I’m so glad to have my Thursdays and Saturdays back. Eddie seemed to enjoy his first season of playing lacrosse, but it really put a kink in the works around our house.
Thursday practices landed right in the middle of supper time – 6 to 7:30 – and I started out thinking I would just move everything up an hour or so. But to get supper on the table by the ridiculously early time of 5:15, I had to start fixing it by 4:30. That meant no playing outside after school – plus it seemed like we ought to save energy for running around at practice.
Supper devolved into heating up leftovers by 5:30 and joylessly telling the kids to eat faster. Not my idea of a family meal. And both children still hungry after practice anyway, so we would have a snack before going to bed late. A friend asked me, “So did you just fix them peanut butter sandwiches each week?” Well no, that would have been sensible. I prefer the hard way.
And then there was the problem of whether my Lovely Bride or I was going to stay at lacrosse versus who was going to bring Carla home. I half-wanted to be the one to bring her home so I could get her to bed on time for once. The other half of me wanted to stay at lacrosse so I could just sit in solitude for a few minutes after a rush-rush-rush kind of an afternoon. Lovely Bride switched her exercise class schedule so she could come directly from work to lacrosse, at which point we’d hash out which of us would stay. I wish we could have alternated or had some kind of a schedule, but I can’t let myself become that big a control freak.
My whining aside, I think Eddie enjoyed playing lacrosse for the first time. He started the season looking bored and dragging his stick behind him as he trailed the pack of players. The boys spent half their time clumped together in a big scrum, stabbing at the ball stuck amid clumps of grass. I tried not to be one of those parents during the games who bellow directions from the sidelines. But a few times when he happened to face my direction, I would holler his name and thrust both my open hands above my head – signaling to him: Hold the stick with both hands!
I didn’t do so well with getting him to practice on time. I also snapped at him to hurry up and not drag his gear – I want him to take care of his things. I don’t know why I was so rigid about making him carry the gear himself. Probably because I thought, “I’m not letting a 6-year-old tell me what to do!” I struggled to find a happy medium of gentle reminders and occasionally carrying his gear for him.
And I never did buy myself a lacrosse stick so we could toss the ball around and learn together. But now maybe I can buy a stick at cheap end-of-season prices.
In the end, Eddie seemed to like playing defense the best. He blossomed by the end of the season when he got to play goalie a couple of times, complete with the huge-netted stick and extra protector pads. He even made some good saves in a game. Riding home after the last practice, I asked him why he liked playing goalie.
“You don’t have to run around much,” he said. “And you can daydream.”