Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'll be better

It's only Wednesday?

This workweek seems to be kicking my ass especially hard.

Starting a new job is tough, you guys. Especially a new job where you're the boss and you don't have access to your predecessor and your employees only know so much so you're constantly trying to figure things out and figuring something out requires taking 10 steps back and figuring out ten additional tasks before you even complete whatever damn thing you were trying to accomplish in the first place. Exhausting.

It is going as well as can be expected. And this week, as exhausting as it has been, really isn't any worse than any other week has been. But this week is the first week where I haven't been distracted. Lucy isn't giving birth. The Coach isn't leaving. I'm not sick. I'm not coordinating my soccer team or wondering what to buy Meg for her birthday. I'm focusing on work. Which is, unfortunately, not a 7 pound bundle of sleepy baby nor a 6'1" former athlete with what is honestly the best laugh I have ever heard.

Reality, you guys. This is it.

Well, the bulk of it. This is the part that pays the bills.

The part that nobody wants to read about.

Don't give up on me just yet. I have a few adventures up my sleeve. An embarrassing three-trips-to-the-doctors-office-and-a-night-in-urgent-care story to share. Maybe a bit of house hunting to chronicle. The usual family drama. My continued campaign to get Lucy and Chet out of the house so I can have both of their boys to myself. And assorted other stupidity.

There's never a shortage on the stupidity.

Nor is there a shortage on my love for and appreciation of reader suggestions. If I've been neglecting something that you're curious about or you've just been dying to know my favorite color of nail polish, drop me a comment.

I am always a fan of suggestions. And a reason a reason to write about something other than my latest act of stupidity.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back to it

The Coach is gone. Summer is over. Back to my life.

The stretch of time when The Coach is home very much feels like a vacation. And when he goes -- as he did this weekend -- summer is not over but it feels like it is. I spend the first few days moping and, after that, I am left looking at autumn stretching ahead. It's always busy. Thankfully. It goes fast.

He leaves and I get back into my routine. Having been a total running slacker for the past six weeks, I'm already way behind in training for my October half-marathon. It will soon be time to start my hockey season. I need to actually start planning for next summer's trip to Brazil instead of repeatedly reminding myself that I should start planning for next summer's trip to Brazil. I will address the bag of clothes I need to donate, the pile of papers I need to file, the hotel rooms I haven't booked, the to-do list that I've been ignoring.

It's time to really dig in to this new job. It's time to start looking forward to a quick August vacation with Lucy and her babies. It's time to resume living in the present, instead of always looking forward, always counting down the days until The Coach returns back to work.

He left. Summer is over. And now I make myself a memorable autumn.

What other choice is there?

Forward.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Enforcer

I had a soccer game last night. Which was good. I needed the distraction. I needed the outlet for my energy.

I played a good game.

And also nearly got in a fight.

Yeah, you read that right.

It's been quite the week.

Let me preface this tale by assuring you all that I am not insane. We play in a very competitive league and it gets rough. These things happen and, truly, it happens in the heat of competition and really isn't a big deal even though this story may or may not have you picturing my soccer league as a bunch of grown women running around and throwing punches. 

It went down something like this: I was playing defense. Meg is our team's goalie.  A girl on the other team took a shot and Meg made this spectacular save, all sprawled out on the ground. 

She looked like this.


Meg is on the ground, holding the ball and the girl on the other team continues to kick at it. The rule is that, if the goalie has possession of the ball, you aren't allowed to kick at it. Because it's dangerous. And the referee had verbally declared that the goalie had possession so there was really no question.

And then the girl kicked at Meg/the ball one more time. Which is not cool.

In hockey, they do this thing called "clearing the front of the net" to get the players from the other team out of your goalie's way. It's done for two reasons: to get the dude from the other team out of your goalie's face (so the goalie can see the puck) or to get the dude the hell out of there so he doesn't hurt your goalie. 


I did the soccer equivalent.

