Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Friend’

Kitchen Swearing and Bad Songs

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I thought people might notice, and start asking me where I’ve been.  No one did.   Really, not a single, “Where are you?”.  Not even from my Mom.  I’m working through it.  Kinda painful.

Guess it doesn’t matter.  I’m like an addict.  When I can’t find time to blog, I miss it.  I miss it so badly.  I long for it.  So, that’s my secret.  But, they say it’s better to get that stuff out in the open. So, there it is.

Every Mom knows that the Holiday season is just like having another part time job.  On top of your full time job.  On top of being a mother and wife.  Much is required.

At work, things are cranking up.  The boys’  wrestling season has begun, and Olivia is (was) playing basketball.  Plus, I’ve been developing a plot line for our “Teenage Elf”, and posting updates on Facebook.  It’s not like these posts happen by themselves.  And, I mean, if I don’t do them, who will?  That’s the question you have to ask yourself.  I think the answer is: no one I’ve ever known who is an adult, and not on psychotropic drugs.

teenage elf and barbie

All that beautiful stuff in my life is happening at the same time.  This leaves me very little time to breath, think, or write blogs.   That’s the order of my priorities.  I like to breath, think, write blogs, and then everything else.  You’re right. I’m a little off.

At any rate, I would never complain.  Because I feel like the luckiest, most blessed darn girl to be able to do all this stuff.  I might be having more fun right now than I’ve ever had.  And, Eddie is feeling good. So, there’s just nothing in the world to complain about.  Except people are designed to complain, so I still can find ways.

Last weekend, from Friday to Sunday evening, every moment was filled with athletic events.  Literally, every minute of the weekend was spoken for.  No one has ever accused me of being a neat freak.  (Which is unfair, because I really would like to be called that.  And, I do make my bed every day.) But, I do have some standards.  I almost always spend a few hours cleaning on the weekends.  I never really realized what a difference this cleaning made, until I couldn’t do it, and we were slowly buried in filth.

I knew this filth was getting to me.  But I wasn’t complaining out loud.  I just kept telling myself how fortunate I was to be able to have a great job, and to have kids who are healthy, and doing what they love to do.  All the while I’m telling myself these things, my eye is starting to twitch, and my nerves are fraying, because I’m walking out of the door every morning leaving the house in chaos.

Then, one morning I cracked.

Our dishwasher was broken.  Again.  I came back from walking Reggie, and Scott was packing his lunch.  There were dirty dishes on the counter, and the kitchen was an ugly landscape.  Scott patted me on the arm and asked me how I was doing.  I swore.  I did.  It wasn’t a lady like swear word either.  It was the worst kind of swear word.  I told Scott that I was going to be late for work, because I had to clean the bleepin kitchen.  Then I slammed the dog food bowl on the ground and walked out.

What the?

Yeah.  Just because I’m telling you that now, doesn’t mean I’m proud of myself.  I’m not.  I know you’re disappointed in me.  I get it.  I didn’t know that word was in my vocabulary.  I can’t remember ever saying it before.  Scott says I dropped the “f’ bomb one time when he threw a squeaky toy at me while I was sleeping.  I really didn’t.  He heard me wrong.  He just enjoys holding that over me.

That whole kitchen explosion was a total temper tantrum.  I sounded as ugly as my kitchen looked.  Scott was sorta speechless.  I surprised myself.  I had no idea that was brewing.

When I came back in the kitchen after getting dressed, guess what?  The kitchen was pretty clean.  I guess that’s what it takes.  Swearing.  I had no idea about this.  I’m going to pin what I learned on Pinterest.  How to clean your kitchen:  vinegar, baking soda, and “F” Bombs.

No.  I’m not going to do that.  Because swearing is bad.  It’s not a real strategy. But, I have to tell you, it does work better than gentle reminders.

But, no!  Of course, I won’t pin it.  That isn’t right, right?  You don’t think I should.  Do you?  I guess I’m a little torn, because it really did work.

I just have to think about it.  I’m always thinking.

The other day, I was on my way to work and I was thinking about blood sugar.  I was trying to remember the mechanics of how your body keeps blood sugar stabilized.  I’ve read a lot about this stuff.  I really should know this.  I’m really interested in these things.  And strangely, for how much I have read, I know very little.  I can’t seem to retain any of the facts I learn.   And, it occurred to me then, that the reason I get side tracked is because I get busy with things like Teenage Elf photo shoots.

