#I Said Yes

So here's the thing.  My Diva has now entered the world of Senior High School.  Yup, she is now a Freshman.  Not only is the envelope pushing, mouth running, hormone raging and occasional oh so sweetness in full swing but now the boys have truly entered into the picture. 

Apparently, this first dance of the year is such drama about being asked by a boy.  The pressure is really on the boys here because they no longer can just go up to a girl and say "Hey, would you like to go to the Homecoming Dance with me?" It now has to be a production as if it is a marriage proposal or something.  Then the girls all #I Said Yes it on social media.  I find this rather funny coming from an era of kids who do not even know how to hold a conversation with one another but yet they make something so simple into a competitive stage production.

Diva was asked in this manner.

Just to sum it up for you...She went to her locker and there sat the softball with the words Turn Around written on it.  When she turned around, the boy in question was standing there holding the flowers and asked her to the dance.  Okay yeah, it is sweet.  Oh and if you don't recall, my Diva is a very active fastpitch softball pitcher - so the softball idea was a good one (I'm sure the idea was given to him by her best friend.). 

To seal the deal .... dress shopping took place the very next day!  This I thought was going to be rather painful and expensive.  The first dress we saw she fell in love with....

But of course in true Diva style we couldn't be so lucky and just buy it.  Nope we had to go another 3 hours of shopping and comparing every single other dress in the area to this first one.  Naturally, I drug her butt back to the first store and bought the contraption before she could blink again.  I have to ask though - when did they start making all the dresses for teenagers so flipping short???

Now we must find the perfect silver shoes ....

Lessons Learned

When you have children in sports...not just casually but actually dedicated, putting money into it, ever consuming sports, you really gain a lot of knowledge on people and politics. I'm not sure if it is harder lessons learned for the kids or for the grown-ups.  For me, I think it is much harder. 

When you watch your child take a new risk and succeed it is heartwarming.  Then you watch your child pour their heart and soul and sweat into really pushing themselves to be better because they want to not you, it makes you proud.  You watch your child perform on the court or field or whatever platform it is for their sport and you see their determination has really paid off for them, they are succeeding and learning that putting your mind to it and giving some effort to it always pays off and you smile to yourself and hug them. Its rainbows and glitter.

But behind the scenes and unfortunately sometimes in the foreground, the pecking begins. The whispers of the parents, the huddles before/during practices, the scurrying to walk with the coaches, and the sideways glances all are very much apparent. You try to be ambivalent to it but then you start to worry you will be excluded from some oh so important knowledge that the other parents may have that you don't.  You see those parents that scurry from parent to parent telling them what they want to hear and then re-arranging it again and again to fit whomever it is they are speaking to.  You see the parent that talks smack about the players and coaches to other parents and the naturally deny it when you confront them. Everyone wants to their kid to be the star - EVERYONE.  Some folks will take it a bit further than others is all. Some coaches only become coaches for this one reason.

My daughter has been in softball since her T-ball years, then slow pitch and now fast pitch.  She has so many great memories and so many friendships formed from this sport. 

Rec ball taught us about politics and bullying but it was just rec ball and fun.  Tournament rec ball was more of an eye opener to more of the inner workings of sports and recruiting.  Then we enter the Travel ball arena.  WOW.  Really just WOW.  Without really getting into the horrid details of the ridiculousness of the backstabbing, lies and cut-throat goings-on, I just want to say that I was totally unprepared.  I have never in my life been a person who has succumbed to peer pressure or contributed in petty name calling or behind your back whispering.  Now that I've seen this in full force by grown-ups and how grown-ups can forget that these are actually 13-14 year old girls, I can say this is most disheartening.  I've been given the advice from some wise parents that have gone through this and they have told me to just be silent and enjoy the games and memories made with your child.  It ends up being better for your child in the end - because then nothing will be spitefully taken out on their playing time.  I've been trying to heed this warning.  This is by far the hardest thing I've had to do for my daughter.  Seriously.

Our travel ball tournaments will begin in a few weeks.  I hope work ethic and dedication will win out over the daddy-ball and behind your back politics.  Time will tell.  Wish us luck!

