Sidebar

The sports pacifist’s lament

soccerball121374068115

The 5yo on Kindergarten soccer.

“Everyone says to be aggressive,” he complains. “But it would be a lot easier if the other guy just walked away from the ball.”

 

Topics: On Parenting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Rabbit In The Soccer Net

 

RabbitThe other day my six-year-old ran in the house screaming: “A RABBIT IS STUCK IN THE SOCCER NET!”

When I went outside the poor thing was writhing frantic, the webbing wrapped double around its neck. The line was so tight it seemed impossible for it to be breathing. By the time I got there it hardly fought in my hands, less than my cats getting their nails clipped.

I sent my 12-year-old daughter inside for scissors and cupped it still, trying to create any possible slack in the netting. I really didn’t think it would live until she made it back.

She did the cutting, brave girl, shears right against its neck. When it was freed it sat in my hands, sides heaving. Or maybe it just didn’t realize it was free.

“Where did you learn to do that?” my eight-year-old asked.

It wasn’t just me, I told him. We all cut it free.

“No,“ he made a cupping gesture with his hand. “To just….hold it.”

Most people comfortable with handling animals probably say it comes down to Continue reading

Topics: On Learning, On Parenting, On Reading, Wild Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #9

potty

Dropping off for the 8-year-old’s soccer practice. The younger two boys need a bathroom; I direct to a porta-potty around the bend.

The 8yo: “Moms always know where the nearest porta-potty is. Even if you’ve never seen it. Because you have it wired in your DNA, like a Mom bathroom GPS.”

Topics: Beautiful Little Nonsense | Leave a comment

Loosen the Leash

BTMDogIsMyCopilot (http://beyondthemargins NULL.com/btm/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/BTMDogIsMyCopilot1 NULL.jpg)By Nichole Bernier (http://beyondthemargins NULL.com/author/nicholebernier/)

As I’ve mentioned here a few times, we have a young Bernese Mountain Dog. We got her last summer at 8 weeks old and named her Cricket because she was the least graceful thing ever to hop through grass.

She eats. She eats socks. She eats toys. She eats my husband. She eats the house.

Protectively, defensively, we’ve kept her restricted to the main kitchen/family room area of the house. She and the cats eye one another distrustfully through the gates, and when Cricket gets through, it’s off to the races.

When time came for our annual vacation on Martha’s Vineyard a few weeks ago, the owner of the house we rent gave us permission to bring the dog. My husband thought this was great news.

My heart sank. This meant schlepping the gates, the crate. It meant a week with a clenched stomach, wondering what she’d destroy. And yet there was an opportunity to experiment: we’d be in a house without the cats, and were curious to see what would happen if we let her roam free. By which I mean, my husband was curious to see what would happen. I just wanted to be on vacation and maybe sleep in a little and not have to safeguard food on the countertops.

Well lo and behold, she galloped through the place in an introductory way, and then Continue reading

Topics: On Learning, On Relationships, On Writing, Wild Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #8

stomachThe 5yo had trouble falling asleep last night, haunted by a DVD we rented from the library that spooked him.

“Think about ice cream cones,” I tell him. “Don’t think about the movie.”

Him: “But my body keeps pressing the play button.”

Topics: Beautiful Little Nonsense | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #7

urn

The 6yo, eying the urn with our old dog’s ashes. “What are ashes like?”

“Sand,” I tell him.

He thinks. “Plus love.”

Topics: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #6

mazeThe 4yo is doing a maze on paper, blazing wantonly through solid lines.

Me: “Can’t go through walls, bud.”

Him: “They’re just gates. I push them open.”

Topics: Beautiful Little Nonsense | Leave a comment

Paddling Blind

kayak2Last week the yoga class I take from time to time decided to meet on the water.

“We’ll visit the swans,” said the instructor Erin as she directed three of us into kayaks. She climbed into her own — well, they’re all her own, she lives on the pond and teaches the class at her home — and pushed off from the shore. “Then we’ll have a little blind paddle, see how it might expand our morning.”

My mornings tend to start in a not very expansive way, something I’m not proud of. My initial reflex when I open my eyes, in that first lucid moment between dreams and reality, is to do a mental scan of the things I know are in store, and brace myself for the things I don’t, yet. I wasn’t always this way. But experience has shown that by the end of the day there’s usually some unforeseen thing, some blindsider that makes me exhale and say, Whoa, didn’t see that coming. Sometimes I wake up wondering what’s going to be The Thing today. I don’t know if this is common among parents of large families. But I know this isn’t the most healthy way to greet the day.

“There she is,” Erin called back from under the brim of a floppy pink straw hat, and reached back a muscular arm to hand me her binoculars. Not more than 50 yards away, Continue reading

Topics: On Faith, Hope & Love, On Parenting, Wild Kingdom | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #5

 BeckBalletDrawing

The 4yo, irritated that he has to stop drawing this morning and get to preschool.

“Why did you even sign me up for school? It wastes into my art*.”

*part of his “sister’s ballet recital” oeuvre

 

 

Topics: Beautiful Little Nonsense | Leave a comment

Beautiful Little Nonsense #4

cattails-21317330

 

The 6yo, biking over a boardwalk through a marshy field, sees tall stands of cattails.

“Mom, look!” he says. “It’s the way corn-dogs grow!”

 

 

 

 

Topics: Beautiful Little Nonsense | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment