Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog Epilogue

First of all I want to thank anyone who took the time to read this over the past 10 months.  I started this blog as an experiment to see if I could write down some hopefully funny stories about crazy sports parents.  I didn't know how long it would last or how many people would read it.  As of today there have been more than 80,000 page hits spread out over 10 months and over 25 countries, When I started I thought it might last 2-3 months and end up with about 1,000 hits if lucky.  It clearly exceeded my expectations.

The people mentioned in the blog aren't real.  They're based on people I've met over the years at youth sporting events.  Most of the stories or themes in here are either true or based on some true story - not all, but most.  If you have kids in youth sports then hopefully you can somehow relate to them.  And sadly, as a somewhat truly reasonable sports parent myself, I saw myself relating to some of these crazy storylines.  It made me take a step back from my kids sports.  I yell less and cheer more at their games nowadays.

The blog is really divided into two sections; the first 9 months (Aug. 2012 - April 2013) and the last month (May 2013).  I hadn't planned it this way.  To be honest I hadn't planned for this entire blog to last more than a handful of weeks when I began writing.  However in April I ran out of stories.  I really wanted the blog to go through the May tryout period but was struggling to come up with any storylines to carry me there.  And I had 'mailed in' a few posts in March and April which I wasn't happy about.

So in May I decided to take this in a different direction.  I knew I wouldn't continue writing past this month so I made a decision to 'blow it up'. Instead of going through the May tryouts, watching the kids make and not make various clubs and the usual drama, and then living happily ever-after, etc. I wanted this to truly end.  I decided to take this family to a place where there was just no going back.  A place were I could say 'this is the end, period'.  And while different, and less light-hearted, it's been incredibly fun writing the May storyline and these last few weeks worth of posts.

There have been over 250 comments left by readers.  I kept the vast majority of them, only deleting about 10 which I somehow deemed inappropriate.  Also, I tried hard to be 'consistent' and 'accurate', for lack of better words.  Coming up with names for each girl on the roster, storylines pertaining to these girls, being consistent with other teams and their performance, making sure the number of wins for each team tied out to what I wrote down for individual game results, and so on.  That was harder than anticipated.

Thanks again for reading it.  If you have questions leave them in the 'comments' section of this post and I'll reply to them.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Brittney looked great when she was dressed and ready to go to the dance.  Maybe too much dark red lipstick, but I probably wore too much at her age as well.  She was so nervous she paced on the porch in her heels smoking while waiting for Jamie.

Laurie came over around 5:30 with Jamie to pick up Brittney.  Both girls looked beautiful.  Jamie is a very cute girl - probably too old to be called 'cute', she's attractice - and her dress was fabulous.  They gave eachother corsages to wear on their wrists.  Laurie took lots of pictures.  I took a few.  I reminded Brittney that her curfew was 11:00, which shouldn't be a problem since the dance gets over at 9:30.  Laurie reinforced that she would pick them up after the dance and have Britts home in time.  I removed the cigarettes from Brittney's purse; no smoking on school property - plus I was running low.  Then they walked to Laurie's car and headed off to the dance.  Does Mark know or care about this?

I poured a large glass of wine afterwards and broke my own rule about not smoking inside the house.  I have some phone calls to make and no clue as to what to do.

Telling the kids

Brittney came home late from school today with a new haircut.  Apparently she went right from school to the hairdresser.  Her long blonde hair and ponytail are gone, replaced by very short hair that almost sticks up.  She calls it a 'miley', after Miley Cirus or someone.  It's going to take some getting used to on my part.  And then right before she went upstairs to get ready for the dance she tells me she's not sure she wants to play soccer next year.  I know Jamie is the driving force behind this.  When I firmly told her that she definitely is going to play next season she hesitateted and then started to cry.  She said she means it, she's tired of soccer and might need a break.  She then ran up to her room.

Kaitlyn's reaction was also subdued.  She was happy to hear she made teams at both clubs but didn't have an opinion as to which as better.  I said we would discuss it tomorrow morning.  For someone who has offers from two different clubs and has an important decision to make, this was not the appropriate reaction.  And finally when I told Cole about making a KCSA team he said he just wanted to play baseball in the fall.

And with that thought I poured myself another.

Friday's third call

PCSL finally called.  I knew it was them when the phone rang.  They said they were very happy to see that Kaitlyn tried out for PCSL and were offering her a spot on their U11 Select team.  This isn't their top team - Elite is - but they thought she would be a great fit here and said Select was going to be a talented team next season.  They were considering having both Elite and Select play up at U12 but weren't sure yet.  The coach added that there were many new faces at tryouts and he thought maybe Kaitlyn's absense from Monday hurt her a little.  Plus he knew she was probably tired from the first round of tryouts at Kings Court.  He said all this before I could get a word in edgewise.  Then I thought about it all.  PCSL knows we tried out for KCSA.  They must also know she has an offer from KCSA's top team.  Yet they didn't put her on their own top team.  I definitely needed more time to process this so I told him we would get back to him.  I think he was a little surprised we didn't just accept right away but said we had until 9:00 tomorrow morning to let them know our decision.  He gave me his cell phone and email address.