I didn't have a hockey stick at my disposal so I pushed her back from Meg. Like, a two-handed shove to her shoulders. Because it is universal sports etiquette to protect your goalie and especially a goalie who is also your sister and in a very vulnerable position. And that's just not cool. She deserved a shove.

Confession: I might have shoved her back more than once.

In the meantime, Meg gets up and the referee gets between me and this girl on the other team to break up our non-fight. At which time the girl on the other team reaches around the referee and takes a swipe at me.

Bad move.

Meg gets protective of me for getting protective of her.

Meg gets her comically long arms on this girl who is all up in my business. "Step. Back." She sounded just like Mom. Scary serious. You don't mess with someone who sounds like that.

The girl on the other team isn't saying anything but she's not backing away. She is just staring at Meg with these wild bulgy eyes and Meg, who is always so quick and clever in these situations, says "are you going to say anything, Crazy Eyes, or are you just going to stand there?"

It was absolutely hilarious. The whole exchange was hilarious. Our teammates couldn't stop talking about how it went down. I am a tough player, but I'm not a dirty player. It was a little unexpected.

They didn't know the week I'd had.

Crazy Eyes was in the wrong, no doubt. The referee didn't say a word to Meg or me. He didn't even tell us to settle down.

After the game Meg asked the referee to confirm that Crazy Eyes indeed had crazy eyes and he agreed. Score one for the sisters.

We're going to be talking about that harmless little scrum for a long, long time. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3/5

I know that this is how this feels.

This is the third time. Fifth if you count Christmas departures.

I know that this is just how this feels.

I know how he acts. In the days before he leaves. How quiet he gets. How distant he acts. How he's frantically busy. How he will never come out and say that he's sad to leave even though it's clear that he is. How he desperately tries to avoid the formal goodbyes. How he wears a brave face and a t-shirt that reminds him of home.

And I fall back on pattern, too. I stare at the clock. I count down days. I blink back tears. I doubt. I worry. I force down breakfast. I skip lunch. I wear a brave face and clothes in his team's colors.

I know that this is how this feels.

I know that it gets better. That I start eating again. That he starts acting like himself.

We've been through this three times. Five if you count Christmas.

It is easier than the first time. It is remarkably easier. I know that this is how this feels.

I know that the days just before he leaves are the toughest.

I know that this is how this feels.

Awful.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Awesome things


Meg, Liz and I saw Beyoncé in concert this weekend.

Here is something you might not know about me: I am always the driver. I have a really good sense of direction and there aren't many places I don't already know how to get to so, it's usually just easier. (Because I'm shitty at remembering to give verbal directions to the driver. Ask The Coach or Lucy.) Probably it's a control thing, too.

Anyway. I drove and got us to the Palace through the not-really-a-secret-I-don't-know-why-other-people-don't-take-it route and into a prime parking spot in record time because I am awesome.

Beyoncé is awesome. Our seats were awesome. The people watching was awesome. A few hours of being completely distracted from what was going on with The Coach was awesome.

Liz and Meg are awesome. I consider myself terribly lucky to be related to those two. Our next adventure is in just a few weeks: Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. Pretty sure that's going to be awesome, too.

Yesterday was Baby L's brit.

You know what's awesome? Being the boss. If Baby L was born a month ago, I would have had to rearrange my work schedule and talk to my boss and worry about what I would be missing and feel guilty and now it's just like "I'll be back in a few hours, you guys" and that is that.  

Lucy and Chet asked my mom and my grandma to come to the brit, too. I think it's pretty awesome that they feel relatively close to my family.

Besides the brit, which was beautiful, the most awesome part of the event was Baby A's reaction when he saw me walk through the doors at temple. The biggest delighted belly laugh you ever did hear. Oh, how I love that sweet boy.

The woman who runs the daycare center that Lucy and Chet bring Baby A to asked me if I was Lucy's sister. Is it possible that, after 15 years of friendship, we have spent so much time together that we are starting to look alike? If that's the case, I can't wait until we're in our 80s and we're just big matching lumps of wrinkled flesh and huge teeth.