Quest for Inner Peace

What a very interesting ride it has been.  Life had been up at 4am, home at 6pm, kid shenanigans, then to bed by midnight most nights, then repeat.  The new job was great...better than great...fantastic even.  Unfortunately, it was short lived.  Boy Child and Diva both started spiralling downward in school, I had to have "the talk" at daycare, the dog decided to not be housebroken anymore in retaliation and the house just kinda sorta fell apart.  So back home I went.  Blessing in disguise apparently because Husband's business decided to spiral upward and became a bigger need for me at home to keep him organized.  Everything was looking up.

I'm not going to dwell on any on thing in particular because I do not want to jinx anything. Let me just say that Boy Child did it!  No, really he did! He actually is in public school this year.  Ahem, really that is not a typo.  He has straight A's and is doing well behaviorally.  We are so proud of him.  We still struggle a bit with the sports/extra-curricular activities and his behavior but the school thing -- that is just too huge! 

Diva has decided to grow into a beautiful young lady over the summer and it is getting hard to keep up with the teenage attitude and her desire to announce her "must-haves" of the week.  She has continued to show more determination with softball and had tried out for a Class A travel team.  She made the team with only one try out.  A team where we knew no one and they didn't know her.  So very proud of her. 

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle these several months we decided to up and go move the week before Thanksgiving.  We had enough of living on a busy main road and opted for a nice neighborhood.  One where you can take the dog for a walk and ride bikes on the street and say "Hey neighbor" to the folks strolling by.  I actually have some Christmas lights up on the house and in the yard.  I'm pretty sure in the 18 years my husband and I have been together, this is the most decorated the outside of our house has been.  Craziness! So nice.

Maybe, just maybe, 2013 will be the year I finally find inner peace.....hmmm.

Catching up and Looking Ahead

It has been some time since I've sat and written a blog post.  It has been hard for me to collect my thoughts enough to put them in writing.  I'm still struggling.  Even BlogHer has decided to drop me. 

The last 4 months have been extremely difficult for me and my family.  We have been hit hard financially and with the holidays and birthdays and just the usual school and tween necessities we have really been struggling.  I have not been posting my usual stuff because quite frankly I just haven't been in the mood. I've lost why I started all this to begin with.  I figured if I couldn't find anything positive to say it was best to just say nothing at all.  But what is a shame though is that there have been some positive moments but the stress leading up to the events have marred the experiences for me.  I'm just really blah.  Perhaps I should've been blogging and maybe my mood would have been lifted.

We have been through hard times before.  It hasn't been all that long ago that we lost everything and went bankrupt so really this should be a walk in the park for us.  Still literally living day to day is just the pits. We will get through this - I know this for a fact.  We always survive and rebound.  I love my husband.  I'd just like to finally stay on an even keel for a while. 

I've been applying for jobs and signed up with two different temp agencies.  The problem is that I'm starting at the bottom of the ladder again and $10-12 hour is just not enough money for me to pay for daycare, gas in the car, etc.  Seriously.  I'm at such a dilemma with this. I want to help out the family financially but it will be for nothing. If all I'm doing is paying daycare then where is the plus in this?  I also have to think about whether or not it will help my son or hurt my son's progress he has made over the last 18 months of me being home with him and helping him with his needs.  Will it socially put him in more settings to interact - yes.  Will it stress him - I don't know.  Will he get thrown out again and I'm back to square one - I don't know?  He wants to go to summer camp to play and have fun but will he want to do that 5 days a week for 9-10 hour days? Can he handle it?  Is it fair to an employer to train me and then in a few weeks everything falls apart with my kid and I have to leave?  Aaaaaaaahhhhh!

Funny how one week can make such a difference in someones life - for the better or for the worse.  Well, I did find a job last week and I start tomorrow.  It isn't downtown and it has free parking.  It is through a temp agency but it is a temp to hire position and I really hope that it works out because this company seems like a great place to work.  I found a daycare that is reasonable for after school care and the YMCA is on the way to this job so it looks like that would be the way to go for summer camp for Boy Child.  Everything seems to be falling into place with organizing for this job.  What is that I see? -- Could it be a ray of hope?  Yep you betcha.  Boy Child is excited to be able to play with some kids after school.  I just have to have faith he can handle it.  I guess it is a good thing that the job is first as a temp, just in case my baby has problems. 

Fingers crossed!!  Better days ahead!