But the more I thought about Cole and KCSA's decision about him the madder I got.  Cole's not at the level of those other kids on the Red team; he's a Silver team player.  I'm really thinking about having him try out for HFC during the supplemental tryouts next week.  That might teach KCSA a lesson.  And I'm also leaning towards having Kaitlyn go with PCSL.  It's not the highest team but it might have better talent.  I never thought I would bring myself to say that.

I'm not sure what to do about Cole and Kaitlyn.  And then I realized Brittneys' first big dance is just 4 hours away.  This is too much to process all at once.

Friday's second call

I just got the second phone call from Kings Court.  The offered Cole a spot on the U9 Red team.  I almost dropped the phone when he said Red.  Cole was on Silver last season; this is clearly a demotion.  I asked why Cole didn't make Silver or Gold and the coach said they had lots of new players moving over to KCSA from other clubs.  He tried to convince me that U9 Red would be a solid team and that this was the appropriate team for Cole.  I wanted to tell him they completely missed the boat on Cole: it's the freakin' third team!  But I didn't.  I said we would consider it and get back to him.  He gave me his phone number and said we had 24 hours to accept.  I hung up.

Now it IS time for that first drink.

Friday's first call

I took the day off from work.  There's no way I could concentrate and be worthwhile.  Instead I camped out on the porch with a fresh box of cigarettes, an ashtray, the phone and trashy novel.  The first phone call came in about 15 minutes ago.  Kings Court called to say that Brittney and Kaitlyn both made their top teams; Brittney on U13 Gold - true U13 as they can't play up at U14 - and Kaitlyn on the U11 Gold team which will play up in the U12 age division.  Nothing less than I expected.  I accepted for Brittney and told them we would get back to them on Kaitlyn.  At that point the coach put the DOC on the phone and he asked why we were deferring our decision on Kaitlyn.  I was honest and said we are looking at other options for her but were happy to see she was strong enough at tryouts to make the Gold team at KCSA.  He said we had until noon tomorrow to either accept Kaitlyn's spot or they would fill it with someone else.  He gave me his cell phone number, which I already had, and said he hoped to hear from us soon that she would continue her soccer at Kings Court.  Noon was a firm deadline.  I just reminded him that we were locking Brittney into the top U13 team and said we'd call back by noon tomorrow with an update on Kaitlyn.  I asked about Cole but he said the boy's coaches would be making their phone calls soon enough.

So far so good.  Almost time for a celebratory drink!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Final day of tryouts

One final evening of tryouts and then it's all over.  It just can't come fast enough.

I'm getting concerned about Cole.  After tryouts, on the ride back home, all he talked about was wanting to play baseball in the fall.  Amazing.  I'm pushing him for success at the best soccer club in the state and he's worried about another sport.  I hate Mark for re-igniting his desire to play baseball, but if that's the way it works out then Mark can drive Cole to and from all practices.  I'm a soccer mom, not a baseball mom.  I won't have anything to do with any possible baseball activities.  Maybe Dorrie can cart Cole back and forth to baseball.

Kaitlyn had a great full day at KCSA.  We didn't have to run off to PCSL afterwards and I think she left it all out on the field during tryouts.  She's such a good passer but needs to work on her shooting.  I get the feeling she'll make the top team again this year.  Then we'll just have to weigh the offer from PCSL.

Brittney is another story.  Apparently Jamie and some other girls got close to the fields yesterday at tryouts and were distracting her.  I don't think she had a bad tryout, but she didn't give her best effort because I watched her numerous times look over at the group of older girls and wave.  This is the same group she hung out with during Kaitlyn's final tournament.  I know Jamie likes girls instead of boys and I'm not sure if the other girls in this group are the same.  But Brittney was just couldn't stop looking over at them numerous times during the 90 minutes, waving and laughing.  And they all seem older, about Jamie's age.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.  I'm really hoping they don't show up tonight. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Halfway home

Tryouts are now half over.  Kaitlyn only has to go to the Kings Court tryouts tonight since PCSL has an off night before both clubs finish up their tryouts tomorrow evening.  It's pitiful to watch some of the parents during and after tryouts.  There are those who scream at their kids, watching their every move and critcising things they do wrong.  Others wait until tryouts are done to approach the coaches and try to get any tidbit of information on how their daughters compare to everyone else.  It's pathetic in ways.  I prefer to watch from a distance, which for Kings Court means standing either by the woods or on the sidewalk where I can have a cigarette and pace.  I guess to each their own.

