October 1, 2010
The New Oxford Dictionary has added a whole wack of new words to the dictionary this year, and while I can’t muster a tonne of enthusiasm that “bromance” and “hashtag” made the list, I am excited that moms have a new definition for our activities. This year, “hockey mom” made the list:
hockey mom n. informal a mother who devotes a great deal of time and effort to supporting her children’s participation in ice hockey.
Now, obviously a hockey mom is much more devoted than a “soccer mom,” which Merriam Webster defines as:
soccer mom n. a typically suburban mother who accompanies her children to their soccer games and is considered as part of a significant voting bloc or demographic group
Obviously we soccer moms are just stuck in our situations, whereas hockey moms put the drive into driving your kid to sports.
My kids don’t play hockey, but even if the definition applies to other sports, I think I’m much more of a soccer mom than a hockey mom. But boy, do I know a lot of hockey moms!
Last summer, when I was coaching Little League baseball, we had a dad who really pushed for his kid on our team, and we called him a “hockey dad.” Can’t find that one in online dictionaries, but I always thought the hockey dad was the guy who pushed so hard that he got into fights with other hockey dads and coaches to get his kid more play time. Obviously, that is not the hockey mom.
Soccer mom was a term invented to define mostly baby boomer suburban moms, so it’s nice to see that we Gen X moms now have a term all our own.
June 30, 2010
Recently I took my 9-year-old to see the original version of the Bad News Bears — you know, the Walter Matthau version. I think it was an edited version, because I was waiting for the scene where he writes the word “assume” on a board then divides it up into “ass” and “u” and”me”. Anyhow, that scene wasn’t in it. But there were lots of instances where the boys on the team called each other bad names.
And which bad name jumped out at my 9-year-old? Bastard. So he asked me:
9-year-old: Mommy, what is a bastard?
Embarrased mom: It’s a bad word, an insult. I don’t ever want you to say it.
Overly inquisitive 9-year-old: OK, mommy, but what does it mean really?
Mom: It’s when someone is the child or parents who weren’t married. A long time ago that was shameful.
9-year-old: What’s wrong with your parents not being married?
And there you have it — what is wrong with it anymore? Nothing to my son’s generation. Half their friends are products of unmarried partners, accidents, single parents, and more. So who is a bastard anymore anyhow?
May 30, 2010
When I used to live back East, what I knew about the west coast and Vancouver was primarily that it rained a lot, they had almost no winter, and everyone was kind of hippy dippy.
Well, I moved to Vancouver in 1996 despite all that, and discovered that some of it was true. It did rain a lot, but it also got very sunny a lot, and summers and even springs and falls could be very lovely. I remember fondly rowing on the ocean in February in t-shirts and shorts on sunny days. And everything is almost always green, which makes up for a lot of the rain. And boy do we ever appreicate the sun. Back East, a sunny day when I had to work was no biggie. Out here, I really feel it if I let a sunny warm day go by being stuck in my office. I must get out and enjoy it.
Last summer was amazingly warm and sunny. So sunny we worried about water shortages and dying lawns. But so far this year, it’s nearly June and it feels like the last month has been all rain. I know we’ve had a couple weeks of sun, but it’s been chilly and rainy the entire last two weeks. And the forecast is for more rain next week. And we took a weekend at the seaside only to have rain and cold the entire weekend.
Plus, it’s baseball season, and we’re having a hard time playing games in the rain. We got rained out at the game on Wednesday, then rained out the next game on Saturday. We have makeups scheduled Sunday and Monday but the forecast is for rain then too. This weather is really putting a crimp into little league season.
Plus, frankly, I’m ready for more sun. It’s not like I suffer from SAD or anything, but after getting drenched walking on the beach this weekend, I’ve had enough.
Is it summer yet?
May 17, 2010
I feel like my whole life lately is about baseball. Okay, there’s work in there too, but outside of work, it’s all baseball.
I coach my nine-year-old’s little league team. We are playing (I think I can say “we” as the coach, can’t I?) at a higher level this year, where the kids pitch, they can steal bases, and they practice a lot. In fact, between games and practices, we have baseball 4-5 times a week. Every week. For nine weeks!
And my son is a pretty good ball player, and he’s one of our team’s pitchers. But he needs to work at it, and practice. And that means I’m expected to find extra time at home to practice with him. But I have no extra time these days, mostly because of his baseball schedule!
We took a weekend away recently. It was fun, but not especially relaxing. And where did we go? To Seattle, to watch a Mariners Major League Baseball game.
I’m also trying to organize an outing for a large group of kids and adults. Where to, you ask? Why, to a baseball game to watch the Vancouver Canadians!
At least this week it looks like I have an evening to myself. And how will I spend it? I’ve been asked to sub for an adult team’s softball team. So yup, night off and I’ll be playing — you guessed it — baseball.
Good thing I like baseball.
September 7, 2009
The signs are all here now. Summer is over.
First, it got cold. We turned on the heat yesterday and don’t expect to shut it off much now until April.
Next, baseball is over. This year my son played summer ball, stretching the regular season from April all the way to the end of August. And yesterday we watched the last game for the Vancouver Canadians for the season. And yes, they won.
Third, lessons start this week. Piano lessons, swimming lessons, and soon weekend soccer games. Here comes my scheduling nightmare trying to get two kids to everything when both parents work and we only have one car. How do bigger families do it?
Finally, school starts tomorrow. Whooopeee!! I’ve been counting down the days for weeks now, and finally, it’s here. It’s been nice having a calm summer with fewer deadlines and an easier schedule, but when you’re trying to work from home and schedule actual client stuff and kids are running around the house or taking up your time, school can’t come fast enough.
Goodbye summer (although weather wise, I’d be happy to be proven wrong!), hello fall.
May 31, 2009
This is my third year coaching little league, but the last two were in T-ball, so this year in Minor B ,things really stepped up a notch competitively. My team is very good, but keeps having heartbreaking moments that cost them the win. One missed pitch after three foul balls. A pop fly catch that is caught but falls out of the mitt. An amazing hit by my team that the other team luckily catches in the air. Or like today, when we played an awesome game, were winning 7-1 going into the last inning, got two outs right away, then a couple teeny errors and the other time somehow scores seven runs to win the game.
OK, it’s my son’s team, but this year, I’m really feeling that these are my plays, my wins or my losses. I’m probably too invovled, and taking it all too personally. I spent a bit of extra time with my son before the last game working on his hitting. And when he hit a double, an amazing line drive right past the right fielder, I felt proud. Like it was my hit. Well, it was kind of, wasn’t it?
I think because the level of play is so stepped up this year, all us coaches are feeling this. But everytime my heart rises and falls with a win or loss, I think perhaps I ought to detach myself. And I will. Just as soon as the playoffs are over.