I was arranging Teenage Elf on our buffet one morning, and taking a dozen or so pictures.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Scott shake his head at me.  He does that sometimes.  I’m not sure I like it.  I want to believe that he’s shaking his head like, “Oh, my wife.  She’s so cute.  Who else would dedicate this much time to the plot line of an imaginary Teenage Elf?”

I feel like that might not be what he’s really thinking though.

I don’t get it either.  I wish it would occur to me to act more appropriately.  It never does.

But, then again, Scott can get kinda boring.  Maybe I’m good for him?  I mean,  he puts really almost no effort into Christmas.  He doesn’t even like Christmas music.  Yeah.  I know.  His soul is dark.

The bad thing is, after all these years he’s begun to influence me.  I used to LOVE Christmas music.  Now, I like it less.  The other day I was hanging out with some hilarious friends.  I told them I heard the world’s WORST Christmas song on the radio.  I told them that I for real have to turn the radio dial so fast when it comes on the radio.  The song brings violent images to my mind.  When this song comes on,  I see myself stuffing a sock in the singer’s mouth.

I sang a line from this horrid song to my friend.  She said, “What?  That’s the Carpenters.  That’s a great song.”

So, that’s surprising.  I learned something new.  You can be a totally awesome person, and still like really terrible songs.  Here is the song.  What do YOU  think? It’s terrible, right?


Update on my NOT sick child

When I started this blog, I had a mish mash idea of what I was hoping to accomplish.  That’s typical for me.  One thing I knew for sure: I wanted to  take some of my heart ache and write it out.  That helps me.

From the onset, I had Eddie’s permission to write about him.  He told me that he was okay with me discussing his “illness”.  But, then he decided he wasn’t okay with it, so I stopped.   If his “illness” gets to be a schizophrenic shrew, we do too.

Right now, Eddie is a healthy kid.  He’s at wrestling camp this week. He’s started feeling better after the wrestling season ended. He has been wrestling every chance he gets, ever since . Every chance.  I’ve never really seen a person like something as much as Eddie likes wrestling.  I’ve suggested he marry it.

He is feeling good. The sun is shining. The kid knows how to make hay.

The other day we had the opportunity to be interviewed on camera.  Our church is putting together some “man on the street” type of interviews.  It’s a new thing.  Folks at church are going to tell their stories on camera.  Real people explaining what happens when life’s crapstorms meet faith in Jesus Christ.  That isn’t exactly how our pastor explains it, but you get the idea.  Have I told you about all the cool things that are happening at our church lately?   A LOT of cool things.

Eddie, Scott and I participated in the interview.  None of us were overly excited to do this, but there isn’t really another choice.  Scott and I have both promised God more than one thing over the years.  We have told God that if He would give us the strength to endure, we will use our trials to help others. To glorify Him. We’ve told God to use us as He sees fit.  There’s a good chance God remembers us saying that.  You don’t really want to lie to God.

He asked to do something. We did it.

I am glad we did.  Eddie said some things I liked hearing.  One thing he said is that he is NOT a sick kid.  He is a  wrestler,  a brother, a son and a friend.  He’s all those things, and he also happens to get sick.  But he was very clear about one thing.  He is NOT a sick kid.  He will not define himself that way.  I won’t define him that way either.  I’ve learned more than one thing from Eddie.

Eddie said being sick is behind him.  So, it is.

We only have this moment to live.  Our next moment is not promised to us.  We won’t fret over moments that haven’t happened and we cannot control.

I have a friend who I have never met in person.  Several friends I HAVE met introduced me to her.  She has Lyme Disease, and my friends thought I could help.  I couldn’t help.  I have had a lot of people introduce me to people who have Lyme Disease, or love people who have Lyme Disease.  Caring people want me to be of some use to these people who have had the cruddy luck to meet Lyme in person.   I wish I could help.  I can’t

I’m happy for the introduction to these people, because I care.  I really, really do care.  I hope it helps these people to know that I care.  But, I really don’t know how to help, practically speaking.

The ridiculous truth is that I do not know how to make Lyme Disease  go away.  It’s a wicked little nightmare, and I don’t know where the exits are.  I don’t even know if Lyme Disease  is our only problem.  Can you believe that?  You would think that I would know SOMETHING!  I feel like I don’t.