As for my kids, they each deal with it differently.  Brittney doesn't feel any stress at all.  She's never had an issue with tryouts.  This year there's even less stress because I'm not sure her heart is into it.  I joked yesterday that if she didn't bring her 'A' game to tryouts each night she might end up on the Silver team.  In years past this would get her a little worked up, but she just let it roll off her back and she said that being on Silver might be more fun than Gold.  Now 'fun' is something she usually doesn't associate with soccer.  I'm a little concerned about this.

Kaitlyn on the other hand had to juggle tryouts for two clubs today and she's a little tense and tired.  She's gets easily frustrated when she messes up on the field but doesn't want to talk about it afterwards.  I feel bad for her in a way, but this will all work out when we get to actually choose the best team and club for her this weekend.  As for Cole, he seems impervious to it all.  Good for him.

There are about 10-12 rising U13 girls 'missing' from tryouts.  These are the one from the U12 Red and White teams who left as a group to go to HFC.  I heard they don't really even have to tryout since they'll all be put on the same team over there; all they have to do is show up at the tryouts.  There's now going to  be a big talent gap between Kings Courts top two teams and the next one.  KCSA is going to have some weak mid-level teams.  But that doesn't affect me.

Brittney talked to me last night about the upcoming dance.  I was out on the porch after dinner and she came out to have a cigarette.  She wanted to know how I felt about her going to the dance with Jamie.  I said I just wanted her to have fun at the dance and hang out with all her friends.  She was nervous about whether the school would let them dance to a slow song.  The lights never go too low and the chapperones walk around and make sure kids aren't dancing 'too close'.  She doesn't know how they'll react when she and Jamie slow dance.  God, I hadn't thought of that and I don't really want to.  I think it's best if I put that vision out of my head for at least a few days.  I told her not to worry about it.

Mark called and left me the name of his attorney.  I guess his weekend at the beach with Dorrie went well.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Right club, wrong girl

Day one of tryouts is over.  It was embarrassing, and I really can't believe it's true but it is.  After getting four notes on my car earlier this year, all telling me that I should bring my daughter over to PCSL from Kings Court, they end up wanting my other daughter.

First things first.  I can only guess that the first day of tryouts went well at KCSA for each of my children since I can't bring myself to watch all of it.  Brittney always performs well at tryouts and they immediately put her in the top training group.  That won't change the next few days.  Kaitlyn isn't saying much, still, but she said they went 'good'.  I got a text from another parent who said Kaitlyn was with the better group and played well.  I have no idea about Cole, but he's happy.  I expect each of my kids will be offered spots on the top team when Friday rolls around, maybe the second team for Cole.

Before tryouts I ran into Jamie; I'm not at all surprised she showed up to watch Brittney.  I asked her, pleaded with her, not to watch the tryouts but instead let Britts go through the next four days without any distractions on the field.  Jamie is the girl Brittney was waving to during the final scrimmage last weekend, waving to her during the game itself.  Having her near the sidelines today would totally throw off Brittney.  I've worked so hard to get her to this spot in her soccer career that I can't afford to have any distractions around her.  Reluctantly Jamie agreed with me.  We headed to the edge of the woods during tryouts to have a cigarette and keep out of Brittney's line of sight.  She told me that she's not going to play soccer this year.  Instead she wants to just enjoy her first year of high school and hang out with her friends.  And by friends I think she means Brittney.  In the end Jamie offered to watch Kaitlyn and Cole at my house afterwards so I could get Brittney to PCSL.  A nice gesture on her part.

After tryouts I wisked all three plus Jamie into the car, dropped Jamie, Kaitlyn and Cole at home to start their homework and headed over to PCSL with Brittney, which is about 15-20 minutes away.  I got her tryout number pinned on and pointed her down to the field.  I was expecting some 'oohs' or 'aahs' or something from someone to show their appreciation for my bringing Brittney over to PCSL's tryout, but all I got from a team offical was a whispered, 'Where's Kaitlyn?" before he walked away.  Then it hit me.  They want Kaitlyn, not Brittney.  I was shocked. And embarrassed.  And confused.  But I couldn't just pull Brittney off the field and Kaitlyn was at home.  I was almost trembling.  I headed to the perimeter of the field near the street to have a cigarette, three actually, and and tried to figure this out and come up with a plan.

Now I've got to fix this and I'm going to have to do two things.  First is get Britts back to KCSA tomorrow and somehow let them know that she's not trying out over here.  Parents who see her here today will talk.  I've got to squelch those rumors.  Second I've go to get Kaitlyn over here tomorrow and Thursday and she's already missing today tryouts.  So much to do so quickly.

