriting is important.

One Mother to Another

“Are we there yet?” my three guys ask twenty minutes into any trip. So I think I am entitled to ask “are we there yet?” after five months of cold weather and snow.

Mother Nature, could you get a move on with spring?

You might think I am just tired of the cold, but give me some credit. I was tired of winter four months and 29 days ago, and I did not bother you then or during the many bitter days between. As a mother, I know how busy you are.

My appeal is about savings and recycling – things you care deeply about.

You see, my boys are starting to look a little silly in long pants that have grown too short. And the middle one just got a hole in the knees of his jeans. That’s against dress code. It means I need to use more water to wash the dwindling number of available pants, and I cannot recycle them in three years for the youngest.

Plus, depending on the kid, they are either still too skinny for the next size up or will grow out of the next pair before seasons change again. You don’t want me to waste valuable resources, do you?

I appeal to you as a fellow mother, who wants to save her children (from social extinction?) because we both know it’s the right thing to do. “We are there! It is Spring!”

Mother Nature, hit us with a heat wave, turn up the sun….

…so my boys can wear shorts.

Mom Has Spies Everywhere

At 1:15 yesterday, my six year old performed as Tigger in Winnie the Pooh. He did a great job. Said his lines clearly and with a smile. Looked at the audience with confidence. Knew all the words to the songs. He only beat his twin Tigger with his tail in-between songs.

I left after big cheers and hugs and photos at 2:00, but he apparently had a hard time releasing his Tigger-self.

By 3:00, word had made it through the fourth and fifth grades to his two brothers – Tigger had detention.

That’s one of the many things I like about a small school. One misstep and mom hears about it before carpool.

“So and so in the other class saw the principal talking to…” announced the fourth grader with a grin.

Then, “guess what so and so said happened today in kindergarten…” said the fifth grader, also quite gleeful.

In one hour, kids across three grades of the Lower School had heard. And by the time the errant kindergartner showed up, I was ready. His eyes grew to twice their normal size. “How does mom know everything?!”

“What in the world did you do that the art teacher had to call the principal?”

“I was silly.”

Unusually silly.”

“Yep.” Poor Tigger.

“And what did you do when the principal came?”

“I was really, really polite.”

“ …which you should be all the time.”

“Ok,” he sighed, snagged by mom’s spies once again.

Creation at Six and Eleven

“I know how we were made,” said the six year old at 5:45 a.m. on a Sunday.

We were having a sleepover in “Mom’s room”, so four kids and a dog started off the night in sleeping bags on the floor. At about 5:00 a.m., two kids climbed into my bed. A third started sniffling.

“First we were in the shape of food, but then our ghosts came in and turned the shapes into people. And there we were!”

“Wow,” I said, eyes still closed hoping to prolong the night, “that is a really cool way to think about it.”

But my eleven year old is too literal for that. “Mom, if you keep saying things like that, you are not going to bring up a very smart kid.”

He turned to his little brother, “It was the umbilical chord. I knew that when I was six. So should you. But the real stuff comes next year in science.”