How you could study and study, and research and experiment, only to find out you feel less confident about what you know than when you started.  We started 11 years ago.  I’ve always hated mysteries.

So my friend that I’ve never met is a mom.  She is married and has two sweet, kind and precious young children.  One day she was minding her own business, homeschooling her kids and doing triathlons. The next day she was fighting for her life.

Like our family, she decided to go to a special clinic in Florida.  The folks at this clinic know a lot about Lyme, and they have great ways of fighting it.  My friend has a blog. She has been writing about her experience.  I have read every word she has written.  The other day she had a heart attack during her treatment.  I keep crying about that.

It’s weird, because I really don’t know this friend.  We have  talked on the phone once, and we message each other on Facebook.  I love her though.  I love her family too.

I don’t know how to fix my friend, but I know how to love her.  I feel empathy like I have NEVER felt before.  I didn’t know that when we were fighting to get Eddie’s life back in a special clinic far away, God was giving me something too. Empathy.

This week my friend posted that she needed some extra prayers.  Her mom immediately posted, “We are always praying.”  Do you know that just telling you about what my friend’s mom said is making me cry?  You know why?  Because supportive parents.  Those guys there just crush my heart.   I’m so happy my friend has parents who love her, and who would give their own lives to get hers back.

I know JUST what is going on with this family in a way I wouldn’t if I had a different life.  I know what it’s like to look at your parents’ faces and realize that all the fears and anguish inside of you is inside of them too.   You feel badly about that, but it is also such a comfort.  When you’re in the middle of a frenzied nightmare you don’t realize just how MUCH comfort that is.  It’s like the sanity sustaining type  of comfort.  It’s everything.

It isn’t until things settle down.  Until you read about someone else’s precious parents.  That’s when it hits you.  That’s when you start bawling like a baby, because you realize you are so grateful for what God gave you.

I remember when my parents went with Eddie and me to a clinic in Kansas.  Our community had raised a LOT of money to help us with the first two weeks of our stay there.  That money was used up on our first visit.  Eddie felt better after our first visit, but that didn’t last.  We decided to go back.

I remember that somewhere in the back of my head was a place where I worried about how we would pay for this trip.  It was easy to put that worry away.  I could quickly distract myself with bigger worries.  Worrying about whether Eddie was going to keep living made bankruptcy seem like a problem that could be solved.

Scott and I had always lived within our means.  We didn’t carry credit card debt.   We decided now was as good a time as any to start.  I was going to do something I had never done before.  I was going to pay with a credit card, knowing the money was NOT in the bank.   The money wouldn’t be in the bank any time soon.

When it came time to pay, my dad suddenly pushed in front of me.  He pulled out HIS credit card.  He said, “we’re paying for this.”  Now I can’t see what I’m typing.  I’m crying again.

I know this a random post.  It’s going lots of directions you didn’t see coming. I didn’t either.  I just wanted to write my heart out, and say that I love this new friend I have.  Every word she cares to write is landing in my heart.  I’m praying for her and her family, and I am experiencing a form of empathy I didn’t know existed.  I’m walking around Costco with my sunglasses on, because I can’t seem to stop shedding tears for her.  This is empathy.

Maybe you’re getting your butt handed to you right now.  I hope you get to the other side.  I hope you can stay loose and soft through your trial, and that you resist bitterness and anger.

Faith helped me stay pliable.  I asked God to show me how to do that.  I asked God  to show me how to grow and be stronger.  I asked Him to show me how to use our struggles for a better purpose.  I didn’t know he answered all those prayers.  Now I see he did.

God is showing me that through my friend.  He’s showing me that I have new and deeper ways to care about other people that I never would have had without our struggles.  He’s showing me that if He cares enough to show me these things, then He just plain cares.  If He can give me a heart full of compassion, than His heart must be full of compassion for me too.

Here’s a song my friend’s little daughter put on my friend’s play list.  My friend’s daughter thought this song would encourage her mom.   I’ve never met my friend’s daughter, but she and her brother look like some of the nicest kids I’ve ever seen.  I have a feeling that when they’re grown ups they will know how to care about others better than most.  I can tell they’re special:



Don’t Treat Your Daughter Like a Princess

I was watching one of those culturally profound reality shows the other day.  You know, the ones that enrich our understanding of today’s culture, and give us a more relevant perspective of the socioeconomic implications in today’s modern lifestyle.  Yeah.  That’s the only reason I watch those shows.  It’s more like research.  Because, I’m more like a scientist. And, more like a liar.