After tryouts I explainrd to Brittney on the ride home what happened.  She's a little relieved since she would prefer to say at Kings Court.  I now have to somehow break the news to Kaitlyn, but I guess one benefit of her not speaking to me much is that she shouldn't complain.  LOL.  I let Brittney and Jamie hang out at home for a while before I drove Jamie home.  My tryout plans have been turned completely upside down.  And this is only day one.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tryout week is here

I'm a nervous wreck.  Tryouts begin this week for Kings Court - and PCSL.  All of my kids will be on the fields being evaluated today through Thursday.  I'm usually pretty confident about these things; Brittney and Kaitlyn are certainly top players so in reality there's nothing to worry about.  But I just can't concentrate.  I've taken two cigarette breaks at work so far today and spent most of my work time writting this when I'm not daydreaming about the upcoming tryouts.  And I'm someone who just a few months ago used to mock people who smoked.  Speaking of which, I've got to work on Brittney.  She has a cigarette every morning before school and then as soon as she gets home she has one right away.  This is not good for someone going into the seventh grade.  I bet she and Jamie sneak out of school to have one as well.  I've go to look into the patch or something for her.  After tryouts.  How she has changed from early in the school year.  From a quiet, somewhat studious kid who had crushes on sixth-grade boys and lived for soccer to someone with an eigth-grade girlfriend who now 'likes' soccer and can't seem to go 2-3 hours without lighting up.  I can't make this stuff up.

But now it's Kaitlyn who's starting to worry me.  She's so quiet lately.  I did check-in with her teacher and her grades are still good, but apparently she's not hanging out with her friends as much at school anymore.  She's a loner, and when she gets home she goes staight to her bedroom and shuts the door.  I just don't know what to do.  There's enough stress in my life to cut with a knife.

However it'll all get better starting Friday when we get the phone calls.  Usually the soccer club notification phone calls come on Friday or early Saturday, and they give you 24 hours to committ.  I'm guessing PCSL is the same as Kings Court.  I decided to have Brittney try out for PCSL after all the recruiting they did of her this past season.  At least we can see what kind of talent they have for U13 going into next year, and then we can make up our mind.

And then there's the dance Friday night that keeps slipping my mind.  Maybe my stress will ease up Saturday instead of Friday.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Last sleep before tryouts

I tried to just keep this a low key day.  Tryouts for Brittney, Kaitlyn and Cole start tomorrow and Brittney has two clubs to try out for.  I dragged all the kids to church this morning - first time in months - and tried to bring some semblence of normalcy back in our lives.  Speaking of normal, I met Brittney's girlfriend's mother today.  LOL.  I can't believe I typed that sentence.  Laurie came over to pick up Jamie this afternoon, who we picked up at the library earlier and brought to our house.  Laurie seems nice; she's been a single mother for about 10 years and Jamie is her only child.  Nothing about this upcoming dance seems to phase her.  She isn't concerned that her daughter is 'dating' another girl or that they hold hands in public.  I'm not sure she knows I caught them kissing but I guess she wouldn't even have an issue with that.  She lets Jamie smoke in the house and doesn't see it as a problem - which I guess is good because both girls were smoking on the deck as they waited for Laurie to take Jamie home.

We spoke for just a few minutes and then somehow the issue of a dress for the dance came up.  I hadn't thought about a dress for Britts.  This whole dance didn't seem like reality until today, and now it's only five days off.  I sure hope Brittney wants to wear a dress to this dance instead of pants and a tie.  I'm not sure what these couples wear.  Thankfully Laurie told me that both girls want to wear dresses.  They've been to a second-hand clothing store and found two they really like and put a deposit on them.  When did this happen?  Laurie took both girls two week ago, before they told me they wanted to go to the dance.  Like putting the cart before the horse.  Which means Laurie has known that Britts and Jamie wanted to go to the dance for quite some time.  Why am I always the last to know?  Anyway, with tryouts coming up all week I'm not sure we'd have time to go shopping.  Thankfully all I have to do now is go to the store and pick up the dress.  My head started reeling right about then.  I think Laurie sensed it because she was ready to leave at this point.

But back to the tryouts.  All my kids have tryouts at Kings Court starting tomorrow and they run through Thursday, from 4:15 to 5:30.  Then Brittney has PCSL tryouts Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30.  Plenty of time to get between the fields for the two clubs.  I still have to work out some logistics about getting all the kids after tryouts so we can head over to PCSL, and we also have to keep the PCSL tryouts a secret for now.

Happy Mother's Day to me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Getting my act together

I've had enough self pity.  It's time for action.  Today KCSA is holding a free pre-tryout clinic for all age groups and I decided the kids would all attend, whether they want to or not.  I got up early and headed to the porch to have a cigarette and was surprised to see Britts out there already, cigarette in hand.  This has got to change, or at least come under control.  She's up at 7:00 smoking and texting.  She's only 12.  I won't ask her stop until after tryouts but I will see if she can cut back.  That's a start.  At least we get the chance to talk when we're both on the porch.  However what she had to say threw me for a loop.  She said she's not sure she even wants to play soccer next year.  Jamie is going to high school and might not try out for KCSA for the fall.  I told Britts that she has to live her own life, do what's best for her, and not revolve around what someone else does or says.  She WILL be trying out next week.

