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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mother ettiquette and Junior Jazz

So Tate signed up to play Junior Jazz basketball on a city recreation team. I was thinking this would be a great introduction to basketball and seeing as we had such a good experience with baseball we thougt Tate would love the new experience. Tate enjoys signing up for soccer, but he's just as interested in the dandelions as the ball so I was pleasantly surprised that he was actually pretty good at basketball. It is really the only sport we watch as a family. Apparently watching the Tar Heels paid off a bit.

He had a basketball game today and apparently some teams take the title "Jr. Jazz" literally. I knew we were in trouble when the other team was there five minutes early warming up doing lay ups. I don't think half the kids on our team knew what a lay up was. The average opponent's height was 6 inches taller than our kids, and I could tell it was going to be ugly.

It was 28 to 0 before we ever scored. My blood started to boil as the parents on the other team kept on cheering and egging on their team to "steal the ball," "block him out," and other such defensive commands. The rule of the league for this age group is that teams can't guard in the back court so it was a wall right across the half court line. All six members of the opposing team stood guard to steal away the ball as soon as our players crossed the line. It wasn't till the third quarter when the score was 34-2 when I could take it no longer and stood up and started to yell from across the court, "Hey coach, how about you let them shoot?" They clearly made their statement. Out of sportsmanship and the fact that they are seven, I didn't think letting them shoot one time before the pirrahanas were let out was too much to expect. I only made it half way through before Jon grabbed my coat and I sat back down. It wasn't that he disagreed, but pointed out that the boys were happy and getting upset would only get them upset. My mother ettiquette obviously needs to improve a bit.

It said it all when it was time for team treats. Our kids went out to the lobby and had a capri sun and sliced apples and oranges. The other team got to pick out a treat sack that was piled in a huge basket and set out at center court for everyone to see. Each treat bag had been carefully packed with a fruit snack, bouncy ball, glow in the dark stick, sheet of stickers and assorted candy with an enormous bow around the top.

Are parents this stupid and competitive everywhere else in the world, or did we happen to get more than our fair share in Utah?

Santa Screw-ups

Merry Christmas everyone. Just ready to head to bed, but thought I would share some of our funny screw ups this year. I really thought we were so prepared and had everything done early...Tate and Cale both asked for one small thing, so Santa had to be creative to fill in the gaps. In the last few days a second request was added to both their lists. Long story short and many details left unsaid, however the three main factors were a crazy "short day" that wasn't so short for Jon at the office and leaving on the 22nd and getting back at 6:00 on the 24 from the cabin, and that Target was closed at 9:30 on Christmas Eve lead to this beauty of a letter:

Dear Tate and Cale,

I have to admit that I was a little worried about you two this year. I checked my naughty and nice list and you both have been such good boys. I remember reading that you are so kind to your sister even though it is hard sometimes. I know you let her go just about everywhere with you. You both have done so well in school that I really wanted you to have a Merry Christmas. I got up to the cabin a little early—it was still dark, but I was in a rush. My last report said you would be home snug in your beds, but I could tell you had been at the cabin and I didn’t know if you would be coming back late. I should have known because there were no cookies and milk, but just in case I decided to leave one of your presents at the cabin because I couldn’t stand the thought of you not having a present on Christmas. I believe it was one of the toys on your list. I was so relieved to find you sound asleep just where I thought you would be. Now boys, I have to tell you that I am 99.99% accurate on Christmas. I wish it was 100%, but as you can imagine it is a bit tricky making all the deliveries even with magic. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell your friends about my cabin mix up. I know I can count on you! Now don’t feel bad. I’m giving you this extra present. I decided on this game because your mom liked it so much when she was little that I thought you would like it too!! Take care Tate and Cale. I am so glad you are such good boys. Work on obeying the first time. I have to work on that too sometimes. Just ask Mrs. Clause. Ho Ho Ho!!!

Merry Christmas!!!


Santa Clause

Jon just informed me I also spelled "Clause" wrong. Good thing spelling isn't Tate's forte! Apparently it isn't mine either. Santa hides the kids stockings. Tess' stocking was a brown paper lunch sack with this inscription: "Tess, tell your mom to get you a stocking next year. Love, Santa" (without the Clause). To make things "fair" and since Tate got a new pair of snow boots we found a good shoe box and some plastic wrapping to wrap up Tate's old snow boots. I think they'll both be super pleased!!

I am just cracking myself up as I write. Maybe I'm just a little punchy. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and hope your Santa is a bit better put together!! To make things "fair" and since Tate got a new pair of snow boots we found a good shoe box and some plastic wrapping to wrap up Tate's old snow boots. I think they'll both be super pleased!!

