The Best in the World

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Contest, Encouragement, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Sports | Posted on 19-08-2016

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I have been actively watching the Olympics each night. Actively, I say, because I yell on the sidelines sofalines. I cheer and yell loudly. My enthusiasm makes the swimmers stroke longer and the sprinters run faster.

YOU CAN DOOOOOO IT!

They can. They do. And they win.

My eleven-year-old had a track meet this spring, where all fifth graders from all five elementary schools in our town gathered and competed. It’s a ritual that’s been going on for decades. They perform all of the traditional track and field events. Except pole vaulting. Oh, and the discus is a frisbee. But whatever.

But the sprints? Sheer speed. It’s a nail-biter to see who the fastest fifth grader is in town.

My son competed in the 75-meter sprint. The gun went off and he flew. I couldn’t contain my cheering: GO! YOU’VE GOT THIS!

He went. And he got it. A blue ribbon. And a huge smile.

He is the best in the my world.

When it comes to sports, do we love our children more when they win? Or do we love that our children are healthy? Or do we love that our children are becoming independent and confident?

Healthy. Independent. Confident. As a mother, I want my children to be winners on the inside. But a blue ribbon from time to time doesn’t hurt. 🙂

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The $100 Dollar Bill

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life Lessons, Milestones, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Sports | Posted on 06-10-2015

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Now that my sixteen-year-old son is driving, he runs errands. He makes decisions. And he buys his own football cleats.

Except, he still needs me for money.

When the time came to get a new pair of football cleats, I handed my son a $100 dollar bill from the red envelope that contained my gift money from last Christmas. Money saved for “something special.”

Bring me back the change!

He drove. He shopped. He returned with a sparkling new pair of cleats.

Mom, you owe me $28.

What?!

Football season is well underway. As I watch my son tackle, sweat, and work so hard, I am so proud. Post-game, I always get a big, sweaty hug and smile.

So, yeah, that $100 bill was indeed used for something special.

Friday night lights.

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I’ve Got Spirit, How About You?!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Confidence, Encouragement, Mothering, Parenting, Sports, Uncategorized | Posted on 17-01-2014

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I always wanted to be a cheerleader. But I never tried out.

I yelled loudly. I knew the cheers. I had spirit.

But I lacked the confidence to try out. You know what? I was on the tennis and track team at my high school. Yep, total jock. 🙂

It wasn’t until years later that I gave cheerleading another try. When I became a parent.

You can find me on the sidelines at most games. Football, soccer, basketball. I yell. I cheer. I have spirit.

Win or lose, I am my childrens’ biggest fan.

I. Am. A. Cheerleader.

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Win or Lose

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Dreams, Encouragement, Kids, Life, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Sports | Posted on 10-01-2014

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I love the Olympics. I love Moms. I love emotional commercials. I love Tide. And I love this P&G commercial about all that mothers do for their children to support them as they follow their dreams…picking them up when they teeter and totter as toddlers…driving them to all of their practices and events…tending to their wounds…and then cheering them on at the Olympics, and beaming when they win their medal.

Olympic medal?? Wait!

But what if they don’t win a medal? Or don’t make the Olympics? Or don’t make the varsity team? Or don’t make the team at all? Or are the worst player on the team? Or kinda suck at sports in general?

Do we love our children any less?

Do we love our children more when they win and are good athletes and are successful?

Do we love our children less when they lose or fail or fall below our expectations of them?

This commercial got me thinking about how I parent. And how I want to always support and love my children. Always and all ways. Unconditionally. When they dream big and achieve and are successful. When they fail or make mistakes. When they fall below my (high) expectations of them.

I am not a mother of an Olympic athlete in training. But we are heading to a soccer tournament this weekend. I’ll let you know if I love my daughter more or less, come Monday. Wink.

What form!

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Sometimes Sons Wear Unitards

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childrearing, Children, Parenting, Sports | Posted on 22-10-2012

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Sometimes I think I know my kids so well. What they are thinking. What they will choose.

I sometimes think they’ll follow a certain path that I have “envisioned” for them. Then when they choose something different, I think to myself, wow. I’m not really in charge anymore.

My children are becoming independent.

And then I’m sorta proud.

Take my son for example. He’s 6 feet tall and he’s 13 years old. Yeah, he’s a natural fit for basketball. I assumed he would play it all through high school. And get a scholarship. I was envisioning Hoosiers.