Then she brought up the dance again.  She said the school told her that same-sex couples weren't allowed.  This floored me, not because of the school's decision but because she and Jamie asked the question at school so now people are sure to find out that they're 'dating' or whatever it is they are.  This is just too much for me to handle right now.  However she looked so sad about the whole dance decision.  I'm just not sure what I can do or if I want to do anything.  However I told her that she can't smoke in public, instead can only smoke around the house, outside on the porch.  She agreed.  I wonder how many people at school knows she's smoking and/or dating a girl?  How far removed am I from her life?

Brittney then told me that the upcoming dance is this Friday, six days away.  She and Jamie decided to go as individuals and just meet inside.  I asked her how many people knew she wanted to go to the dance with Jamie and she said all her friends know.  She said they support her.  And then she says Jamie's mom wants to meet me before the dance.  So basically Brittney is going to a dance with another girl and I have to meet her mom first.  Well, with tryouts all next week the only day I could possibly meet Jamie's mom is tomorrow.  Britts said she'll arrange it, which is good because I've got my hands full right now just moving from day to day. 

Then I told her that she, as well as Kaitlyn and Cole, were going to the pre-tryout camp today.  She perked up a little - maybe she's still got that inner fire to play soccer again, or maybe she's just happy that I ok with her going to the dance with Jamie.  And I'm not even sure about that.  Getting Cole and Kaitlyn to agree was another story.  Kaitlyn had her door locked so I unlocked it with a bent paper clip and walked in.  She too was already awake, reading in bed.  I told her that things had to change and she couldn't lock her door anymore.  She didn't look up from her book so I took it away from her.  I told her the soccer camp was in 2 hours and to be fed and in the car by 9:30.  She never answered but eventually got herself dressed and ready to go.  Brittney told me she thinks Kaitlyn is becoming goth, whatever that is.  As long as she keeps her grades up.

Cole was less than enthusiastic about the soccer practice because apparently Mark told him he would be playing baseball in the fall.  I hate Mark now more than ever.  I told Cole to consider this just a fun practice.  He wasn't happy about it but eventually got downstairs for breakfast.

And now they're on the fields for their two hour clinic while I contemplate my next move.  First it's off to Walmart for more cigarettes and wine, and maybe some nicotine gum.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tryouts looming

This week KCSA held optional practices for all their teams.  When I asked everyone if they wanted to go, each said no.  It killed me when Brittney said she would rather take the week off.  I don't think she needs the practice, but any touches on the ball would help.  However I have to tread lightly with her.  Somehow she's become my friend this week and I want it to stay that way.  Kaitlyn hasn't said much at all this week behind her closed bedroom door, but she also wanted a break from soccer practice.  Her one word 'no' was enough to let me know she wanted a break.  And Cole has talked some about playing baseball in the fall.  I can refocus him later if I can get him through the tryouts next week.

With all the crap in my life right now, I have to start focusing on something I can somewhat control around here and that's soccer.  It's what's kept me sane for the past few years.  Right now it's only three days until tryouts and I'm absolutely terrified for all my kids.  Thankfully Brittney has become my rock.  It's hard to believe that a 12-year old could help me keep it together but she's wise beyond her years.  She's still openly smoking around the house, and it has to stop soon, but I don't want to upset her too much.  I need to keep her happy and determined to do well in the tryouts.  I was into much worse at her age, or around her age.  I saw on her cell phone that she's been texting Jamie all hours of the night but I guess that's what kids do nowadays.  I just want her to be 100% ready for the upcoming tryouts.  Maybe a new club would be best for her, sort of a fresh start with some new faces and new teammates.  I signed her up for both the KCSA and PCSL tryouts next week and told her we would do both.  She didn't seem to really care when I mentioned it.  It's her apathy toward soccer that hurts me right now, especially when I see how much PCSL wants her on their club.  As much as I want to see her excel at the tryouts, I don't look forward to watching the other soccer parents talk about me right behind my back.  My husband who left me, my daughter who has a girlfriend, and they have to be able to sense the cigarettes smell on both Brittney and me; I've given them a range to topics to discuss amongst themselves.  They're such a judgemental group.  I might have to just drop the kids off at tryouts and then come back to pick them up afterwards.

Kaitlyn has basically locked herself in her room lately.  Aside from the 3-minute talk we had yesterday she's been mute.  She's in her room all the time except for dinner, and even then she just picks at her food.

