Saturday, January 29, 2011

See Max's Girl Run

Okay, y'all are going to have to put up with some more soccer gushing, but this time will be a little different.

Y'all know the Impertinent One has been playing soccer since she was seven, right? Wanted to start her when she was four or five, but the Husbandly One was convinced she was too tiny and would get hurt. I kept pushing, and finally, he said we could try it out and see how she did.

Why did I want her to play soccer?

Well, see, our Labrador Retriever, Max, was such a ball dog. We'd had him since we were first married, and spent a lot of time throwing tennis balls, Frisbees, kick balls, and any other kind of ball we had around for him, and he'd fetch and bring it back, or knock it around and then knock it to us... he was very playful, and we sort of got into the habit of inventing games to play with him. Then one day, THO found a soccer ball and brought it home, and thus began Max's life as a Soccer Dog.

THO spent a lot of time running around, kicking the ball with Max, and Max would knock it back to him and it was pretty damned funny. And amazing.

Did I mention Max waited five years for us to have a kid? And when we finally did, the first thing he did the day we brought her home was drop a ball in her crib and wait patiently for her to throw it back?

The day she finally did was the happiest day in his life.

Okay, so skip forward to when she was finally upwardly mobile and could run. We still kept a variety of balls around for Max (and for Miss Impertinence, too!). And they played, running around the yard constantly.

The inevitable happened. Max taught the Impertinent Daughter how to play soccer. And he always played in a take-no-prisoners kind of way.

She learned well.

Okay, so, the Impertinent One went to her first soccer practice and took to it like a duck takes to water. She was the smallest kid on her team, and I had my moments of "Oh, maybe THO was right," but then she'd play just the way Max taught her and I'd stop worrying.

Then she had her first game, and THO, who had missed the practices, came to watch. There were several kids on the other team who were like... twice her size, and I could see THO was nervous when she went on the field to play. Then this kid, who was HUGE compared to her, loomed over her as she came running up the field with the ball, actually lifting up his arms like he was going to do a "Hulk, smash!!" kind of thing, and I could see THO was ready to race onto the field to save her...

She looked up at him, smirked, then plowed him to the ground with one shoulder and blitzed right past him like he didn't weigh a thing, passed to one of the other forwards, and bam! it was a goal.

I looked up at THO, trying not to be smug, and he was staring after her with this sort of befuddled, totally besotted look on his face, full of shock and admiration, and he suddenly shouted, "THAT'S MY GIRL!! YOU GO, IMPERTINENCE!!"

And that was that.

Well, somewhere along the way, probably when she was about ten or eleven, she started losing her confidence. Mostly after she started playing under the coach she'd had her first season, whom she really liked. He called her his Trooper, because she was always willing to play, even when she was hurt, and he could count on her to set up the ball for shots on goal. Then... he started not playing her as often. He'd bench her, or put her in and take her out after a few minutes. By the last season she played with him, it was starting to tell on her. She started playing in a very tentative sort of way, and flinching when the ball came at her, or when boys looked like they were going to bump her. The coach moved her to midfield, and by her last season, had moved her to defense. She stayed at midfield and defense for the next two levels she played at, and again when she played for the junior high, though she slowly started getting her confidence back. By the time she was playing for the junior high, she was playing aggressively again.

When she started at the high school, after making the team, the coach told her she would play her at midfield, but mostly, she wanted Impertinence to play forward.

"I can't play forward!" she wailed to me. "I'm not fast enough!! I can't run like that!"

"Yes, you can," I said, because I know her, right?

"No! I'm too chunky, look at my legs, they're too short!!"

"You do a lot better than you think you do," I said firmly. "And it's not just speed, honey. It's knowing where to be and when to be there, and you are very good at that. And you're fast enough when you want to be," I added, thinking, you're pretty damn fast when your brother has something you don't want him to have, and you want it back!

Admittedly, the first game she played as a forward, she looked totally lost, but... she nearly got a goal. By the time they played in the tournament in Hays, she'd figured things out, and was starting to enjoy it.

Last night, she came full circle.

I almost missed her first shot at goal. I was grumbling at my camera, trying to adjust the settings because it wasn't cooperating with me, and the Tall Blonde grabbed my arm and practically physically turned my head for me and I was just in time to see her, right there, zipping between Bastrop players like they weren't even there, and then she was there, the keeper wasn't and BAM that ball was flying into the goal. The keeper made a desperate last second lunge and managed to hit the ball with the tips of her fingers just enough to change the trajectory and the ball hit the pole and flew out.

I couldn't even make a sound!, I just sat there with my hands plastered over my face.

I could just swear that when she went zipping down the field, slipping between those other girls... there was a big goofy black dog running right next to her.

It was like I was seeing her in that first game, that same fierce joy, the determination, the "Ha-ha-ha, this is my game, you're playing on my field, and I'm gonna get that ball!!" that had been missing since she was eleven... and it was so wonderful!!