Christmas Card

Dearest family and friends,

We just passed Jon’s three year anniversary of when he was diagnosed with cancer and I am truly amazed and humbled at the journey we have taken. The road has been a difficult one strewn with many tears, but this time has also been a sweet growing time for our family. Jon has made a full and complete recovery. His recovery has been all that we hoped and prayed it would be. As I think about this miracle in our lives, and give thanks to God, I have to ask myself, so what does happily-ever-after look like?
I am reminded of a perfect moment this summer. We had just enjoyed a beautiful 4th of July evening with our friends, complete with a cook out, freeze tag and kids running with sparklers everywhere. After the sunset we loaded up the children and drove to the park to watch fireworks. We had a spot as close to the fireworks as we could get. As we lay on our backs and looked into the night sky we watched spectacular colors explode in the air above us. I was touching each member of my family in some way and I felt completely happy. I think in life we get a few perfect or nearly perfect moments, but “perfect” only lasts a few seconds.
I believe happily-ever-after is routine chaos at the dinner table. I remember one dinner not too long ago when all I wanted was to have a nice long, intimate conversation with Jon after a semi-crazy day at home with the kids. Getting the kids to be quiet for the blessing on the food seemed almost as big a miracle as Moses parting the Red Sea. Right after the “amen” Tess broke out singing the ABC’s and I beamed inside at how bright she was. Half-way through, Cale started singing his own song to the tune of ABC’s but with different words, the only purpose of which was to annoy his sister. Tess pointed her finger and said in her commanding Queen-of-the-World voice, “Stop it, Cale.” Her authority stopped there, but I seconded her motion and Cale’s singing subsided. If this same scenario had occurred between Tate and Cale three years ago, I’m sure I would have explained to the younger child that the older one had a right to sing too. I am much too tired for that now. Just as the singing came under control Tate decided to liven up the dinner ambience by passing gas with such force that the bench they were sitting on rumbled. Mayhem and giggling broke out all over again. Before Jon and I even had a chance to exchange more than two sentences of adult conversation, he had to run out to a meeting. As I put the kids to bed by myself I was exhausted, but I couldn’t help think about how nice it was to be doing those things by myself because Jon was healthy and able to go to a meeting and not that he was in the hospital or too sick to do so. That was happily-ever-after.
Happily-ever-after is despite a crazy economy being grateful that Jon has a job that he loves and that there is food on the table. What a thrill to see him put on his running shoes or hop on his mountain bike and do the things he loves to do, but couldn’t for a long time. Life is watching from afar Jon playing, wrestling and loving our children.
Happily-ever-after was crying my eyes out when the time came for Tate to go to school, and yet two weeks later when it was Cale’s turn to start kindergarten I couldn’t get him there fast enough. I feel no motherly guilt over this one as it has nothing to do with how much I love either of them. Tate is so kind and is ever the peace maker that when he was gone at school for two weeks before kindergarten started I was able to more fully realize what he adds to our family dynamic. In that amount of time Tess and Cale mastered pushing each others buttons’, and kindergarten was a welcome relief. Life was getting to watch Tate fall in love with baseball and see Jon coach and realize that our son isn’t the most skilled on the team, but he was the happiest kid out there thrilled to be playing and a part of his team.
Happily-ever-after is having your kindergartener think he is king of the elementary school. Cale thinks he is the biggest, smartest and most handsome boy in all of kindergarten. I am just fine with that as there will be plenty of time and opportunities for his self esteem to be smashed into the ground later. We joke that Cale is “Mr. Cool.” When I dropped him off at kindergarten on his first day of school there was no way he was going to give me a hug or kiss goodbye. He graced me with “knucks,” and I was thrilled. Cale is concerned about having his hair lay down just right while Tate puts on his hood and runs professing, “Mom, don’t touch it. I like it that way.” He and Einstein have something in common, I could be mistaken, but I think it’s their hair. Cale would much rather ride his bike two miles to school and up a big hill then be caught dead in a bike trailer with his sister. We used to call Cale “Little Buddy,” but he has since informed us that for obvious reasons his knick-name is inappropriate. He now responds to “Big Buddy.” Life was Cale getting on a really difficult pair of shoes by himself and proclaiming, “Mom, Jesus magic helped me do it.” I had to put my hand on my forehead and wonder where we went wrong!
Happily-ever-after is having a two year old who is as sweet and charming and cute as can be. Unfortunately she has an alter-ego that is equally disastrous. Tess brings spice and color to our lives, mostly in the form of pink. She is a little bundle of joy who has no idea she isn’t as big, smart or fast as her brothers. We most often find her tagging along with her brothers, who are so kind to her (most of the time), and make up the Silcox trio that goes from house to house playing with friends on our street. Life is dealing with the tantrums the best way I know how so later on I will be smothered with hugs, kisses and my favorite, “yove you mom.”
As I thought back on our year with the upmost gratitude and humility, I was reminded that happily-ever-after isn’t the perfect moments, but rather finding joy in the imperfect ones. There is certainly sadness, but there is also so much joy for which I lack words to express. I pray for peace on earth, but realize that the kind of peace I hope for is as impossible as a life of only perfect moments. This year I’ll be content in praying for peace in your hearts and hope in the future.

Merry Christmas and love to all!
Jon, Quinn, Tate, Cale and Tess Silcox