Yet, this son of mine has no interest in basketball. Just because he’s tall, doesn’t mean he wants to play. And just because I thought he should try basketball, doesn’t mean he wants to.

He told me the other day he wants to try wrestling.

Wrestling??! My first thought was Nacho Libre.

The Mexican wrestling masks. The unitards.

My second thought was this is SO not Hoosiers.

But my son’s football coach encouraged him.

After I thought about it and rewatched Vision Quest, I’m totally supportive of my son’s choices.

Even if the unitards are dorky.

Mouth Guards And Wings

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Babies, Boys, Childrearing, Confidence, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Life Lessons, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting, Sports | Posted on 20-09-2012

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At the hospital, the nurses told me to hold my newborn like a football when I fed him.

Now this six-foot-tall young man plays football. With swarms of teenager girls watching.

I was not prepared for this.

I have mothered this boy-man for 13 years. As the years and milestones pass, I try to support his independence, steer his choices, but ultimately let go. And it’s difficult.

One of my favorite parenting mantras is:

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give to our children. One of them is roots. The other is wings.”

I’m better at the roots part. You know, the love and nurturing part?

I am trying to be better at the wings part.

Take for example, football. Do I want my son playing a sport where his body is jostled around and he is required to wear a mouth guard–not only to protect his pretty teeth but to prevent jaw injuries at mega impact? It’s nerve-racking signing all of the concussion waivers. It’s also kinda awesome seeing him in his full gear–with helmet and pads–looking like a man.

He really really wants to play. And he is committed to doing his best.

I am proud of his dedication and enthusiasm. And because of this, I must let go and let him grow. And be his cheerleader.

I can’t help but think of the children’s song, Eagles, which sums up my belief in raising children: letting go.

May this big boy of mine fly down that football field with his mouth guard and his budding wings. I will be watching with love, support, and faith in him. And I may also be sporting a tear or two.

These pictures show me with my son then…now.

 

Getting Picked Last Sucks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Confidence, Life Lessons, Sports | Posted on 25-06-2012

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Kickball. Two teams. Two captains. Time to pick teams.

There were always the best players who could kick a home run every time. There were the fast players, who could round the bases with little effort. I was both.

Then there were the kids who were picked last. Their dejected faces drooping, as they shuffled over to the rest of their team. Were their feelings hurt? Did they know they lacked mad kickball skills? Did they know they sorta sucked?

I never knew because I was always a team captain or one of the first to get picked. I was one of the tallest girls in 8th grade. Long legs. Athletic. I excelled at kickball.

It wasn’t until later in life that I started getting picked last. And let me tell you, it sucks.

I play indoor women’s soccer and the teams get formed on the spot. You show up wearing a dark shirt or a white shirt. Forming teams is usually pretty easy. The dark shirts vs. the white shirts. Except sometimes teams are a little skewed. And some player shuffling goes on. I am usually picked, oh, about sixth.

There are six players on the field. Do the math.

I’m still tall tallish and I still have long legs. But I’m not as athletic as I used to be. I definitely do not excel at soccer. But I am decent. I try hard. OK, I try my best. I get sweaty. I’m a team player. I’m competitive. I cannot help but do the comparison:

Pippi = Rudy. Sort of.

You know Rudy? That kid had heart. Even though he only played during the game for like eight minutes.

When I go grocery shopping, I can’t help but think about picking teams, especially when it’s time to select the apples. Pick the shiny, firm apples? Or pick a few that have a little dent or a bruise?

Yeah, I’m that sucker who feels sorry for fruit.

For every half dozen apples I select, I grab a deformed one and vow to eat it first when I get home. Because no one likes getting picked last.

Hey! I’m hanging out with other cool bloggers at Yeah Write. Check them out!
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You Know You’re Too Busy When…

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Family, Kids, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-06-2012

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You know you’re too busy when…your child doesn’t have time to poop because you are rushing from activity to activity.

That’s when you know that you have too much going on. And that’s when you know you have turned into PSYCHO MOM.

School. Playdates. Doctor appointments. Extra curricular activities. Sports. Lessons.

When is enough enough?

It is enough when your child gets home from school, goes upstairs to poop, but you stop him mid-poop and yell, “HURRY UP! GET YOUR PIANO BOOKS! WE’RE GONNA BE LATE FOR YOUR PIANO LESSON!”

Do we want to speed through childhood and life? So much that we can’t even go to the bathroom?

This week was my breaking point. It is now time to reassess. And maybe not sign up for that extra summer camp.