She's found her speed again, too.

And that's why I spent most of the game with my hands either clutched under my chin or plastered over my face, why I could barely squeak at times, because seeing her like that again was so extremely wonderful, it was almost unbearable.

I think she's going to be just fine now. I really do.

Max and His Girl

Friday, January 28, 2011


OMG, y'all, the Impertinent Daughter had the most EPIC game ever tonight!!!


The coach has been playing her as a forward, which really freaked her out at the beginning of the season, but she's settling into it and OMG, she nearly scored three times tonight, not to mention this totally epic steal/recapture/jockey/resteal/shoot sequence she had... it was... OMG, I was so breathless from yelling that I was squeaking!!!

I finally had to sit down with my hands over my mouth, because, omg, it was like seeing her when she first started playing, so fierce and take no prisoners!!!

Oh, the Lady Lions JV had such an awesome game, and though they lost 1-0, they actually had more shots on goal than their opponent did! And the one goal the Bears got was a complete accident on both their and our part. But STILL!!!

*is thrilled liek whoa*

Oh, yeah, did I mention? The Impertinent One and I have a bet. If she gets a goal, I have to get another tattoo.

Looks like she really, really wants me to get a tattoo!!

I'm gonna be so hoarse tomorrow from all the yelling and squeaking, but, oh, so worth it!!

I'M SO PROUD!! Bet y'all couldn't tell at all, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

This is going to be a problem...

Okay, so... apparently I can write when I'm away from home.

I've had a plot bunny stalking me for a few days, and when we decided to make an excursion into Austin yesterday to hit Barnes and Noble and Book People to use our gift cards, it finally decided to attack.

I keep a notebook in my purse for writing purposes (yes, how old fashioned of me, right?) and I tried writing in the car, but you know, that didn't work so well. However, I remembered that my iPod Touch has a note writing app on it, so... I decided to try that et voila!

So... I can write when I'm not sitting here in my nice comfortable Auntie Nook where I have all this space and references, and I can look out the window and see my garden when I need distraction or to think... no, I have to be AWAY from it and... *head-desk*

Guess I'd better start looking at local options for places to write. Because, seriously, I can't keep tripping into San Marcos to hang out at the library to write! No comfortable corners there anyway.

There used to be a place here called "Java Motion" where I would go after dropping off the kids. I'd take the laptop or a notebook, buy a hot chocolate and something to nibble on, find a table in a corner near the window so I could see out on the square, and I'd spend a few hours writing. Didn't do it often, but when I did, I was always productive. They had wi-fi, so if I needed references, I could go online. It's closed last summer, and it looks like no one's going to buy the place and make a substitute. Which sucks.

The Dairy Queen here has wi-fi, but... no. No thank you. There is a library here, and while there is a nice space for writing, with at least two or three semi-private carrells, people with laptops are banished to this really crappy folding table in a very drafty hallway near the back, right by the restrooms. Not an ideal situation for writing in. And, there's a place called "The Baker's Rack" that has wi-fi, but it's small and a wee bit crowded...

Gah, why can't I write here????

On another note, the Impertinent Daughter did this rough sketch this morning, which I looked at with great amusement. She'd asked me to name a character for her to sketch, and my brain did it's usual thing of emptying of any useful content whatsoever, and I do remember grumbling something about not having enough caffeine for this before suggesting the first thing that came to mind. She, of course, shot it down immediately, so I responded with, "Roxas!" in desperation.

Which made her roll her eyes.

This is the result...

It's not Roxas. She said that. She said, "I don't know who this is, though it's kind of like you, kind of like me, but more like you when you're all 'I haven't had enough caffeine for this,' and all."

So, it's very like me, except I don't drink coffee because of the brain explodey thing. But, you get the idea.

So now I'm off to... um... not write. Or at least figure out where I can write. Woot. I think.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It Happened Ten Years Ago...

Happy Birthday to my Impossible Son.

Ten years ago, after 24 hours of labor, almost pushing you out, and an emergency c-section to follow, they laid you next to me and I thought, "OMG, I gave birth... to my DAD."

It was a kinda scary moment.

I got over it, though, when you squinched up your face and you looked just like your Papa. Thank goodness.

I'm trying very hard not to remember the fact that you are now officially... *ulp* ... a... PRE-TEEN!

*insert music from shower scene of "Psycho"*

It's been an interesting adventure so far, full of grubby hands, hugs, cookie thieves, Kingdom Hearts, outgrown sneakers, flat soccer balls, heart attacks, scraped knees, awkward elbows, stitches, broken thumbs, lots of mud and grass stains, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and Mario. And I'm looking forward to the next ten, or at least I'm trying to, with all the hair growing in weird places, extreme Body Odor, big feet and hands, elbows and knees everywhere, more outgrown sneakers and flat soccer balls, first kisses, an outrageous grocery bill, and going through tissues like nobody's business (just... please don't throw them under your bed, okay?), as well as other incipient heart attacks.