Apparently, through the grapevine, I heard that Mark and Dorrie already left for a very long-weekend vacation to the beach.  He hated going to the beach whenever I asked about it, although she might look slightly better in a bikini.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meeting Jamie

Yesterday Jamie came over to our house after school.  Brittney wasn't home yet.  I was tempted to tell her to leave but she asked to come inside to talk to me.  My curiosity got the best of me and I agreed.  We sat in the kitchen and I offered her something to eat, which she declined.  She told me that she really likes Brittney and that they're girlfriends and that I shouldn't worry about them.  I wasn't sure what this meant but I immediately reached for and lit a cigarette.  When she saw me doing this Jamie asked if she could have one as well.  She apologized for being the influence that got Brittney to start and admitted that she gave her the 'B' lighter as a gift.  She had her own box, same brand.  I said it was fine.

Before she could continue I warned her about kissing Brittney and told her Britts was too young for all that.  She listened.  Then she brought up the dance.  She and Brittney really want to go together.  At that point Brittney came home.  She wasn't surprised to see Jamie at the house and sat right next to her.  I could tell they were holding hands under the table.  When you're young it may be cute to share your friend's cigarette but as adult it looks gross.  This is not how I imagined my talk with her first significant other would be: one table, two girls, and all three of us very uncertain about what to say.  At this point I was speechless.  I don't know what I can do about the dance and I'm not sure if I want her going to a dance with a date, regardless of their gender, but if I mention this it'll come out wrong.  The dance is still a ways off so I told them I'd think about it.  Jamie and Brittney headed off to her room to talk.  I told them to keep the door open and a safe distance between them.  And no smoking in the bedroom: I have to draw the line somewhere.

Kaitlyn came home a few minutes later.  She started right up to her room but I stopped her and told her we had to talk.  I asked how school was going and she just looked at me and stared.  Then I asked how she was doing and what was new in her life.  She looked like she was going to cry but said all was well.  That's when I noticed her hair was shorter than I remember, and we hadn't been to the hairdresser in a while.  She admitted to trimming her own hair.  And it was straighter, too.  Her soft curls were gone.  Her friends had helped her straighten it out, she said.  Kaitlyn had changed her looks and personality over the past few weeks and I somehow missed it.  As she walked away she asked if I wouldn't smoke in the house anymore because she doesn't like the smell.  I guess Brittney and I can stick to the porch.  Or my bedroom,

Only four days until tryouts.  I've got to get them all refocused.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's over

This has to be rock bottom right now.

Mark came to get some things last night.  Or should I say, Mark and Dorrie came to get some of this things.  Unbelievable, he brings Dorrie along.  I wouldn't let her in the house.  Mark said I was acting like a child when I told him Dorrie wasn't allowed inside.  I replied that at least someone was acting like a child around here because Brittney and Kaitlyn weren't acting like kids anymore: one smokes constantly and wants to go to a dance with her girlfriend and the other won't speak to me and locks herself in her room 24-7.  That isn't typical behavior for young kids.  He didn't hear any of it.  Instead he just grabbed some clothes and looked for the kids to say goodbye.  Kaitlyn wouldn't come out of her room - good for her.  Brittney seemed disinterested and barely acknowledged him.  But Cole was another story.  I found Cole outside with Dorrie.  She had picked him up and was hugging him.  Thankfully Britts was there to hold me back because I wanted to run out and pull him out of her arms.

Everything else was sort of a blur.  Before he left Mark told me that it was over between us.  He was moving in with Dorrie.  I still find it an odd concept to wrap my head around.  He's moving in with a girl who's about 22-years old, when we have a daughter only 10 years younger.  He said he would continue to pay the mortgage for a while and that he would eventually get me the name of his lawyer, after he found one.  And that I should do the same.  It was all so cold and business-like.  No yelling or name calling.  No emotion.  And then he was outside, getting into the passenger side of Dorrie's car, and off they drove.

Cole was just happy to see Dorrie and went to bed soon after.  I don't think he has a clue.  Kaitlyn stayed in her room the rest of the night.  I'm still in shock over it all.  After Mark was gone Brittney poured me some wine and brought a box of cigarettes and an ashtray out to the porch for us.  I'm so sad she had to see this first hand.

And that's all I can clearly remember.  I woke up on the porch at 5:45 this morning; up with the sun.  I don't remember much after Britts coming out there with me, but looking at the full ashtray and empty bottle of wine, I'm guessing I was awake on the porch for a while before falling asleep.  And the hangover is minimal for some reason, maybe the fresh air.  At least I had a blanket wrapped around me last night.  Right now I'm actually stealing a cigarette from Brittney until I can buy more this morning.  I think I'm as close to rock bottom as I'll get, so it sure as hell better improve soon.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wrong everything

My world has officially gone to hell.  Mark had an affair and has moved out, for now.  I'm not sure about what to do for tryouts next week for any of my kids, and then yesterday I walked in on Brittney who was sitting on her bed with Jamie.  Kissing.  Brittney is 12 and Jamie is 14.  Jamie plays on the U15 Silver team.  The Girls U15 Silver team.  My 12 year old daughter is kissing another girl and they're both too young to drive.  At first I just walked out of her room and shut the door.  But then I came to my senses and told Jamie to get out.  Which just set Brittney off.  She said she knows why Mark isn't here and she knows about dad and Dorrie.  And that it's been going on for a while.  And that she heard Mark say to Dorrie that he loves her and Dorrie said she loves Mark.  And Brittney blames me for all this. 

