The Saturday before last, we were all up, dressed, and out the door of a perfectly clean house by 8:45 AM. If you don't appreciate the magnitude of that statement, you obviously do not have children. At our house, this doesn't happen on a regular basis. Sarah usually has to be up and out of the house for school by 7:50, but the rest of us? Not so much. At our house, we celebrate events like "everyone got dressed before noon" and "mom took a shower AND blew her hair dry on the same day." So for all of us to be up, and dressed, and ready to go, WITH A CLEAN HOUSE, before noon, was an achievement on the scale of climbing Mt. Everest.
The house wouldn't normally be clean by 8:45 on a Saturday morning, (or 9:45, or 10:45, or - well, you get the idea) but we had a showing scheduled for later in the day. (After all of our effort though, I don't think they actually came, because the realtor didn't leave a card. People? LEAVE A CARD if you come through. Come on. Real Estate 101. Do I have to teach you everything? Honestly.)
We were off to Abby's first soccer game of the season. The team of four year olds had been to exactly one practice prior to game day. The practice was primarily focused on trying to get them to understand that they could not use their hands to pick up the ball, and could not use their shin guards as helmets, so we weren't expecting too much at the game itself. That was probably a good thing.
When we arrived, Abby announced that it was too hot, and she didn't want to play. After some very skillful parenting (i.e., promising her ice cream later), she finally consented to get on the field. She stood there daydreaming and singing to herself until the ball went by her. "Abby, get the ball, kick the ball!" She must have heard us, because she snapped out of it and actually started kicking the ball - in the wrong direction. But the members of her team didn't care - they thought it was awesome that someone on their team was kicking the ball, and they helped her kick it all the way across the field and into the other team's goal. Everyone cheered anyway.
The game was hilarious. Almost every goal was unintentional. Many times they didn't actually hit it into the goal, but into some area of the end zone around the goal. But they THOUGHT they'd scored a goal, so they'd kick it across the end zone but not between the cones and then cheer wildly for themelves. The crowd would laugh, then clap anyway. There were multiple toddler pile-ups. One person would fall down and they'd all go over.
Abby got angry at one point when someone had the nerve to actually KICK THE BALL AWAY from her and she ran off the field crying that he was a mean boy. One little girl made it all the way across the field, toward the RIGHT goal, kicked it, just barely missed, saw the other children coming, thought fast, picked it up and threw it in, then jumped up and down cheering, congratulating herself for her quick thinking.
After the game, we went to an ice cream party at the park put on by our church. Not much to say about that. Ice cream, heat, assorted toppings and brand new soccer uniforms. You do the math.
Sarah's game was next. This was Sarah's first year of soccer. Now, Sarah's not normally super boisterous - she's a very polite, well mannered little girl, so we weren't sure how she would do in a game that requires you to be a little aggressive. She was a little timid at first, kind of trotting along after the other kids. I think she was trying to be nice - she didn't want to rudely take the ball away from the other children. "Excuse me, may I please kick the ball, if it's not too much trouble?"
After the first quarter, or period, or - whatever it's called - she started getting more intense. (I think she heard the cheers the other kids were getting for scoring goals and wanted a little of that for herself.) She started really getting in there and kicking. Look at her totally athletic stance.
She scored a couple of goals. The league they play in is a non-competition league, meaning that they don't officially keep score, but really, they totally KICKED THE OTHER TEAM'S BUTT. GO SHARKS!
Sarah's birthday party was that afternoon, so we went home to start preparations for her backyard water extravaganza. We invited 16 little girls to attend, thinking that half of them would probably show. They ALL came. Gulp.
We played water balloon toss, egg relay, water obstacle course, sponge tag, and a lot of other watery, wet games. My husband painstakingly filled almost one hundred water balloons, and I could only imagine what he was thinking when they disappeared in about fifteen seconds. They had a blast.
Sarah asked for a butterfly cake. I'm a terrible cake maker, but managed to put this poor, misshapen butterfly together.
This is my big six year old girl on her first day of first grade:
At the risk of sounding like I'm eighty-three, can I just say that I can't believe she's already six? I remember when we brought her home from the hospital. I was so confident when we were discharged. I mean, I'm the second oldest of nine children, and if there's one thing I know - it's babies. This was going to be a piece of cake. Motherhood would be an absolute snap.
Fast forward three days. It's 3 AM. I'm practically delirious after 72 hours of sleep deprivation. She won't nurse. She won't sleep unless we're holding her. I remember looking at my husband and crying, saying, "What are we supposed to do with her?" Good times.
I'm glad we made it through. She is the sweetest, dearest kid. She loves to read, and sing, and dance. Nothing makes her happier than a hug and an "I love you." She is careful with people's feelings, careful about making sure never to hurt someone. She loves to help, loves to use her imagination and more than anything else, loves to make other people happy. She's a loving, tender hearted little person and a truly kind soul. I'm proud to be her mom. I'm blessed to be her mom. We love you, Sarah. Happy Birthday.