Actually, I can wait. No need to rush the next 50 years, right?  

I should probably thank you for indulging my overuse of awesome. The last couple of weeks have been really challenging -- there are a few things I still need to write about -- and the end of this week is going to be rough. I just needed a minute to be appreciative. I get caught up in everything that doesn't go right. But there is a lot that does. My life is pretty awesome. So are the people in it. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

We're okay

The second half of last week I was dramatic and annoying. You don't even have to tell me, you guys. I am so aware.

I wish that I could balance out the drama and the annoyance with a really, really good story but apparently my life isn't just a source of blog fodder and sometimes things are resolved quietly and uneventfully.

And that's how things unfolded between me and The Coach.

Bad story. Good result.

I finally worked up the nerve to say something as we were driving back to my house after getting coffee. "About Wednesday. We're cool?" I'm not very smooth. But it worked.

"Yeah, I just wanted to make sure..." He didn't finish. We both know what he was trying to determine.

And then I just told him what I wanted. I didn't point out the things that I wasn't asking for: diamond rings, promises, Facebook relationship statuses, elaborate birthday surprises or to be on a first-name basis with his mother. I just told him what I wanted.

Here is where we're at, I explained, holding out my left hand. Here is where I think we should be. I held my right hand an inch from my left. The differences are fairly minimal and totally realistic and what I want; he's fine with taking that step forward.

The whole conversation was so not a big deal that I'm a little paranoid that he didn't totally get it.

Maybe I'm actually the one who didn't get it. Putting a little conversation off for a good 15 months is a really good way to way to make a small and reasonable talk seem like it's a big talk. A huge talk. The biggest of all talks.

It just...wasn't.

Do I have to come right out and say you guys were right all along?

Fine.

You guys were right all along.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Unknown

This mess feels a lot like when The Coach first took his fancy 2,000-miles-away-people-recognize-him-as-one-of-the-university's-coaches coaching job. When he first left. When I reminded myself over and over and over again that what we had was temporary and fun and nothing more than that and I still couldn't curb the sadness.

It's that unknown.

It makes me sad. And it makes me sick.

Every single time he left, it got a little easier. He was gone physically but he was never gone gone and I didn't know that the first time he left and I had to think about what it would be like if he totally dropped out of my life and it was scary. And idling where we are right now -- Unresolvedland -- feels much the same.

We didn't get to settle it yesterday. We won't settle it today.

The wait is slowly killing me but I suspect that it's also good. I was mostly hysterical and far from the right place to talk to him on Thursday.

When Friday came around and I finally remembered to breathe, everything seemed a lot clearer. What I want. What I need to tell him.

It's fair and it's reasonable and it's nothing to be afraid of.

But there's that unknown.

And it's making me sick.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not much of an update, but:

I was a lunatic for most of the day yesterday.

I was at the height of my lunacy in the afternoon.

I might have left work for a half-hour so that I could cry. It's a perk of being the boss, being able to attend to your crazy exactly when your crazy needs attending.

My crazy needed a lot of attending yesterday.

And then The Coach and I exchanged a few text messages and I felt so, so much better. I haven't seen him yet and we haven't talked (let alone restarted The Talk) but everything is okay at the moment. I am not frantic and crazy. We've acknowledged that we have a conversation to finish. It's all going to turn out how it's going to turn out.

Whatever happens will be okay.

It's good that we're here.

It's scary. No matter what he leaves in a week and I can't imagine what it would be like if he was completely cut out/gone gone and it's so fucking scary.

But it's good. It's good that we're here. It's good that we're finally, finally here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Talk: Bombed It

We had some version of The Talk yesterday.

You guys have been hyping up all of the many benefits of a clarifying chat with The Coach for, um, a really long time (let's not discuss how long it's really been okay? Okay.) and yesterday it happened.