Anyway, there was one man on this show who was some kind of surgeon.  His wife was throwing a giant birthday bash for their little daughter.  I would guess the daughter was 7 or 8 years old.  All the little girls were dressed up as princesses.  So were their moms.  It’s true.  That happened.

If I had a nickel for every time my friends and I dressed up as princesses – just an excellent way to spend an evening.   One of the moms on the reality show even came to the party in a horse and carriage.   Definitely doing that at the next girls’ night out.  Too bad the moms were all screaming at each other by the end of the night.  I never saw that coming.

The Surgeon/Dad asked for the girls’ attention.  He wanted to make an important speech.  He said something to his young female audience about how his family wanted these girls to dress up like princesses on this special day so that the girls could remember that they deserved to be treated like princesses.  He told them they should ALWAYS remember that they DESERVED to be treated like princesses.  He said no matter how old they got,  they should expect to be treated Like. A. Princess.

Do you like that message?  I can see where a person might.  I didn’t.  I thought this Dad/Surgeon, and all the adults in that show could use some parenting help.  This Dad’s message made me think that adults like him are doing young girls wrong.

Have you hung out lately with any kids who feel entitled?  Yeah.  They’re not very fun.  Well, I guess they can be  fun, as long as they’re getting what they want, and everything is going their way.

Parenting 101:  How to make a bad person:   Tell them they deserve to be treated like royalty.


I was talking to my sons about this show on our long drive to Colorado.  I could tell they didn’t totally understand why it bugged me so much.  So, I switched it up.  I said, “What if I told you boys that no matter what, you should be treated like a King.  You deserved to be treated like a King. You should find a spouse who will TREAT you like a King.”

Then they understood.  They laughed pretty hard.  The thought of what I had just described made them uncomfortable. I hope that if my boys marry some day, that they would expect their spouse to treat them a little less like a King; a little more like a friend.   I was relieved my sons could see the absurdity.

Why would I tell my children that they are superior to others?  Why would I tell them to dwell on their superiority?  Why would I tell them to find someone who will recognize their superiority, and treat them accordingly? Why would I set them up for failure like that?

My advice to my kids is to stop thinking about how people treat you.  Don’t focus on that.  Focus more on how you’re treating other people.  Treat others kindly, and with respect. You’ll see that people will usually return the favor.

Don’t even get me started on this word “deserve”.   I really hope my kids would say that the word “deserve” is rarely spoken in our home.  I feel like they would say that. I don’t like that word.  I can’t picture that word coming out of Scott’s mouth either, unless it was part of a joke.  Not even Royalty deserves to be treated like Royalty.

People who walk around thinking about what they “deserve” are people who spend less time being happy.  What do we really deserve anyway?   Do babies “deserve” to be born into poverty, and countries that are ravaged by war?  They don’t, but there they are.  We didn’t do anything to deserve our place and time in history either.  But, here we are.  Let’s always be grateful.  A grateful kid is a happy kid.

Did you hear that the famous singer Sting announced he won’t be passing his fortune on to his six kids?  You know why?  Because he loves his kids.  Sting wants his kids to find their own passion. He wants them to have to work hard to achieve their goals.  He wants all that, because he wants his children to have good and meaningful lives.  I bet he never once told his children that they are like royalty, and they deserved to be treated as such.  He’s too smart to say that.

So that’s my rant on that subject.  Sorry if I got a little carried away.  I’ll stop now.

Do you like Public Radio?  I do.  I was an intern for a Public Radio station in Iowa when I was in college.  I’ve been a fan ever since.  I have always had this inner nerd thing happening in my life. I like my inner nerd. She makes me think.  It’s my inner nerd that truly loves Public Radio.  But, sometimes those Public Radio announcers are too nerdy even for me.

This morning the announcer was covering a book list.  I like their book lists. I try to write down as many of the titles as I can.  This morning’s discussion was between the announcer and the person who conducted the book review.

The announcer was asking the reviewer about the book.  The reviewer said, “This book is so good.  It is based on realism (big pause.  Wait for the punch line.  Wait for it. Wait… for…it).  Elastic realism.”

