Monday, February 23, 2009

Dear Diary

Daughter D has been begging for months to read "Diary of Anne Frank" and I put it off over and over again. Explaining genocide was just not something I was prepared to do. But finally, I caved and we got the book and started it. She regularly reads the world news in the newspaper. I figured if she could handle Rwanda, we could tackle the Holocaust.

I haven't read the book since I was a pre-teen. Like just about everything else I've re-read, it is a completely different book when you read it at the age of 40. It is horrifying. Absolutely and utterly horrifying. Humans did this to other humans.

Daughter D is doing fine with the book. Me, not so much.

As we were reading, I told Daughter D that I used to keep a diary or two and that I thought they were somewhere in the basement somewhere. She immediately wanted to see them, so we went searching and found a huge box, full to the brim of various notebooks/diaries/journals/datebooks.

I couldn't believe it. There were more than 25 of them. I remember keeping diaries and at one point, I must have thrown them all into a box. But I had no idea that there were so many. I started in 5th grade and really didn't ever stop until I had my first child.

I had visions of us reading them together and gleaming great pearls of wisdom from my life experience.

ha. That is NOT going to happen.

It turns out that I went slightly boy-crazy sometime around 6th grade. I think it is safe to say that 60% of my writings were about the boy-du-jour. And about all sorts of other adventures that I seem to have blocked from my memory. My recollection of my childhood was that I was a perfectly behaved slightly nerdy good student. The nerdy/good student part seems to be correct. But evidently, I was not perfectly behaved.

Is this another symptom of parenthood? Do you subconciously block out all the crazy things you've done in life as you try to show your children the straight and narrow path to success? Because seriously, half the stuff I'm reading - I didn't even remotely remember until I read it.

Should I burn these damn diaries? Or save them for my grandchildren? (my children will NOT be reading them!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Navigating the brave new world of sports

Sadly, blogging seems to have been displaced by my one-line daily updates on Facebook. (I'm 'Kristen Harrald Nelson' there, if you'd like to read those....and Dad - really, we need to get you on Facebook!)

I'm entering a stage of parenting for which I am ill-prepared. The sports stage.

Growing up, I could do any sport, as long as there wasn't a ball involved. I could swim. I could run. But as soon as any sort of equipment was added, I failed miserably.

My natural reaction is to cover my eyes and duck as soon as a ball comes my way. My volleyball team did not appreciate this. Neither did my tennis partner or the other people covering the outfield with me in softball practice. I quickly learned to stick to sports with no rapidly traveling projectiles. Or better yet, non-sport activities like piano, choir or reading.

But my son - he is all about sports. The more equipment the better. And, he actually seems to be - dare I say - good at them. This is completely new territory for me.

We got a phone call yesterday from a Little League coach. Little League doesn't start for a few more months here in Wisconsin. (The snow on the ground makes it hard to see the ball in February and March.) But this coach wanted to recruit son D for his team. Son D is 6. This team is a group of 7-8 year olds. It's not T-ball - it's real baseball.

I'd planned on putting son D on a basic T-ball team with all his Kindergarten friends. But I talked to the coach for about 20 minutes and I think he convinced me to let D try the real baseball team.

I think.

I don't want to turn into one of those mothers. In my childhood world, they were the "stage mothers" - the ones who pushed, pushed, pushed their kids into getting the best roles or the highest marks in the piano competitions. My parents weren't like that at all - and for that, I am eternally grateful. If we wanted to excel at an activity, great. But they didn't really care if we had a staring role or a winning team.

Son D really wants to be on this team, so we are going to let him join it. I hope that is the right decision. It's a fine line between pushing too hard and letting the kids have an opportunity to shine.

So, if you read a post by me in 6 months complaining about how his team isn't winning because he hasn't been practicing his bunts, please schedule an intervention.