Because he started it.

And I played it too cool and then it got interrupted and I didn't get a chance to say what I wanted to say and I could just cry. I don't exactly know how I wanted this to go but I don't think it was this.

The Coach: Are you okay with all of this? Just want to make sure.
Me: Yeah. I mean, mostly. Are YOU okay with all of this?
The Coach: I am but it's different. ...mostly?
Me: Different? What makes you different, exactly?
The Coach: You first. Why mostly?
Me: It would be completely out of character for me if I didn't question every decision I've ever made at least a hundred times over.
The Coach: Well, I'm just making sure. I'm sure there are other guys wanting you and I steal all of the fun and run off.
Me: You're not playing fair. Why different? If I'm explaining myself, you're explaining yourself!
The Coach: I'm the one leaving. That's why it's different.
Me: But I've known that you're leaving from the very beginning. It's okay. You have to go do your thing. I get it. I am not interested in standing between you and your goals. That's not my style. Is this perfect? No. Nothing is.
The Coach: I just don't want to keep you from doing other stuff, you know?
Me: I guess. I suppose I've never really thought of it that way. Am I keeping you from...other stuff?
The Coach: I don't do other stuff. I'm old.
Me: Oh, please. You aren't old. Listen, this has been going on for a long time. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing and...obviously I was incorrect.

AND THEN THE DAMN NEIGHBOR KIDS RANG THE DOORBELL.  

While I was in the backyard retrieving the ball that they'd thrown over the fence, The Coach took a phone call and then he was picking up a friend from the airport so he had to go and it unceremoniously ended there.

I sent him a text a little while after he left about something else. And I mentioned our little chat and how we should finish it later. And also was like: listen, you're not "different" because you're leaving. Don't use the distance as a crutch. If it isn't anything, it isn't anything.

So, anyway. I'm kicking myself today.

I don't feel any better. I don't feel any worse.

I feel a little like crying.

And a little like puking.

And a little stupid and a little relieved and a little confused and a little frustrated.

So, basically, that wasn't awesome.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time

My grandparents have been boaters for essentially my entire life. I was a toddler when they closed the small bookstore that they owned and bought a sailboat. Trading in one dream for another.

I grew up on that boat. Well, that boat and the several that proceeded it. Grandpa upgraded a few times. Always a boat that was a little bigger, with a little bit more space. Better to fit in his growing grandchildren.

Every summer, we would go on a trip or two. Grandma and Grandpa would take us somewhere fun. Somewhere we could swim and eat ice cream and maybe play a round of putt-putt golf and spend the night out on the boat. As we got older, our trips got longer. There were several amusement parks that we could sail two within a few days. That was the best.

I haven't been on an overnight trip in a handful of years, but I make the effort to get out to the boat once a summer. It makes Grandma and Grandpa so happy. They can show us off to the other boaters in their marina. We can have an afternoon on the water just like so many we had when we were kids.

I don't know if I'll get out to the boat this summer.

I might have sailed with Grandma and Grandpa for the last time. 

Grandpa is having a hard time this summer. He wouldn't admit it. He would blame everyone else. But twice this summer he's ran the boat aground. They get stuck. They have to get towed out. He's an asshole to everyone: the towing company, my grandma, everyone else on the boat. But it's his fault.

It's not safe for him to sail anymore.

My grandpa is in the earliest stages of dementia.

He lives for that boat.

But my grandma can't compensate for him. She can't do it all and she was sobbing when she called my mom to tell her about their latest mishap. Grandpa was awful. They didn't get back to the marina until 2:00 am. She doesn't know what to do.

It's hard to watch this. It's hard to see it happening. It's hard to know that this is only going to get worse. And it's hard to think that I sailed for the last time and I didn't even know it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Auntie Overboard

I met Baby L last night!

As soon as I left work, I picked up flowers and dinner and headed to the hospital. I'm really lucky and feel really honored that Lucy and Chet want me around for Really Big Things.

