Friday, September 24, 2010

Soccer mom = psycho mom!

Last night I had a moment right on the very edge of that fine line in between soccer mom and psycho mom (ok, I'll admit it, I jumped over the edge and admit to feeling embarassed about it shortly after!). I'll paint the picture for you.

I have cute little boys... right?! See?

But with all their strengths and sweet parts, I gotta admit something... they're not destined for professional athletics. Somehow, they lack that cut-throat competitive spirit required for significant skill development and athletic performance.

Now, I've admitted before that the day soccer season is over is a day I celebrate. Every Thursday and Saturday morning, we stand there on the sidelines yelling at our boys for 2 hours... it's awesome. At least we're not having to chase Charlie off the field this year! Anyway, yesterday I sent Paul ahead to Canon's game and told him I'd meet him there shortly. After taking my sweet time to round up Charlie and some shoes for both of us, I made it to the game about halfway through...

and of course,




He was so excited! The team they were playing was really small and looked really young. Canon was one of the tallest kids on the field. Over and over and over, Canon was able to kick that ball down the field toward his goal. He took like 10 shots on the goal! None of them went in once I got there, but I'd never seen him playing so well! I think at this point, they were up 3-0.

So the quarter ends and Canon gets a turn playing goalie. Perfect! He's standing there, ready to go anytime the other team manages to make it to his side of the field. He and his team were FINALLY having a good game. They even scored one more time while I was there.

Quick backtrack: Canon's team doesn't have any power players. They've won a couple games I think, but for the most part, they stink. A couple weeks ago, they had to play this team with a killer player on it. He was a little hispanic kid who was wicked fast, wicked good, and wicked aggressive. That kid (not his team, but THAT KID) scored at least 8 goals on Canon's team that day. He's not a kid you forget... his name was Diego and he. was. awesome. They got totally spanked!

So back to last night... I'm standing there on the sidelines close to the goal so I can appropriately yell at my kid just in case he needs reminders to stand up or stop dancing or something. Suddenly I notice this small little hispanic kid throws the ball in and starts dominating the field! He shoots at the goal and MY CANON actually stops it! As I watch this kid run around taking the ball and keeping it away from anyone who comes near him, a memory stirs. Once I realize this is Diego from a couple weeks ago, I kinda start freaking out!!

ME: "haven't we already played this team?"
ME: "what's that kid doing out there? I know that's the same kid. It has to be!"
SOMEONE: "I think they're subbing him in"
ME: "what the crap is going on here? why is Diego out there playing? Get him off the field!!!!!!!!!" (I was talking loud enough that everyone could hear me.)

One of the moms on our team tries to tell me that the other team didn't have enough players so they had to sub someone from another team in so they could play the game. Now, remember, I got there late and didn't know if that was true. So, I shut up at that point, but was still thinking, "what the crap?" If you can sub anyone you want from other teams, yeah, I'd take that kid every time! Then talking to another mom nearby, she points out that the other team's coach (also hispanic, maybe related to Diego?) asked our substitute coach if it was okay if they sent in some extra players "since their team was behind." Our coach didn't know what to say, so the other coach just sent in 2 more of their players AND Diego! 10 players against 7, and one of them not even on the team. I was ticked. Yes, I know it's city-league soccer, but there is no reason to cheat.

Thankfully before I could make myself look like MORE of an insano-maniac, the teenage ref blew her whistle, the game was done and they didn't end up scoring on Canon.


Crisis averted!

But it took me a while to fully calm down. For the first time all season, our little boys have a successful game. Not a blowout or anything near it... 4-0 is not an offensive lead in my book! My little boy had his first goal outside of cub soccer. My little boy was protecting the goal when all this cheating was going on. I'm so glad that no damage was done, because if that kid had jumped into the game and come back to beat them, that would have been devastating!

Canon was so funny about it. As we're walking to the car, he says, "mom, remember that mexican boy with the sleeves at that other game. That boy today was just like him." "No, Canon, that WAS him." "nu-uh mom, Diego was on my friend Cameron's team and we didn't play them tonight." "I know Canon, the other team was cheating by letting Diego play today. But you were awesome and he didn't score on you!! Way to go!" I was very proud of him!

I'm glad Paul wasn't there for my drama. He gets embarassed at me sometimes. We made our way over to Andy's soccer game next and I got to tell Paul all about it. He thought it was funny how upset I was over the issue. At least I was getting some validation from a couple of the other mommys that were there! They were upset about it too.

So there you have it... my psycho-soccer-mom moment. One more week til it's all over! And then, I get to look forward to next year when we have 3 kids playing (killmenow)!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remembering Brian

I had to cry myself to sleep the other night and wearing mascara has been a bad idea for the last couple of days. On Tuesday afternoon, I got home from work and jumped on facebook for a minute. I saw an old high school friend had commented to another friend some condolenses and something about his wife and child. Without reading all that he said, I jumped onto Brian's wall-page and saw this headline:

"North Van dad-to-be's final act saves family" next to this picture.

Following my initial gasp, I began crying almost immediately because this is my friend, Brian Raymond Wood.