No matter how old you get, you'll always be my favorite Cookie Thief.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Impossible.

Between you and the Impertinent Daughter, life is never dull!

Friday, January 14, 2011


My plans for World Domination Through Cookies is proceeding nicely!!! Haha!!!

Er... I mean... I made cookies for the Impossible Son's class today, because his birthday is on Sunday, and... I brought them in. Why do I do cookies instead of cupcakes? Well, since the Impossible Son reacts to the dyes in cupcakes, turning into the World's Fastest Human Blur and Incoherent Babbler, it would be kinda hypocritical for me to bring in cupcakes, considering how much I grumble about it when other moms do.

Besides... it pretty much guarantees the complete attention of whatever group I get when I volunteer as "parental herder" on the next field trip. Plus, it allows me to slip up to certain administrators and teachers for a bit of "cookie bribery." Heh.

It's working, too. *evil grin* And the cookies... heh, no one can resist my cookies!!!

Varsity Goalie is nervous now, and has been backing off from Miss Impertinent.

Yes, yes, I am evil, I know. XD

Anyhow, I proceeded on to Mr. Impossible's class and they pretty much just... inhaled the cookies!! I took double chocolate chip and chewy ginger. It's funny, they were all sort of doubtful about the ginger, but... once they tried them, they disappeared pretty fast! One of the girls came up and asked me shyly if I would make cookies for her on Tuesday.

"Why, is it your birthday?" I asked, not wanting to step on her mother's toes, so to speak.

"No," she said dreamily as she nibbled at her cookie. "I'm in... cookie heaven! And I want to go there again!"



um... yeah, anyway... it was awesome! And the Impossible Son was pretty happy, too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just to show you how devoted I am...

Hamming it up to stay warm...

That's yours truly, and the Impossible Son, freezing our asses off in San Marcos while watching the Impertinent Daughter and the rest of the Lady Lions junior varsity squad play soccer.

It was 26 F, and the wind chill was 0, baby!! I still can't feel my face, and next time? I'm wearing those insulated pants hunters wear, because OMG, my legs! Even in thermals!! I was one frozen little Auntie, and Mr. Manzie was one frozen little popsicle boy, I tell you for TRUE!!

... and apparently, the cold brings out my inner Cajun

They lost, 1 to 0, but hey, they held them to 1 point! Miss Impertinence played the entire game! I'm so proud of her!!

And now, I'm crawling back under the covers to thaw out. That, and drink gallons and gallons of hot tea.

Why do I even ask?

Item one: The Impertinent Daughter's coach has given her a nickname. Because her name is too hard to remember/say.


Yes, that's her nickname. Japan. Because... she's into manga, is learning to speak Japanese, etc.

Oh, boy. So... I disciplined myself to not yell her childhood nickname at soccer games ("OMG, Mum, that is SOOO embarrassing!!") and trained myself to use her "new" nickname, which was "Cat."

Until some boys in junior high started calling her "Cat Williams" or tried to imply she was the type to sleep around, like a cat.


So now... I'm supposed to train myself out of calling her "Cat" AND the childhood nickname (which I fall into in moments of great excitement), and now start calling her "Japan?" Do I have enough brain cells left to do this??

Guess I'd better round some up, right?

Item two: When the Impertinent One was but a babe in arms, her papa and I found, to our great dismay, that the only way to calm her down when she was crying her head off was to sing... country and western songs. This would not have been so bad had we both been country and western fans. And while THO and I enjoy an eclectic mix of music... yeah. But... that wasn't the worst part. No, no, no.

The worst part was... she had two particular songs she loved and that soothed her best. "Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brookes & Dunn, and... the cover of "My Maria," also done by Brookes & Dunn. I can remember one particular afternoon of walking in endless circles in my mom's living room, trying my best to warble out "Boot Scootin' Boogie" in a hoarse, over-used voice while trying to console my wailing, gas-inflicted child, and Eldest Sister walking in and nearly suffocating herself in hysterical laughter. In retrospect, it was awfully damn funny, but at the time, I was not amused!

How this is relevant to tonight? Well, I was downloading music for the Impertinent Daughter, and on a whim, played "Boot Scootin' Boogie" for her, and she sat up, eyes wide, and shouted, "I KNOW THAT SONG!! OMIGOSH, I KNOW THAT SONG!! I don't know from where, but it's so familiar, and... I KNOW THAT SONG!!!"

I'm surprised she didn't fall over sound asleep!!

I always felt rather like Murphy Brown during those years. Poor Murphy, such a huge Motown fan, and then she has a baby who will only go to sleep if she croons Barry Manilow, whom she cannot stand, to him!

Item three: I finally broke down and bought a new coat. Therefore, when I'm sitting up in the stands freezing my ass off while watching the Impertinent One play soccer, I won't be doing it in a coat older than my marriage!!