A day late I know, but I was having so much fun with my family putting up our 1st Christmas tree. It is amazing what can transpire in a week. I will make this broad statement, my last week seemed short and my weekend felt long. It was a good week. So if you want to continue to read you will hear about basketball, Christmas (not the retail type), and realizations about the world in which we live.
If you do not know I became a basketball coach this year, because I am male and a history teacher so I HAVE to be a coach of something. Basketball has never been in my list of knowledgeable subjects, but you have to learn. What is interesting is the similarities between basketball and soccer. They are not the same, but you can make parallels. That has helped tremendously because basketball has always been boring to me. Well we were at a game in Minor playing Bottenfield Middle School. Let me set the scene. The referees were not consistent, the home team had a 9 year old working the clock, and 3 people did their books during one game. All these things caused problems. The refs let the game get out of control way to early, so that was a headache that we just had to live with during this disaster. The clock thing really bothered me. It is a rule in middle and high school that you must have a certified individual running the clock during games, they have to have taken a course to know all the procedures and rules (just like coaches must take a test every year for the sport they coach). Needless to say this kid was not qualified. On three separate occasions during the 7th grade game he did not start or stop the clock on time. I had corrected him all three times and the 3rd time I got a little angry and yelled at him to start the clock. I was wrong and I know that, but being a coach you get heated during the moment; I did not say anything negative or use any fowl language, but I did yell. Well a guy, a parent that has been banned from the remaining games, started yelling at me and then started cussing. At this point I told him the problem and waited until the refs showed up. When they did walk over to the table I, in a calm tone, told them the rules that this team was breaking and the referee gives both sides a technical foul. I immediately calm down and do not say another word the rest of the game to the scorers table or the refs. My principal talked to me the next day, I was not in trouble he just told me that our parents had said that the players and I handled ourselves in a very good manner. Lesson learned, point out illegal procedure before game and get nonsense out of the way early-Check!
My family gave Emily and I Friday and most of Saturday off from our children. My mother wanted to take the boys to the Alabaster Christmas Parade- it is a big deal in B’ham. So my dad and brother picked them up from school and then returned them at 1:15 pm on Saturday. Now let me explain how awesome this was. I cannot remember the last time that my wife and I were just able to lay in bed and read and not have a 4 and 2 year old to constantly watch. The realization came to me that our lives before we had kids were never busy. We thought they were busy and tried to justify how busy we were, but we were not busy at all. It was amazing how much free time you have when you do not have children. As a little experiment parents do these simple steps: 1) find a relative or someone you trust 2) give them all of your children for almost 24 hours 3) enjoy! Now my wife is the kind of person who will start to miss the kids, but not I. I feel like I could be given about a 2-3 week break from my children before I started to notice they were gone. Someone that I trust taking care of my kids never even makes me think about them. Call me a bad father if you want, but I soak up so much while my kids are around and enjoy my time away from them. I have this feeling that I will be dealing with them for a long time to come. The fun part was that Emily and I went to dinner and then bowling. Those experiences are fun with kids, but they were amazing without them. Next lesson learned- kids are great, but it is very nice to re-meet the person you fell in love with before you created new human beings-Check!
Then the weekend hits and on Saturday and Sunday we did the Christmas thing. Emily and I have been married 6 1/2 years and have never had a tree at our house. We lived so close to family we just decorated their tree and moved on about our lives. This year we wanted to change that. We bought lights- I do not want to hear one comment about capitalism, a tree stand, and paper clips. We started putting up lights with the paperclips so we would not put a bunch of holes in the gutter or roof. We ran out of lights to string across the front of the house, so day 1 of decorating comes to a close and we will pick up on Sunday. On Saturday night we were hanging with those neighbors that are so cool and I was telling them our dilemma of not having enough lights. Well a guy gave me a strand of lights so I could finish the house. He had gotten them from another neighbor. Community is great! So after we attended early church we ran by Lowe’s to buy a real live tree. We got home started decorating and letting the kids hang most of the decorations and ornaments. Emily put on a Spotify playlist of Christmas music. I can tell you that I normally do not get into the spirit of Christmas, but this year this scrooge has changed. I felt good to be starting new traditions with my family. The looks in the boys eyes when everything was done was amazing and worth the price of admission(which correlates to probably about $300,000 to $400,000 once they move out- expensive ticket). My oldest Josiah was pumped about learning how to turn on the lights and almost burst when he pressed the button on the surge protector to turn on the lights outside-picture Clark Griswald. He actually walked into house after having dinner down the road and started dancing in front of the Christmas tree(picture somewhat coordinated white boy putting on the moves in excitement, you will laugh as I did). So that taken care of and another tradition started- Check!
There you go in over a 1000 words, didn’t that seem like torture when you were in high school or college. Well, it may be torture for you to read this, but you made it through and I have to say I am proud of you. If life is not making you look at it differently everyday, I hope that changes for you because it is amazing to see what is going to happen.