Then the announcer laughs so hard, he can hardly get control of himself.  The reviewer giggles too.  You get it, right?  Elastic realism?  That’s so flippin’ hilarious, my stomach still hurts from laughing.

No.  That is not funny.  That’s so unfunny. I think those people should be punished for laughing so hard at something so unfunny.    And that’s why sometimes  public radio is too nerdy even for me.


public radio







How I Inspire

Did you read my blog on Tuesday? Well, you should have; I’m trying to help you change your life. I can’t do that, if you won’t listen.

Tuesday’s blog was super deep and motivating. I told you about my long walks with my dog. I said I might make a bumper sticker to commemorate my dog walking accomplishments. My sticker would be a stick figure walking her dog with “1.5” on it. You don’t have to tell ME how cool that sounds.

The nicest people read my blog; some old friends, a lot of new friends. They give me good ideas. One of my friends said my sticker should say, “It ain’t no jive. I walk 1.5.” You get it? Jive and one-point-five rhyme? I know. I know. You’re getting emotional. It’s okay. Feelings are good.

I’d like to thank my friend (thanks, Wendy) for that good idea. Her good idea gave me another good idea. I think I need to make a poster. I was thinking that Scott could hang this poster in the wrestling room. The wrestlers (my sons included – because boys L-O-V-E, I mean LOVE posters of their moms) could look at the poster when they just needed that extra push. When they are feeling like they have nothing left to give, when they don’t know where they’ll find the courage they need to bust through insurmountable obstacles in front of them, and when they are tempted to give in, they can look at this poster.

One look at this poster, and the wrestlers will remember. They’ll remember what I’ve accomplished, and be inspired to reach their own goals. It doesn’t matter that they’re aiming for a State Championship, and I’m aiming for two miles. They don’t need to feel badly about having a goal that’s less challenging. What matters is that they have one. What matters is that they never give up. Like me. I never give up.

It’s no JIVE. I go 1.5!

walking poster

Random Stuff…

Sometimes I order my brain to come up with a good idea for a blog. My brain doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes I’ll start down the path, writing about a topic that’s interesting to me; then it isn’t interesting anymore. I get sick of listening to myself.

I have a heap of abandoned blog posts. That doesn’t surprise me. I’m nice to my brain; I let it off the hook when it refuses to cooperate.

I had an idea that maybe I could record my random thoughts. We’ll see how that works:

Do you like those stickers on the back of people’s cars that tell you about the races they’ve run? You know, they’re usually white and black. They’re written in a modern font: 13.1 and 26.2. The Ironman triathletes have stickers that say 140.6. Braggers.

running sticker

I have been measuring my walks with Reggie in the morning with this awesome new app Olivia downloaded for me. Surprise! I’m not walking nearly as far as I had imagined. My walks vary between 1.5 and 1.7 miles.

I was thinking I might get a sticker on the back of my car with a stick figure walking her dog. Above the stick figure will be “1.7”. Do you think that will seem like bragging? Sure, I’m proud of myself, but I don’t need to be obnoxious about it. It’s just that when you push yourself beyond what the average person believes is humanly possible, you want to commemorate that in some way. That’s why I thought the sticker might be fun. A tattoo would be another way to go.

People will ask what the tattoo means. I’ll say, “It’s just something I look at it when times are hard, and I need strength. I know I can get through whatever challenges I have, because I walk a mile or two. Every.Day.” Then I’ll whisper it again for emphasis, “Every. Day.”

That’s gonna choke people up. Maybe I should just go with the sticker.

Scott ran an Ironman when he turned 40. That was fun. The kids and I followed him around all day. We were nervous about the swim; mainly because Scott doesn’t know how to swim. Knowing how to swim is a super big advantage. Scott spent the summer before the race learning what most people learn when they’re 10-years-old, and in level 3 swim class.

During the race, Scott’s friend was stationed near the water. The kids and I were at the point where the racers were just taking off on their bikes, after the swim. We kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting to see Scott. We couldn’t find Scott. At first I felt okay. He told me that his swim would be the weakest part of his race. After what felt like a long time, we started seeing the great grandmas in the race. They would peddle by on their bikes with baskets and a horn. I started getting nervous.

