Saturday, March 12, 2011

The kids are all right.
or so i am told.
facebook was my source.
hubby took my little daughter, a confection of blond curls and a solid ass,
to her end of the season hockey tournament.
she is the only goalie for her team... so she always must play.
no matter what.
bad mood?
tough nuggies.
feeling a little febrile?
tough nuggies.
feeling a little teenaged?
tough nuggies.
really we never need to force her.
she really loves tending her goal.
it allows her to bark orders at people
who occasionally listen to her.
not much like here at home.
so this is what i found just now on facebook.
i took a beat to expand the acronym that she posted with it.
("The score is 8-0 idgaf anymore")

i suppose that the body language speaks for this attitude if i were actually paying adequate attention.
sometimes denial is the only way i survive.
this may be one of those times.

perhaps, i will start at what passes for a starting point in this delightful child's athletic commitments.
she is now just 14. however i will enter this at a point when she was 13 1/2.
i feel as a rope jumper getting into the game as it is underway...
so please bear with me.

a sweet baby. a good student. a humorist.
a moving object, unless uninterrupted computer time is found.
the kid who i thought was most like me.
now i understand , they all have qualities, that i can identify with as being found in my own
slightly off kilter personality.
(reserve your comments here please, there is space below for them).
for the first many years, i did find my sensibilities resonated most strongly in her.
we got along without any bumps or whistles for at least a decade.
i could rely on her at 3 years to explain what i said to the other two.
and now i can rely on that same skill to interpret my many moods to the others...
we have travelled many paths together .

i think that after having a first child who is tended to so very carefully, one is more willing to not be as scrupulous(read as neurotic) in following kids.
you find your pace, your milieu, your tolerances, etc. with each succeeding child rearing experience.
with my second child, a boy, i was unprepared for the completely different expression of dna.
now with the third, i got a sense of essential needs and the expectation of differences.

tessa is an athlete. simply because she enjoys it.
i am a couch potato... because i enjoy stuff that requires a steadier hand.
we overlap in some ways.
she is crafty.
so i am sure to have to share my things with her.
it tests me.
so i drive her to her many athletic venues
and support events.
sometimes this is self preservation.

last spring, in the middle of her second year playing lacrosse,
she was all kinds of unhappy.
there was a lacrosse event that players (teammates) were invited to.
it was a tournament in upstate NY.
she fully anticipated that she would be invited to participate (unrealistically so).
after a hockey season starting in september, ending in late march, tagging into the front end of lacrosse...
she felt as if she was due to be part of the duo going to the show.
both of the girls selected had been playing for years already.
one of the girl's dads is a college lacrosse coach.
seriously, tessie's dad and i looked at her like she was completely out of her depth.
there was no genuine justification for her expectation.
my hubby was the vessel into which she poured her crazy that day.
( he was driving her to and from school that day).
one needs a full suit of emotional armor for survival of this.
he prepared me for the emotional onslaught that was going to come again in another wave.

later in the month, the head of the lacrosse league gave us a call.
it seemed that the two girls invited to the big show,
who were accomplished players
as well as tessa's bffs,
would be attending.
However, there was another space made available.
so the league head, invited tess.
NO ONE could ever have been happier to receive this news than the child.

the weekend was only two days off, and as we are used to having to turn on a dime, we tried to get her ready.
this included the emergency trip to Target.
my "go-to" spot for decent stuff at decent prices in all shopping areas.
it even has popcorn and soda to keep my husband entertained and in the shopping mode.
all three of the kids needed stuff.
so we had a carriage piled high.
unfortunately, i had forgotten that i'd gone food shopping much earlier that day.
we wound up putting a lot of things back
on hold 'til a return the next morning on my way to the bus drop-off.
i am used to being an idiot and forgetful and not on top of everything.
the kids just roll with my ways.
it usually works out in the end.
let's face it, they get stuff that they want, so it is ok with them usually.

tess had packed her equipment.
a pillow, sleeping bag, pj's etc.
her clothes for her trip.
shoes for dancing.
shoes for casual living.
shoes for playing lacrosse in.
(as it was the real purpose of the event)
lots of stuff.
her toothpaste and underarm stuff.
generally, more stuff than anyone else seemed to need.

the one thing that we spent time shopping for twice at target was for a bathing suit,
should the opportunity arise for swimming.
so tess had her 4 bags, sleeping bag and equipment to offload to the bus.
you know i was just tickled to get there and on time.
her bff from pre-school and now through t0 middle school arrived
just a moment after we did.
she is an adorable freckly girl.
long legged and a little shy.
her mom suggested that she remember her need for sun screen.
i had in all the stuff amassed throughout the days preceding,
forgotten to include that item in the essentials inventory.
tess showed her friend the new swim suit.
needless to say... her friend had forgotten hers.
tess reached into her luggage and offered one of her two spare suits to her friend.
both bff's mum and i stared agape at one another in surprise.
now my child had emergently insisted that she needed a suit and had ultimately packed
i felt a tad manipulated, but the girl does have a key to my heart.

i am often accused by my kids that i take all my better child-rearing cues from t.v. sitcoms.
so what if i do?
the whole event of tess packing for 2 days away, reminded me of a bit of schtick from "Seinfeld".
it was an episode where Jerry invited George to go to Atlantic City for a short weekend.
George showed up at Jerry's apartment with several pieces of luggage.
Jerry, surprised by the seemingly excessive packing, asks George if he is Diana Ross or something.
George responds, that he likes to dress for his moods.
so his need for a lot of stuff is based upon his mood, and the one he was in was
"morning mist".

so now i look at tess and ask if she is packing to feature her mood.
unfortunately today as she led off to the tournament. ...
the mood had shifted.
no longer is she "morning mist",
rather though, as
"bitchy mist".
living with a nascent 14 yo girl is always interesting.

so her posting on facebook with a strong assist from her 17 yo brother
is no real surprise.
although, it is.
the beauty of living with a smart phone and a couple of smart teens.

just thought you might be entertained.
the lesson learned here is that...
it is valuable to dress for your mood, not the event.



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