After calming down we were able to talk.  We went to the back porch so I could smoke.  It turned out each of us needed a cigarette.  I told her that 12 years old is too young for such kissing.  I was going to have 'the talk' with her soon enough, but if she's going to spend the next few years kissing girls instead of boys, maybe I can put that off for a while.  I just told her to slow things down.  Then she dropped the other bomb on me.  She told me that she's been seeing Jamie for months now and wants to go to the spring school dance with her.  As a couple.  She said they can each go as an individual and meet up when inside but they would rather go together.  My head started spinning.  I can't deal with this right now.  Everyone wants their kids to be happy in life, but right now this is too much to take.  Maybe after a big glass of wine I can figure this out, but not now.  Just get me through the tryouts next week.

I just want to wake up and have this all be a dream.  A nightmare.  At least this crazy home life hasn't affected Kaitlyn or Cole as far as I know.  Kaitlyn stays in her room with the door shut, studying.  And Cole doesn't seem to notice a thing.  Mark didn't call yesterday.  I certainly wasn't looking forward to a conversation but I was even madder that he didn't call.

Monday, May 6, 2013

And it continues

I don't know why I thought things would be slowly heading back to normal.  Last night I caught Brittney in the garage smoking a cigarette.  She didn't flinch when she saw me.  I was taking out the trash and saw her in the far corner of the garage.  I know she just wants some attention and was probably looking to get caught.  Our eyes locked and she stared right through me.  She didn't try to hide her cigarette or put it out. After I put the trash bag in the container I walked over to her.  Instead of having a fit and yelling I decided to just have a cigarette with her.  She had taken one of my boxes from the carton.  She immediately relaxed a little.  I could tell this certainly wasn't her first cigarette ever; she actually inhaled and then exhaled through her nose.  How long has this been going on?  What happened to my little 12 year old soccer player who used to complain when she smelled cigarette smoke?  She looked like someone 12 going on 16.  Brittney even had her own lighter with a 'B' on it.  I was almost too shocked to talk but I just went along with it.  This is all new territory for me.  I want her to be my friend - I need an ally right now with all that's going on with Mark.

In some ways this might bring us closer together.  We started to talk and I enjoyed having a conversation with her.  I think she was waiting for me to tell her not to smoke, waiting for me to yell at her, but I didn't.  Hell, I remember smoking when I was about her age; if this is as bad as it gets I can deal with it.  She mentioned about wanting to have a friend over tomorrow after school, someone named Jamie.  She said she likes Jamie a lot.  I'm both a little nervous and excited to have her tell me about a boy she likes.  After all that's going on this week I guess anything normal is welcome.  She asked if I Jamie could come over after school and I said 'yes'.  I'll make sure Kaitlyn and Cole are on their best behavior.  I'm not ready to see her dating but she can have some boys who are friends.

Mark and I should talk later today.  I really don't want to think about it.  If we could just put this off until after the tryouts next week.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

End of the spring season

With Kaitlyn's tournament over - they came in second place - the spring season is officiall over at KCSA.  Unfortunately her team went out with a wimper instead of a bang.  They won both their games yesterday and tied the morning game today but then fell apart in the finals.  I think Kaitlyn was the only player out there not exhausted from the heat.  These girls need better conditioning.  I don't know why they don't take the soccer season more seriously.  I work so hard to make sure my girls are ready to go, everything from extra training to a personal coach, and some of her teammates are more worried about basketball or volleyball.  While yesterday I thought this team should stay together, now I'm hoping they weed out the non-committed at the tryouts and pick up some girls who have a better attitude.  Kaitlyn was quiet after the game.  She's really been withdrawn lately.  I know this has to do with Mark.

Just like yesterday, Brittney decided to spend today with those same girls instead of me, walking around Kings Court watching all the tournament games.  I'm glad she has a new group of friends but I wish they were her own age; I guess only a year or two older doesn't make much of a difference.  She's been moody the past couple of weeks and I think she knows what's going on with me and Mark.

I told her to meet us at the fieldhouse at 3:00 after Kaitlyn's final game and she was 20 minutes late.  Her pack of girls came running out of the woods, laughing, and when I asked why she was late she rolled her eyes and got mad before explaining they were down on the lower fields watching a game and took a shortcut in the woods back to the main complex.  She's got to be more responsible and start wearing a watch.  I'm not ready for her moody teenage years.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Out of sync

We have a full weekend of soccer and it's all here at Kings Court.  Kaitlyn's U10 Gold team won the first game of their tournament 4-1 and it wasn't even that close.  She was solid but not spectacular.  However the team passed the ball a lot and finally looked like a real soccer team out there.  At least there are no ego's on the team; every girl wants to win and will do whatever it takes.  Good passes are just as important as goals to these girls.  I think this team could stay together for another year or two and end up being a top team in the state.  There's another game for Kaitlyn later this afternoon.