Brian and Erin were in a car accident on Whidbey Island when an drugged-up 21-year-old swerved over the center line into oncoming traffic while taking off her sweater. At the last second, Brian hit the brakes and turned the car right in order to take the full impact of the collision. This action crushed the car and killed him instantly, but protected his wife and unborn baby. Erin is due with their first child in early November. I'm devastated.

Though Brian and I haven't had a lot of contact in the last 11 years, the way I describe our relationhip is "close." At one point way back when, we were more than friends, but never boyfriend and girlfriend. We would have never been compatible as a couple, but we were friends that truly loved each other. As was appropriate, we fell out of touch when I got married right after college. Occasional emails and a couple phone calls were shared, but otherwise, I knew very little about his doings for several years. But the day I found out he was engaged to Erin, I stalked their wedding website often hoping to get to know more about the woman who would make him supremely happy. I was and am SO happy that he found her!

For my own benefit, and for those that knew Brian when I did, and even for Erin to see a snapshot of her husband before she knew him through the eyes of someone who cared very much for him, I want to describe my relationship and history with Brian.

Brian and I met and had classes together in Jr. High. We became better friends by the time we were freshman in high school. It didn't take long for me to develop a crush on him that continued throughout that year, despite the fact he had a girlfriend. He was a cutie, even back then. I have so many memories of Brian from that year, memories you wouldn't normally have if you weren't paying 'ilikeyouwhydon'tyoulikeme' attention to someone! Ultimately though, I remember his smile and friendliness, even before we became closer friends.

Throughout high school, we had TONS of classes together, were in the plays and musicals together, and sang in the choirs together. But our friendship grew stronger during our senior year. I had a pretty psycho boyfriend that year and Brian was often there for me when I was confused or frustrated about stuff. I was also there for him when one of his mentors had committed suicide. We would talk a lot, hang out, sing, and tease each other. Brian would play his guitar for me after we'd rehearse for our graduation song audition. But the most memorable experience I had with Brian that year was playing the main leads together in 'The Pajama Game'. Brian played Sid Sorokin, and I was Babe Williams. We had so much fun playing these parts!

"Married life is lots of fun... Two can sleep as cheap as one!"

Here are some pictures of Brian and some of my other close guy-friends at graduation.

During the summer after graduation, things finally exploded with that previously mentioned psycho boyfriend and thankfully, Brian was there for me again. I was not-so-patiently waiting to head off to college at Utah State, but since it was on a trimester system at the time, I didn't start until mid September. Thankfully, Brian was still around so we could still hang out. But even after we both went our separate ways, me to Logan, Utah and he to Oberlin College in Ohio, we were in frequent contact... daily emails and often multiple emails a day. It was AMAZING the support I received from him. When I got my first guitar that Christmas, I named it "Sid" in Brian's honor. We even sent care packages to each other once. The one he sent me included this bear that Canon is holding in this picture at least 8 years later:

Sorry, I know that's totally random. Anyway, I believed in him and he believed in me. He always ended his emails with, "forever".

Brian finished school earlier than I did that next spring and even came out to Utah to visit me for about a week around Memorial Day weekend. He stayed at my friend's house at night, but hung out and went to classes with me during the week. He made fun of how 'dumbed down' my chemistry 101 class was and told me I could have gone to a harder college. I agree, that class was lame, but I can guarantee that USU did challenge me enough when it mattered! Neuropathology, much? Yeah. I think the week he visited was possibly the first time I'd purchased a green pepper and used it to cook a meal... he taught me how to make yummy fajitas!

That following school year, Brian transferred to Lawrence University and our communication with each other became less. We began not needing each other as much. But I would see him and hang out over Christmas breaks. Let's see, a random memory includes driving to a Shadows reunion together and him telling me I was wearing more make-up than usual. We'd catch up and talk about everything under the sun, including religion, the relationships we were or had been in, what our plans were for life. We were SO DIFFERENT from each other, but it didn't really matter to our friendship. I sometimes wondered in Brian and I could ever make a legitimate couple, but I think we both knew we couldn't. Which was fine, but because we were just a little "more than friends", everything changed our junior year of college. I'd behaved badly concerning Brian over Christmas break that year and then later when I began dating my future husband, Paul, we almost completely lost touch. It happens... life moves on, people evolve and carve their path in life; and relationships change, but the memories and love stay with you.

And that's again, why I was so happy when Brian met and married Erin. Brian was admittedly horrible at keeping in touch with me via email, but I knew he was so happy living his life with his true love. I was thrilled the day I found him on facebook, but he wasn't ever very 'newsy'. Most of his status updates were about how fast he ran 6km that morning, but it was nice to know he was there. It was fun to congratulate him on running his first half marathon this year and occasionally he'd comment on one of my updates about running.

Anyway, ultimately, I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to those of us who knew this wonderful man. We are all experiencing a huge loss. I'm sad he won't be here to help raise his baby. I'm aching to imagine what kind of strength it will take for Erin to pick up the pieces and redefine herself without him. She is living my worst nightmare. I want her to know that I truly care about her and her little one. And I want to thank her for helping my friend find joy in this life. I honor Brian and his love for Erin. He was a beautiful human being in life and a true hero in death. Brian, until we meet again, I will truly miss you.