Monday, October 12, 2015

Sports, Kids and Advice

The other day I was standing in line at the grocery store.  As I lifted the giant bag of dog food out of my cart the guy behind me in line started asking me about my dog.  I told him we have a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Doodle. He told me he had a Labrador. We told a couple stories about our dogs. Then we told a couple stories about our kids. His kids were older and his "baby" was in college. The man talked proudly about his kids' success in college and beyond.

I asked him if he had any advice for me since I was a few years behind him.

"Well," he said. "Wear them out just like you would your Lab."

We laughed and I told him the only one that seemed exhausted lately was me.

As I was pushing my cart away and wishing him well he added "oh yeah, have fun. It's hard and tiring, but it's fun too."

This past weekend was both tiring and fun, for all of us.  There were football games, bonfires, bike rides, friends' houses, more football games, a baseball game, a basketball game and family meals and movie nights.  

It wasn't all Kumbaya and happiness however. Our oven broke, Tim and I got in a pretty big fight in between football games because of a miscommunication about who was driving who where and what time and how are we going to cook dinner and waaaaa, I cried and sent pretty mean text messages to Tim because I am a tiny bit dramatic and emotional, the kids fought because they are kids and that's what kids do, one of the dogs chewed up a book, the laundry just kept piling and piling higher and higher, I had a little social anxiety issue and we got the time wrong for Wade's flag football game. 

I mean that's normal, right? Well it's normal for us. We are all over the place, we mess times up, we will never catch up on laundry, ever. BUT that is just part of the story. The other parts are the wearing out of children and the cheering and the having fun as a family.

Tim coaches almost every team of every one of our kids. No joke, the guy is everywhere. He is supportive and patient and kind. He knows sports and knows the power of sports. Yes the wearing out aspect, but also the teaching kids to work as part of a team aspect, the working hard and believing in your ability aspect, the wanting something and going for it aspect; the pride, the love, the respect, the community, the support that sports can bring to kids and families.  And Tim really has fun.

I love that all the boys are on the sidelines for each other. Tim is JT's head coach. Peyton helps out and Wade is one of the water boys. 

Peyton's team came back from being behind in the last two minutes of the game to win it. So fun to watch and so fun to see him so happy. But when did he start looking so grown up? 

I am a believer in all the good aspects of sports and being busy. But I am also a believer in knowing what's right for your kid and your family. More than once lately I've heard a mom exclaim proudly "we don't let our child do more than one sport or activity, nope, more than one is too much."  Some of the moms have added the "at least in my book" just for clarity I guess.

Well, in my book I've found that it depends on the kid. Some of my kids seriously need to be involved in as much as possible. They thrive on the active-ness of being busy and moving. Their brains work better. They sleep better. They are nicer. They get better grades. But some of my kids need more downtime. They need more time to read and daydream and not be moving. Too much of everything makes them lose sleep, their grades go down and they get meaner.

It's a balancing act. It's listening to the guys in the grocery line, the moms on the side line, all the voices on line and THEN making the best choices for your kids and your family. What works for us may totally not work for you. It's about caring and loving and being there and trying things and messing up and then making up and a hell of a lot of driving and oh yeah, it's about having fun too.

Wade was late but went all out in every play during his flag football game, once we finally got there.
Oh my god, these freckles make my heart burst with love. Ahhhhhh!

Lucy's team was short a player so JT filled in. Lucy loved it. I love how she stopped to tell me something before passing him the ball. 

I love watching Tim coach the kids. He's pretty amazing.

Lucy was getting so mad during the game I thought she might get in a fight. I loved her passion and that she was finally mad at someone other than me. Sports are kind of magic that way.

Squeezing in a family meal before a day of a million games. 


  1. I love your blog. I would love coffee on your front porch!

  2. I love your blog. I would love coffee on your front porch!

  3. I am so, so, so in love with your family. I want to move in with you.

    And I love what you said about it depending on the kid. It really helped me stop and think about what my kids could take on. My older girls do NOT enjoy being busy (as in being shuffled around from one activity to the next). They often state they want to go home. But I found myself thinking about signing Zoe up for yet another activity, because I know she can handle it and she wants to do it. She's my determined one, my hard worker. My older girls would much rather stay home and get lost in pretend play or write and illustrate books.

  4. I am not sure how y'all do it but I love that you do. :) Especially Tim and all his coaching. That's a lot of both of you, and I am truly impressed. I'm sure the children are too, even if they do not say it. LOVE all the photos!