Eddie had been telling me that he thought he saw his dad on his bike when we first got to the race. I said that wasn’t possible; that was too soon. Scott said he’d be passing by later than that.

Scott’s friend called me from her spot over by the water. She asked if I had seen Scott. She told me she never saw him get out of the water. I continued to ignore Eddie. Instead, I listened to my own irrational, anxiety induced theories. Why wouldn’t I? Those theories never steer you wrong. Scott had drown. I started crying.

I called Scott’s sister to tell her Scott had drown. Scott’s sister is, seriously, like my favorite audience. We both agree that it’s always safest to assume the worst. She started crying too. She was able to check his progress from her computer. Oops. False alarm. Eddie was right. Scott had finished the swim portion much more quickly than he expected. That was actually him taking off on his bike when we first got there. Sorry kids. Dad is alive. Let us rejoice!

Scott’s sister, her family, Scott’s parents, and mine all eventually made it to the race. The atmosphere was so exciting. My brother-in-law kept us updated on Scott’s times, and how he was doing. The swim is 2.4 miles and the bike race is 112 miles. Then you get off your bike, and finish by running a marathon.

Scott was doing better than expected on the bike portion of the race too. We were cheering. Then my brother-in-law informed us that Scott was getting to the last half of the marathon. He was moving at a 12-minute-mile pace. Eddie and I looked at each other in shock. Something must be medically wrong. We both knew that Scott just couldn’t run that slow. We didn’t understand what was happening.

Scott finished the race with an impressive time. Better than he expected. Eddie and I couldn’t wait to ask him what happened out there. Did he break his leg? Did he have to carry one of those Grandmas on his back? When we saw him we said, “You were running a 12-minute-mile pace. Did something happen?”

Scott answered, “Yes. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride happened.”

We said, “Yeah, we hear those excuses, but you were running really slow. we mean, really slow.”

Yes. I’ve been known to pull off a 13-minute-mile myself, but we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about Scott. I don’t think Eddie and I thought it was possible for anything to slow him down.

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I should have helped train Scott by taking him on some of my dog walks. I didn’t think of it then.


I like watching my family do cool things, whether it’s the Ironman or State Wrestling. Do you know how parents feel when their kids wrestle at State? High. Those parents may as well be on crack. The amount of adrenaline flowing through a parent’s veins at State is enough for them to be able to do all that weird stuff you read about. Moms could lift a car off a human at state, and Dads could leap from the parking garage to the Kohl center. Pupils are dilated, and it’s go time. What you can’t do with all that adrenaline is focus on silly details, like keeping your van away from cement polls. I know that for sure.

The first day of the State Tournament I drove Zeke and Olivia in the minivan. We got into the parking garage. I turned a very, very tight corner. I mean VERY tight. There has to be hundreds, maybe even thousands of vehicles that didn’t make that turn that day. We heard a bad sound as I turned the corner. Zeke yelled, “Mom, you’re too close!”

“No worries, Zeke,” I said. I stopped the van, and put it in reverse. Oops. There was that sound again. Whatever I didn’t scrape and dent moving forward, I scraped and dented in reverse. The minivan door looks like King Kong grabbed it and crumpled it like a piece of tissue paper. It’s ugly.

The craziest part of that story is that at the time, I could not even be bothered with that hideous damage I had just created. When we got out of the van, Zeke and Olivia looked at me like they expected me to be shocked or disgusted with the situation. My adrenaline was too high. It didn’t register with me that we had any kind of problem at all. Eddie was at State. Yay!!!

Scott must be better at handling adrenaline. That dent definitely registered as a problem to him. I’ve told you that he rarely drives, so I thought there might be a chance he wouldn’t ever notice, if I didn’t tell him. But, guess what? Blabby McBlabber mouth couldn’t wait to share the news.

We were in the suite at the Kohl center. Everybody was all smiles and having a good time. Then Olivia said, “Dad, you should see what Mom did to the van.” Scott can quit smiling super fast.

I looked at him and said, “Eddie made it to State. Yay!”

I took in many-a-drawn-out-lectures from that point forward. My precious husband wanted to make sure I understood how horrible the van looked. I was hoping he’d let up, but then daylight started lasting longer, and he started getting home a little sooner from work. There that ugly, damaged van would be, ready to remind Scott to run through all the tips he has for being a good driver; Just in case I had forgotten from his morning lecture. It was tiring. Then Olivia had a new friend over.