I'm not family -- not technically -- and to be the one and only visitor on Baby L's birthday and to be able to hold him for an hour and spend time with his awesome parents was sweet.

When I went home, I went overboard. Again. Just as I did when Baby A was born, I couldn't keep myself out of the kitchen.

Food is love, after all.



Honestly, I have been thinking about what to make for them when the new baby was born since, oh, maybe five minutes after I knew that there was going to be a new baby. I'm so happy to do it.

They'll be discharged from the hospital later today and this is what's waiting at home:
Simple Fig Salad
Quiche
German Chocolate Pie
Cinnamon raisin bread with this awesome ricotta/honey/rosemary spread to go on top
And a bottle of Moscato, Lucy's favorite. 

The advanced planning meant that I had pie crusts in the freezer and Moscato in the pantry and goat cheese in the refrigerator. I had everything made, cleaned up and put away in two hours.

I sneaked out of work for an hour and dropped off the goods.

They'll have happy tummies. And I'm happy to know that they'll have happy tummies. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

BABY!

Lucy's. Not mine.


I am so excited that I could cry.

Okay, I'm so excited that I am crying. But only a little bit.

Today is a great day.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Perfect, Perfect, Perfect

We have perfect weather.
 
This weather, it is perfect.
 
I was outside all day yesterday. The entire day. I spent the morning reading outside. I saw The Coach, briefly. (No talk to report due to the brevity.) I sat outside and watched a soccer game Meg and our cousin Emma. 
 

I ate Buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese from a food truck. I met Lucy and Chet (and Baby A, who was mostly snoozing soundly) at the drive-in and Lucy and I talked through both movies but we're pretty sure they were awful anyway (Grown Ups 2 and White House Down) but it was worth it to sit outside and snack and talk until 2:00 am.

It's harder being up until 2:00 am than it used to be.

And we weren't even drinking.

I had a soccer game this morning. The sun was hot. After our game, I headed over to the lake. As I got tons of sun yesterday and have to last through another soccer game later this afternoon, I've taken refuge in the shade.


I'm good with it.

I'm good with this whole weekend. Can we do it again?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Grandma, please

It's been a week and I still find it irritating, so I'm going to blog about it even though I feel like I've been giving my grandma a hard time lately.

Scene: Fourth of July, Mom and Dad's annual party.

I invited Lucy, Chet and Baby A to the party. My friend from high school, Heather, and her daughter were there, too.

First, there was Grandma and Heather's baby. We're sitting on the deck playing with a bucket of baby-friendly toys that my mom keeps around. Grandma was playing, too. Grandma loves babies. (I always feel bad I haven't given her a great-grandchild.)

Lucy sent me a text message to indicated that she was on her way. The baby got interested in my phone and, rather than have me surrender my phone to the baby, Heather took out her own phone and turned on an app for her.

And my grandma says something disapproving along the lines of "oh my goodness, I don't think so" as though she has any business saying such a thing, any knowledge that Heather allows the baby to play with her phone on a regular basis or anything (like, say, having read many scientific studies on the subject) but a gut feeling that the baby shouldn't be interacting with Heather's phone.

Heather has the world's loudest voice and she was talking so she didn't hear my grandma tsk-tsking her parenting choices and thank goodness because that would have been embarrassing.

Lucy and Chet and Baby A came over right as dinner was served. They had just had dinner at Lucy's mother's house and another meal wasn't necessary. Except Grandma felt that Baby A wanted to eat, so I find her in the kitchen fixing him a plate.

My mom made bacon-wrapped hamburgers and, because they're Jewish and they wish to eat that way, Chet and Baby A don't eat pork. (Lucy will on occasion.) Not that unusual. Grandma has a Jewish son-in-law. It isn't like she doesn't know this.

So she's in the kitchen peeling the bacon off of this burger. "They won't know," she said (according to my father, who pointed out the whole situation to me so I could interfere before things got really awkward).