Brittney was another story.  She had her scrimmage against KCSA U13 Red and they won 5-3 but she didn't have a good game.  She was distracted by some of the older Kings Court girls who came over to watch.  About 4-5 girls, I think from the KCSA U14 or U15 teams, came over to watch Brittney and for some reason Britts couldn't focus on her own game.  At one point, in the middle of the game, Brittney was actually waving to these girls.  I wanted to walk on the field and pull her off myself.  Where was her sense of focus?  She needs to treat every game as a prelude to the upcoming tryouts.  You never know who's watching and taking notes.  But with all that's going on at home I let it slide. After the game she asked to hang out with these girls at Kings Court for the rest of the afternoon since they also have younger siblings in the tournament, so I let her go.  Maybe she can pick up some pointers from them.

With Cole at a friends house for the day I was off the hook for parental supervision.  I'm in the middle of spending the entire weekend at KCSA and I suddenly realized the whole complex is no smoking.  I never noticed that before but now it's very annoying.

Friday, May 3, 2013

One day at a time

That's how I'm living my life right now, slow and steady.

Mark is still not allowed in the house.  He called yesterday and I told him to call back on Monday.  And to stay away from the kids since they think he's on a business trip.  He tried explaining about Dorrie but I don't want to hear it.  I asked if he was staying in the hotel by himself but he didn't answer.  I guess I really don't want to know.  The thing is, Dorrie had me completely set up.  She was going to work with Cole and Kaitlyn on Tuesday at the KCSA fields where Brittney was practicing.  She and Mark knew everybody would be out of the house and at the fields.  She wasn't due to show up at Kings Court for another half hour, so they had 20-30 minutes before she had to be on the field.  With my kids.  After being with Mark.  I try not to think about it much.

Lots of games this weekend.  Tournament starts tomorrow for Kaitlyn.  I think they're ready to step up, win a few games and take home the trophy.  Brittney has a scrimmage on Saturday but we're still lining up the opponent.  Any team would be fine; we just need to keep her focused on soccer right up to tryouts.

Kaitlyn hasn't spoken about anything but she's spent the past few days in her room with her door closed.  Probably catching up on her homework.  Cole is oblivious to everything.  It's Brittney who might catch on to what's happening around here but so far she hasn't said a thing.

I'm coping.  Kaitlyn and Cole are mad because they see me smoking.  I'm surprised how easy it is to go from not smoking for about 15 years to half-a-pack a day.  I'm only buying them by the carton at this point.

Two weeks from today we should have tryout results.  Things will be better by then, somehow.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I've suspected it for a few weeks and now I've found it to be true.  I caught Mark in bed with Dorrie when I came home to get Brittney's water bottle after dropping her off at practice yesterday afternoon.  Awkward.  I didn't pick her for being a tart.  After throwing anything and everything at the two of them - phone, books, hairbrush - she ran out of the house putting on her clothes as I literally kicked her in the ass.  He was speechless, for once, and I basically pushed him out of the house and threw his clothes after him.  He's staying at a hotel; or maybe 'they're' staying at a hotel.  I could care less.

The kids think he's off on a sudden business trip.  Right now I don't have time to deal with this.  Kaitlyn has a tournament this weekend, hosted by KCSA, and Britts has a scrimmage on Saturday.  I've calmed down some - bottles of wine and Marlboro 100's help.  Now I've only go to explain my smoking to the kids.  He WILL pay for this.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tournament post-mortem

Looking back on Brittney's tournament this past weekend Mark says it was just a huge waste of time.  They didn't end up making it to the finals even though they didn't lose on Saturday; they won and tied.  But due to the small number of teams and the stupid tie-breaking policy they ended up playing only one game on Sunday and it wasn't against a very good team.  And then, to top it off, bad officiating cost a chance to win that game and we ended up with a 2-2 tie.  Early in the game Brittney scored but they called her offsides even though she wasn't - and Mark said it was an obvious error on their part.  And then late in the game, with about 2 minutes to play, the other team scored to tie the game when they were clearly offsides but it doesn't get called.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, teams like the top one or two KCSA teams deserve better officiating in every game.  They've earned it.  A top flight team deserves the best officiating available.  It's simple.

Cole's team won their final game on Saturday.  He even scored two goals.  Peter's mom took a few pictures during his game and we looked at them online.  I think he's finally on a team where he can learn from a good coach.  Cole hasn't mentioned wanting to play baseball in a while.  We might be willing to commit him to a good team next year.  He should move up to a top Kings Court team after tryouts.  Maybe this is the start of something good with Cole.  Maybe all three kids on KCSA Gold teams.  I could not get better than that.