Scott was heading out the garage door with the boys to go to some wrestling event. At the same time Olivia’s new friend and her Mother were at our front door. The Mom was introducing herself to me, and we were chatting when Scott came to the front door too. He said, “Hello.”

The Mom said, “Oh, Hi. I’m so and so’s mom.”

Scott smiled and said, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Olivia’s Dad. I just backed into your car in the driveway.”

We’re getting the van fixed, but we don’t talk about it any more.

Let’s Freak the Freak Out

This week our family was able to participate in one of those highlight of your lives type experiences. It wasn’t up there with a birth or a wedding, but definitely just a tier below. Our wrestling team qualified to go to state. This is the second time this has happened in our school history. Last year was the first.

The meet came down to the last match. The other team won the second to last match. After the boy from the other team beat our kid, he snarled at our crowd; that made the whole thing feel even more like we were watching an after school special. We were only up by one point. Our final wrestler needed to win the last match for our team to earn a trip to Team State. He won. I am going to admit to you now that we freaked the freak out.

Zeke and Olivia said they were a little embarrassed by my enthusiasm. I’ve watched a ton of wrestling in the last 20 years. I’ve had practice at controlling my emotions. I’ve learned that you keep crazy mom on the inside. You don’t let that maniac out. On this night she came out; she made up for lost time.

I started feeling badly for acting so crazy. I couldn’t really remember what I even did or said. I just know whatever came out of me was produced by adrenaline. Then I remembered my friend next to me bawling her eyes out. My other friend and I were clinging to each other during the last match. See? It wasn’t just me.

My kids also told me they saw their dad, the Coach, behaving in a way they have never seen him behave before. Most the time we have to check Scott for a pulse during wrestling meets. During this last match he was banging the chair on the ground, jumping around and yelling, “Sauk Prairie”!!!

That proves it. This was one of those moments where we all had permission to freak the freak out. And why wouldn’t we? There’s a lot to celebrate. Winning a trip to state didn’t make our problems go away. We still had to get up and go to work the next day. But, on that night, something special was happening; something a lot of people have worked hard for, and have been concentrating on for a long time; something worth being excited about. So, we were.

Personally, I was celebrating a lot more than winning. I was celebrating our little 106 pounder. He was not favored to win. His role in the team effort was to fight off being pinned. He fought, and fought and fought. He endured pain, but he did not quit. It was close, and he delivered. The scoreboard said he lost, but we all knew he won.

I was also celebrating one of our injured wrestlers. He told the coaches he was going to take a pass on the trip he earned to individual sectionals, so that he could save himself for team state. He’d rather compete for the team title, than an individual title. That moves me.

I was celebrating the fact that all the wrestlers root for each other. No one tries to steal the show. The parents do the same.

I was celebrating our last kid on the mat that night. He has lost some matches, but he always fights. He always fights hard and to the very end. That night he taught us that if you keep fighting, sometimes you win. Sometimes you win big. We can use that as we fight through each day.

I was celebrating our team’s diversity. I love our little town, but I wish we didn’t all look so much alike. About ten percent of the high school population are minorities. On the wrestling team it is twice that. The team is made of kids with different backgrounds and different ethnicity. It’s exactly what I want my kids to be a part of.

The team is made up of some great kids who grew up in our small town, with two parents who would never miss a match. There are other kids who have moved to our town to get away from the city, and the stress and risks of living there. There are also kids who speak English as a second language; they have one parent at home who works every day of the week to keep food on the table. Attending wrestling meets is a luxury those parents cannot afford. These are unspoiled kids who show us how to take advantage of opportunities.

There is a spot on this team for everyone who chooses to join. They hang out and do things as a team.

You know I love a good story, and I like a happy ending. But, I hope you don’t think I think these kids are perfect. They’re just kids. Kids do stupid things. Kids say stupid things. They get mad at each other; sometimes they even beat each other up. Then they’re friends again. But, this team is showing me what it means to be a team. They’re doing something special, and it’s about a lot more than winning.

We have so many things to worry about and fear in this scary world. I’ve done plenty of that. I’ll do plenty more. We all have gone weeks and months grinding it out, without seeing anything to cheer about. So just for a few moments, I want think about something really great that’s happening here; I want to go ahead and say it’s time to freak the freak out.

team sectionals

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