Happy 13 Drama Queen

It was a big week for Lauren. There were the usual after school practices and softball games. But there were 2 events in particular that made the week extra ordinary. The obvious thing was her 13th birthday. But Wednesday evening brought Lauren's dramatic debut in The Emporer's New Cloths. Many dignitaries traveled great distances to attend the performance (Grandma and Grandpa). All agreed it was a great show.

We went out to dinner after and then home for cake. After cake Lauren opened presents a day early. As you can see in the picture she was still beaming from the applause well into the evening.

The play was the inaugural production of the St Stephens Drama Club. They performed at the Lyric Arts Theater just across the street from school. There wasn't an empty seat in the house and the kids really rose to the occasion. Even Matt, perhaps the most critical member of the audience, enjoyed the show.


The Other Futbol

Brought the camera to the rink for the first time this past Thursday night. The action is pretty fast and the light a little low, so please forgive the blur. Matt's #10 on purple.

This is a sport Matt's been playing in the late winter/early spring for the past few years. He started because the St. Stephen soccer coach encouraged it. It's pretty low key, but the kids have fun. They get to show off their ball handling skills, or like Matt, just get a good workout.

The team isn't doing so well this season. They scored on the opening kickoff in this game and that may have been the first time they had a lead. It was a pretty shot.

Matt's birthday put him in the 16 and under age group this year. As you can see, the sizes of the kids don't always match up all that well. A girl on the yellow team collided with one of the bigger boys on Matt's team and dislocated her knee. Was the first time an ambulance had to be called to a game one of my kids played in. It sure didn't look pretty.


Hope Springs Eternal

I'm still not sure why I associate that line from Alexander Pope to the start of baseball season, but I do. As always, you may expect many corny baseball clich├ęs in the coming weeks.

Lauren's team got the season off to a good start. They got behind early, but a late inning rally tied it up at 7. (in which that cute little girl in the photo drove in the first 2 runs of the Angel's season - not that I'm bragging)

Stike 3 yer out, and a quick trip around the horn. (see what I mean) Epiphany was resilient as well, they came back with another run at the top of the 7th and won 8-7. We'll get'em next time.

This one's for Vicki - one of my regular readers. Gotta keep the regular readers happy. So I do my best to please both of them.


Wherever You Roam

I remember the first time I was confronted with the changing attitudes toward raising children in America. I was a single twenty-something working in Southern California. One Saturday afternoon I stopped at a friends house just because I was in the neighborhood. He was a bit older and already had 2 kids. I found him sitting on a lawn chair in his driveway with the kids, probably age 4 and 6, playing in the yard. We chatted a while when the conversation turned to something Fred wanted to show me in the house. He rounded up the kids, we all went in and in a few minutes were done with whatever we wanted to see. OK, he said to the kids, we can go back outside now. Wait - that only took a few minutes. Couldn't the kids have just stayed outside? Fred looked at me like I was crazy. They can't play out there without adult supervision!

That had to be 20 years ago and I distinctly remember how foreign the concept of not being able to let your kids out of your sight for even a minute was to me. I figured that was how things were in California. Where I was raised it wasn't like that. By 5 I was certainly allowed to play at the neighbors with no adults hovering. By 10 I could ride my bike pretty much anywhere I wanted (within reason).

Now that I'm a parent, I clearly see this isn't just how things were in California. Things have changed. Even in my home state of Minnesota, parent's ideas of what's safe for their children, and what's not, have changed. And that's exactly what I think has changed - beliefs, not circumstances. At least not so much.

If you're wondering what got me on to this rant, it was an article that started as an op-ed column in the NY Sun. The author, Lenore Skenazy got such strong reaction she's decided to start a blog on the topic. Check the article out on her blog FreeRangeKids - Why I let My 9-Year-Old Rid the Subway Alone. It may make you think.


The Champ!

As many of you regular readers were already aware, Matt represented St.Stephen last night in the championship round of the North Suburban Parochial Schools League competative dishwashing tournament. All the usual suspects were represented - St. Al's, St Vincent, Epiphany, and even our nemisis - Meadow Creek. The experience he gained helping his Dad at those Family Table Meals really paid off as he won by unanimous decision. He came home a little greasy from the spaghetti sauce, but it was well worth it.

Congratulations Matt!