Which is rude. Just because Lucy and Chet wouldn't know (and, honestly, I think they saw the spread and they would have known and they would have had to stop her and that gets delicate and weird) doesn't make it okay. It's disrespectful. Grandma knew they don't give the kid pork and she was just going to give him pork-soaked hamburger anyway.

"He can't have that, Grandma," I told her. She's taking off the bacon, she tells me. I don't even get into that and skip right forward. "He only gets kosher meat."

Which is mostly true but not entirely and I didn't want to get into it because, as strict as they are or are not, Baby A doesn't get pork or anything cooked in pork and I wanted to shut it down before she started shoving it in his face.

"Oh. Is that so? Well," she said, tsk-tsking again.

"He'll be just as happy with a little fruit, Grandma."

I understand where Grandma was coming from. She is coming straight from the old school. Food is love and what the hell does it matter what kind of food it is? Technology is bad and what the hell do the details matter?

I don't know why I'm so sensitive to people criticizing the parenting decisions of other people but it just burns me. Especially when it's my grandma. Especially when she's ripping on my friends.

Just be respectful, you know? You don't have to understand why someone is doing it that way. Just respect their decision. 

This is just foreshadowing many incidents of hurt feelings if/when I have a baby, right?

But I would still like to give her a great-grandchild that she can tell me I'm parenting poorly.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Sound

Because I didn't have soccer last weekend:
Because Liz is working in Europe:
Because my new job is kicking my ass:
Because Lucy is spending every waking hour trying to get that baby out of her:
Because The Coach has the flu:
Because the next season starts on Sunday:

I've been rewatching the first season of The Newsroom.

I haven't watched an episode since last summer, when The Coach started me watching it. "You'll like it," he promised me. "It's smart."

And he started me watching it and he was right. I liked it. And then he left. Two episodes into the season and he had to go far away and coach and I had to stay here and watch the newest episodes while drinking coffee on Monday mornings.

It was sad.

I had kind of forgotten how sad it was. When he left last year.

I remembered it all as soon as I heard The Newsroom's music theme. It brought it right back.

Just in time.

The second season of The Newsroom starts on Sunday.

The Coach leaves in a couple of weeks.

 Back here again.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Deep thoughts on my first day of work

I.

Am.

Fried.

And excited and exhausted.

This is going to be a challenge.

This will be good for me.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Something to Remember

As I was wrapping up my job this week, I had so many coworkers say so many nice things to me. People seemed genuinely happy and excited for me. It’s been really nice. And, afraid that I would cry when they gave it to me at my going-away party, I haven’t even read through the card they all signed for me.

I didn’t work there all that long – just over two years – and I never really felt like I made any super close friends, so I suppose I never realized just how much people liked me.

There was one compliment in particular that I want to remember. It was from a woman who worked outside of my department. We were always friendly, the way you are with a coworker who you don’t really know all that well.

“We’re going to miss you so much, Alyson,” she said to me as we were leaving on Wednesday night. “It’s going to be like the lights went out in this place.”

I need to get better at giving compliments. Because that was really kind. 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

My hairdresser and my ticking clock

I can always count on my hairdresser for asking it. “So, are you seeing anyone?”

I always dance around giving her a real answer. And she always moans and sighs and gets really loud as she exclaims, for the whole salon to hear, “WHAT’S THE DEAL?!” as though it really matters to her.

I don’t know. Maybe it does really matter to her. Maybe she just really wants to do my hair for my wedding.

I got my hair cut and colored yesterday and apparently she was feeling extra sassy because, following the standard “so, are you seeing anyone?” she skipped over the dramatic questioning about why and how I could be so noncommittal about if there’s anyone significant in my life and don’t I know that I’m a catch, and instead just turned up her volume (you’re welcome for the entertainment, everyone else) and went straight to “YOU KNOW, YOUR MOTHER MIGHT WANT A GRANDCHILD ONE DAY!”

