Wednesday words: I coulda been a contender

JoAnn Neil AYSO pic

All my life I've been a deep thinker and it's gotten me nowhere.  Yesterday morning, we started off poorly in the Neil household.  It was Miss T's birthday and I'd disappointed her.  I won't go into the reasons why and they were ultimately fixed, but on top of her sadness, Goldie was upset to hear I couldn't go to her last freshman volleyball game.  I hung my head, confused at their perceived shortcomings in my mothering abilities.  I really am doing the best I can. Regardless, I drove Miss T … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: Football, fútbol, and resentments

Stop me if I’ve told you this before: (I’m aware you can’t do that.  Let me keep writing.)  In 1999, nearly nine months pregnant with Goldie, I woke in the middle of the night for another bathroom visit.  Her birth was a mere week or two away and I suddenly thought, “This is permanent.  This isn’t just some temporary responsibility.  This kid is going to be around 24/7.  And I don’t really like kids.”  And then my heart started racing because ‘responsibility’ is not my middle name.  (Can you … [Read more...]

Sports, Sandusky, and moral character

Saturday afternoon, after Miss T’s first soccer game of the weekend, we were heading home and I may or may not have behaved badly.  Contrary to what I just wrote the other day about Zen and not resembling the Great Santini, I found myself getting down on my youngest daughter about her team’s lack of aggression on the pitch.  There were a few factors at work.  The game started at 7:30am, which meant we needed to be there at 6:30ish.  Do the math and you can understand that waking up in the 5am … [Read more...]

“Volleyball” mom has a fine ring to it

Have you been to Palmdale?  From where I live, there’s one way in and one way out.  Miss T and I were there for another cold day of soccer last Sunday.  Unlike Bun Bun and her tournament elsewhere, we were not rained out, at least not at 8am.  Bundled in hats and gloves, the skies above were clear and sunglasses were necessary.  Up a little before six to make coffee and get donuts, neither of us was complaining.  We love soccer even if it eats up entire weekends.  Somehow, those nagging projects … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: I could never be a teacher so home schooling is out of the question

Mostly, it’s because I don’t like kids enough (mine or anyone else’s) to want to spend that much time with them.  Also, there’s my secret life.  Another reason?  No matter what age the child, I forget that they weren’t born with certain knowledge, like how to make their beds or the distinction between baking powder and baking soda.  (What is the difference?  And why do certain recipes require both?  I bet home-schooled kids know.) I’m coaching Miss T’s soccer team this season and I say things … [Read more...]

My Tuesday take: a weekend of scouts, soccer and singing

This should have been Monday Motherhood, but can I tell you how tired I was yesterday after camping, watching soccer in cold, windy conditions, and then doing eight loads of laundry upon returning home?  Can I?  Did I?  No, I was too tired. So it’s Tuesday.  The laundry is done, but not quite folded.  Raise your hands.  How many of you get the laundry folded and put away all in the same day?  Not an errant sock or dish towel lying around looking for a home?  Your cleaning woman does it?  … [Read more...]