The Value of Things

Anyone who knows me probably knows I don’t place a lot of value on things. I’m  not one to try to keep up with the Joneses or wear the latest fads. I think I’d live about the same lifestyle if I ever won the lottery – with the exception of maybe attending a few more sporting events. I want my car to have 4 wheels and run and get me and the family from Point A to Point B.

As my kids have gotten older, I got a little sad at times that I didn’t keep more things from my childhood. The old Nintendo and Sega Genesis are long gone (I guess I sold them to buy baseball cards  years ago?) I think I’ve got my old Cub Scout uniform somewhere and a few trophies from youth sports but that’s about it. There’s no favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal – even my baseball card collection (that was massive) was liberated during my Mom’s move out of my childhood home.

But tonight..oh tonight..

During bedtime, my son brought me a book to read. It was “Oh, the Places You Go” by Dr. Seuss. Every time I see this book, I now immediately who gave it to me. Allison Phelps – right before high school graduation in 1998. You will know I’m going senile if I ever forget this fact. I’m sure I read it years ago (I had to, right?) but it seemed brand new. The edges are a bit ruffled from being moved no less than 7 times.

In reading it to them for bed and seeing her handwriting, it was almost an out-of-body experience. Just amazing how life works out. They didn’t get all the words and understated messages that the GENIUS of Dr. Seuss was laying out. But it was a beautiful look at where my life has taken me in the 23 years since high school and what their next 23 years may look like when they leave home (hopefully) and spread their wings. E would be 30 and L 28. Those ages seem almost…comical. I can’t imagine them as adults.

But they will be…and hopefully, they will have something from this childhood that I hope they remember as being at least decent to hold on to. And it may not be a thing….but hopefully it’s something.

 

PS. Of course, my “thing” isn’t something you can hold onto and snuggle at night and feel cozy in. But it’s a thing that means more than me than something tangible.

To thine own self be true.

Lincoln says – Summer/Fall 2021 Edition

He just informed me that our house has 3 bath tubs – 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs (yep, I was aware of that bud :))

 

“What, I’m not an octopus?” (when you are coming back from daycare pickup and work and he’s carrying his cup and you are carrying a coffee cup, backpack, work bag, purse, keys, wallet, etc)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I can smell some Pringles” –  I was not aware Pringles had a scent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s been REALLY into football this season. When the players get together to huddle, he says “ooh, they are making up a plan”

 

Out of bounds is “out of balance” – I just can’t correct this one…

 

“Uh oh, he was going to die them” – about Camp Cretaceous and dinosaurs (a current favorite)

 

 

Soccer Coach Dad (x2)

I never thought I’d coach my kids soccer team. Sure, many other people assumed I would. I am just that kind of guy with my kids – the kind of person not as scared of putting himself out there and getting out of his comfort zone for his kids. Heck, sometimes just their very presence gives ME strength.

I got roped into coaching E’s team 2 years ago. An email came out saying a team had no volunteers and if someone was interested. My response back was “if absolutely necessary”. Next thing, I know I’ve got a team, a roster and practice plans. My emails asking for clarification went unanswered and that’s how I wound up co-coaching Team Force in 2019. Because I am who I am, I don’t do things like this lightly so I read all the rules and practice plans and made sure I knew the kids names and “scouted” who we were playing (I mean, checking WHO were were playing and when). It wound up being a lot more fun than I expected and we even got a CHAMPIONSHIP season out of it (that me and my girl had to miss because she got sick on the day of the last game).

 

 

 

 

Anyway, THIS season, I misread the layout and thought I’d be able to coach a single team for both kids. I couldn’t let my boy know that I coached his sister once and not him so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. I don’t know much about soccer so anything past age 8 and they would need a REAL coach. But I could do this.

Well,…turns out there is a 5-6 league and a 7-8 league so they were separate. But guess who got roped into coaching TWO teams?  And no assistant coach this time around. You got it!

 

 

 

 

 

The first games were today – 4 hours

on the pitch (hey, Ted Lasso taught me something!). It was Tennessee hot – Heat index of 99 at game’s end with barely any breeze. I was honestly nervous as all get out. COVID has kept me away from people and small talk and I was going to have to “perform” in front of 10 kids – and their watching parents.

(Oh, of course, my old friend major back pain had to make an appearance during the week also. I wasn’t able to run with the kids like I wanted to and it flared up a few times when celebrating with them after goals but I hope my kids learned a lesson in responsibility and commitment by seeing their dead ole dad out there – I  know Emerson knew how much pain I was in before getting to the ball fields)

As far as a first day, it went outstanding. We got two wins (but who’s counting) and the kids had a blast. My goofiness worked and everyone seemed to have an amazing time.  I’m excited to NOT have a game next week but ready to see them all again in 2 weeks.

 

 

Sports Dad (and my 2 new fans)

 

My daughter and I starred this thing a few years ago and it started getting official last season.

For the Tennessee Titans (our favorite NFL team), we do a weekly notebook entry. It’s got your basics – the final score, stickers with each teams logos and the week number. It was kinda a fun way to encourage her growing language and writing skills but it just became fun.

If you know me, you know that sports is one of the things I love most in this world. I used to play them a ton as a kid in the neighborhood and in video game form in college. I’ve cheered on the vols and Titans with a passion that borders on ivscene. I’ve cried when my team has lost and had whole weekends ruining.

It’s pretty awesome to have my oldest be into something I love. She doesn’t watch the games the same way I do – or even the whole game. But that she engages at all is pretty sweet.

Oh, and Lincoln totally gets in on the Williams Family touchdown celebration dance (no pictures, please)

Christmas 2020 Funny Kid Gift

I hate pickles…I don’t understand why they exist or people eat them (except the fried ones, especially at Toots).

My daughter loves pickles. She has to get like a hundred on her cheeseburgers. She does not understand why I don’t like them. This has been going on for YEARS. It’s just a fact at this point yet she’ll still try to fool me into eating one – nope, not gonna happen. The only thing worst than a pickle is an olive. YUCK!

So what does she get me for Christmas?

Pickle socks…

You should have seen the smile on her face. She was beaming from ear to ear.

Things to Never Forget

I have a 7 year old…that hasn’t quite fully sunk in. When people ask me my kids ages, I still start off with “6 year old girl and 4 year old boy”.

There are things that Emerson does that I will forget as the years pass by. Little quirks and character features that will probably go away as she gets older. But a few I want to hold onto forever. And here’s a few

1) She loves pinatas. Like is addicted. So much so that she got one for her Mom’s 40th birthday. But it was NOT for her mother
2) She loves jackets. What kid loves jackets? She has a gray one that is beyond filthy that she wears every day. Sometimes, it’ll be 75 degrees and she’ll walk out of school with it on.
3. Gum, mints – she’s like her dad and just wants something to taste at all times.

End of An Era – and the start of a new one

My little girl just finished 1st grade. I’m not sure it’s fully sunk in. Maybe because kindergarten didn’t really get to complete because of stupid COVID. Maybe because we just moved our entire life from our home of 7 years to an entirely new neighborhood in the past 6 weeks. Maybe I just don’t want to accept that she is growing up fast and the days are starting to FLY.

On top of that…my little guy just completed his last year of pre-K at the place where he has been for the last 5 years. Where a member of my family has been for the last 7 years. Next school year will be the first one where a kid is not at the school where Becky teachers. No running down for a quick hug or check in. No super small classroom size. No built-in familiarity.

I am so proud of these kids. They do things their own ways and in their own times but they are…simply amazing.

The Williams World