Good Lord.

Apparently, fear that others may become old maids with barren uteruses is just her thing. Another hairdresser chimed in about how my hairdresser gives it to her all the time, too.

My hairdresser did not deny this.

Instead she just pointed out – to everyone in the salon – that her concerns about me are completely valid. “SHE’S 30! HER CLOCK IS TICKING!”

And then she reminded me (and everyone else who was there), “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO HAVE A BABY. ESPECIALLY NOT AT 30.”

I just laughed it off because, well, what can you do? Stand before the entire salon and explain to everyone that, yes, you’re fully aware that that your clock is ticking because you think of it often? That recently The Takeaway on NPR ran a segment on fertility after 35 and you stopped what you were doing so that you could listen closely?

I didn’t really have any desire to rip open a subject that I won’t even broach with my best friend.

Especially while sporting a head full of foil.

So I just laughed.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Speaking of my sister (and a certain boy)

The Coach cannot believe that I've never told Meg about us.

He says it all the time. Just like that. "I can't believe you've never told your sister," he says.

I answer the same way every time. "Have you told your brother?"

No. He hasn't. "But my brother doesn't know you."

The Coach and Meg have met, yes. They have been to the same events a small handful of times. They're friends on Facebook. That's it. That's all. They aren't, like, great buddies who talk all of the time and therefore it's criminal that we're keeping this from Meg.

It doesn't matter.

But he still asks. Nearly every time I've seen him this summer, he's asked.

He posed the question yesterday when we were in the car. "I can't believe you've never told your sister about us. Are you ashamed of me?"

I couldn't be further than ashamed of The Coach. Does he really not know that? Can't he see that I'm playing this game by his rules? I keep it quiet for him. I've always kept it quiet for him.
So I don't understand why he asks.

What I do understand -- what I have only recently recognized because I'm a little bit dense and my head is always going a mile a minute whenever I'm with The Coach -- is that he's giving me an opening.

He's giving me the chance to talk.

Now it's time to do it.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Birthdays and sisters

Yesterday was Meg's birthday.

I meant to write about it yesterday, when she turned 27, but it never happened.

Yesterday, on her birthday (which is also the exact middle day of the year), I was going to write all about how much I love and adore and admire Meg, my big little sister. How she is so smart and so fun and how I couldn't imagine my life without her in it.

Mostly I wanted to write about Meg and about her birthday and about how I can't believe she's 27 and owns a house and a dog and is, like, a legitimate grown up so that I could include this photo, which I am including in this post instead.

I love this picture.

Because it is so us.

Meg in costume, front and center. And there I am standing behind her, smiling like I know this is how it is always going to be.

Truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Novelty

I was up before 7:00 this morning. I went to bed late, tired from a two-soccer Sunday. But, still, I was awake long before my alarm.

I wasn't mad about it.

I had the sweetest dreams. Dreams that made me smile as I remembered them. Dreams that made me happy while I burrowed back into my comforter, anticipating another hour of sleep. Maybe more.

But I never fell back to sleep and I didn't really care. There was coffee waiting for me downstairs.

Here's the truth about me and coffee: limiting myself to just one cup a day makes me really, really, really appreciate every drop. Starting that cup of coffee is a commitment. I will finish it. I will finish it before it gets cold. And I will enjoy it.

I feel similarly to my summer soccer season. Just nine games every summer, it is by far my favorite soccer of the year. I love the competitiveness. I love my teammates. I love our jerseys. I can't get enough because it isn't enough. Just nine games in the middle of what is always a busy summer.

Which brings me to The Coach. The Coach, with his job 2,000+ miles away. The Coach, who will go before I am ready. Who I will adore from afar. Who I can never quite manage to shake even though maybe I should. Or I should have three summers back, the first time we had to say goodbye.

When you only have one cup per day, you savor it.

When you only have one season per year, you worship it.

When you only have a handful of weeks every few months, you cherish it.    
 
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