the hyphens that define my life

My Daily Blog: T-4 Man Enough to Cry June 15, 2013

Nothing makes my heart hurt more than seeing my children cry.  I’m not talking about the whiney fit throwing cry when they don’t get their way, then they can cry all they want, I am immune (or, at the very least, I talk a good game).  After the final soccer game with his Chelsea Blue team today, his coaches said incredibly kind words and wished our twelve-year-old, Trace, well on his journey.  Trace accepted the words, the gifts and hugs with chin quivering and tears streaming down his face.

Trace is hit hardest, emotionally, with our move.  He’s leaving the school he’s attended and friends he has made since first grade.  He’s leaving the team and coaches he has played with for two years.  He’s really just coming into his own and we’re yanking the rug out from under him. We are paying the price.  The solemn looks, the anger, the frustration, the sadness and lots of tears have been given in heavy doses since we announced the move.  Totally understandable but it doesn’t change our decision.

On the drive home today after the game, we talked about emotions.  I told Trace I was proud of him for letting his emotions show, for crying and not holding in or masking his feelings.  Trace said he loved playing with the team and his coaches are awesome. He appreciated his coach saying that whenever Trace is in town, he has an open invitation to play with the Chelsea team.  He felt loved, his efforts appreciated.

Trace is looking forward to playing with FC Spokane.  We arrive in Spokane on Friday and he will begin training on Monday.  Trace has had great coaches over the years and has developed well with their training.  We are excited to see how Trace’s game develops further with new coaches, a new team and new training.

When we first joined with Chelsea, (it was then JUSA Crew), I forewarned the coaches I was loud, I cheer words of encouragement, and I question the referees occasionally.  The coach said he welcomed the entire family.  To my credit, I haven’t gotten kicked out of a game or scolded by a referee. Yet.  I didn’t happen to mention my sideline charm to the FC Spokane coaches.  I’ll let this post be their fair warning. They will learn soon enough, plus I didn’t want to hurt Trace’s chances of getting on a team.  Since we are so busy getting settled this summer, and I need time to learn all the boys names, I’m going to try really really hard to be mellow this summer and ease my way in with the fall season. Wishing myself luck with that plan.

I love watching Trace play soccer.  I have loved his time spent with JUSA Crew/Chelsea Blue. Though it was a tear jerker for everyone watching, I am proud that he loves his team and coaches so much he needed to cry today.  My maternal reaction when my kids cry is to run to them, hold them and comfort them.  You know your kid is growing up when they reach out to his teammates for support and they are there to support him.

One final group hug, Trace called out the final team huddle and we left with well wishes from all. Thank you Andy and Dave for the time, energy, dedication, encouragement, love and support you gave to our son.

FC Spokane I hope you’re ready for Trace.  He is a beast on the soccer field and emotionally in the game.  And **BONUS** you got me on the sideline.


My Daily Blog T-12 And So It Begins June 7, 2013

It’s starting.

Yesterday, my 6th grader had to read a speech he had written about his elementary school experience in front of his class, as did all of his classmates, to select a student to read their commencement speech at 6th grade promotion next week.  I read the speech he had written, it was simple yet emotionally strong enough to make my eyes well up with tears.  No wonder then, that while he was standing in front of the class reading his speech, he stumbled when he read he would miss his friends.  He cried and couldn’t continue so his teacher finished reading his speech. We know this move is not easy on him but to have to publicly display his 12-year-old emotions is rough.

Today at a our son’s third grade class Reader’s Theatre production of Charlotte’s Web, I felt a wave of emotional finality at the elementary school.  I said my first “goodbye in case I don’t see you next week”. Goodbyes are going to happen, the countdown is getting close to single digits, goodbyes are inevitable.  I just wasn’t ready at 9 AM.  I need time to prepare.  I need time to brace myself.  I need to bring tissues!

We have been at our elementary school for 6 years.   We have made many great friends. Five families are  hosting a going away party for us tonight.  Their thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity humble me completely.  Everyone’s excited except no one wants the party to happen to have to say goodbye…except our youngest who just wants to go swimming and eat tacos.  He’s ready to party.  This is our last big event, our last get-together.

In our virtual world, goodbyes aren’t as forever and final as they once were due to limitations with high-priced long distance calls and the chore of writing a letter.  Goodbyes are not any easier though.  My son may play virtual FIFA Soccer video games with his OC friends, but won’t play on the same real soccer team.  I can email and text my friends but I won’t volunteer with them, see them regularly or just hang out.  Virtual and real living are not the same.  Living in Spokane will not be the same as living in OC, nor do we want it to be.  We want change and the price tag for change is that our lives won’t be the same. With friends, that’s difficult and emotional.

Don’t forget the tissues, there will be plenty of tears.