Am I turning into the type of mother who over schedules her children? One of those psycho Moms that I find annoying? The kind whose children are so busy, they don’t have any down time to simply lie in the shade to discover that grass blades indeed make great whistles?

Summer is upon us. We need to drop something. Lower expectations. Something.

I used to believe in only one activity per child at a time. Then one activity turned into two. But does swim lessons count as an activity or is it a necessity? I care and want my children to be well-rounded and interesting and active. But I also want them to be happy. Are they happy when they are rushing from activity to activity? Their distressed faces tell me otherwise.

With three kids, there’s soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, art class, horseback riding, football. Three kids multiplied by x number of activities. Now we’ve got an algebra problem. And I suck at math.

As a child, sure I had lessons–tennis, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, even drama and cooking class–but I also remember having lots of free time. Idle time. Play time.

Run-through-the-streets-to-chase-after-the-ice-cream-truck time. Time to loll with my friends in the shade and pick blades of grass to turn them into whistles.

Fast forward a few decades and now I’m yelling at my child to hurry up while he’s pooping? Yikes.

I don’t want to be THAT kind of Mom. I want my children to be happy. And have plenty of time for pooping and whistling.

Hanging out with the cool peeps at Yeah Write. Check out other cool bloggers here:

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To The Girlie Girls On the Soccer Field: BEWARE

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Childrearing, Children, Daughters, Encouragement, Family, Kids, Life Lessons, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting, Sports | Posted on 18-05-2012

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There is nothing more exciting on a Saturday morning than to watch my daughter tear it up and rough it up during a soccer game.

She’s the one in all blue. The one that looks like she’s gonna break the other girl’s arm. Or did she already?

We teach our children to be kind. We teach them to be empathetic. We teach them to be good citizens, good learners, good listeners, good people. We support their creativity. We support their dreams.

And let me tell you. We support them when they kick some ass in sports.

That’s where my competitiveness comes out. Yeah. I’m the parent of an athlete. I am impressed by her athleticism, determination, and strength. Not only am I proud, but I am learning from her.

I am the parent hollering on the sidelines. I am the one high-fiving my husband when our daughter protects the goal. Scores a goal from half-field. Or roughs it up on the field.

You see, what’s funny is my daughter is soft spoken. She has a fairy-like, sing-song voice. She plays with dragons. She paints vibrant canvases. She is unique and free-spirited and peaceful.

But when she’s on the soccer field, better hide the girlie girls. Because #99 is a powerful force.

Sleep-In Saturday…Not

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Family, Mothering, Shuttling, Sports | Posted on 05-11-2011

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Sarophilus harrisii. That’s Tasmanian devil to you. “The Tasmanian devil is capable of surprising speed and endurance, and can climb trees and swim across rivers.”

We have been Tasmanian devils these past two months since school started in September. Today is the first Saturday in eight weeks where we have no soccer games or football games to shuttle the kids to, coach, or support. My husband and my conversations on Friday night have gone something like this:

“OK, let’s take two cars. You take X and I’ll take Y. Then Z can get a ride with W. Then you can watch X’s game and I’ll watch Y, but I’ll need to leave early so that I can go to Z’s game. So can you pick up Y and go to W’s game and I’ll pick up X?”

I am not complaining. Just a little sleepy.

My husband and I signed our kids up for sports and we support them 100%. The parents that do over complain about “I am so busy…”

Two words for you: buck up. Make it work. Parenting is busy. We know this. Our rule is that each child has one activity at a time. And that is enough.

I have also come to the realization that with three kids–and it’s been a little tough to accept–well, you just can’t attend every game, every Saturday. Especially when games are scheduled at the same time. And they are across town from each other. I have learned that you can’t feel guilty about it. Tasmanian devils have not been cloned yet. Until then, I am fortunate that my husband and I can split up on Saturday mornings to root on and support someone. And we have wonderful grandparents that live nearby and who make good cheerleaders too. It’s a good idea to become friends with other parents on your child’s team because we were also blessed with the magic of carpooling.

Fortunately, we Tasmanian devils are fast and have good endurance. And like all Tasmanian devils, we need a rest. So, finally. A sleep-in Saturday. Or so I thought.

Too bad we decided to feed our dog, Lucy, an abundance of turkey leftovers last night. So at 7:00 a.m. this morning, I awoke to a whining dog begging me to let her out. Because she had a case of the runs.