The first full week of school is now underway. the girls were a little grumpier the last two mornings than they were on Thursday and Friday. I admit so was I.

I’d love to get into some kind of daytime routine, but we also started a bathroom remodel yesterday. It should be pretty quick – knock on wood – but it also means I have to hang around during the day to let people in, answer questions I don’t know the answers to,[1] etc. I had hoped to get back to the gym this week, maybe get out and take some pictures. No luck yesterday or so far today, but still three days left to try to get that part of the school-year routine kicked off.

Our family calendar is a complete mess. Last night we had a kickball practice, a cross country practice, and an athletics meeting. Tonight we have two kickball practices and a meeting for S. Tomorrow we have two kickball games.

Next week it even more fun: seven kickball games! We are trying to reschedule one, but that just means we’d have seven the following week. We’re trying to get C to at least one cross country practice a week, but that’s tough with all of these games.

On our initial schedules we had five nights with two kickball games, always at different schools. If we reschedule one of L’s game because of a school conflict, we will have a night when we have three games at three different locations. Joyous.

And we still haven’t added in L’s soccer schedule yet. We should get that next week, but fortunately kickball will be halfway over by then.

Whew! I keep telling myself to relax and not stress over how busy our afternoons and evenings will be, not to worry about traffic or feeding the kids in between all our drive time. Focus on the girls getting to spend time with their friends, representing their school, and having fun. I’m hopeful that will keep my blood pressure in check for the next month.

As for the game schedules our girls got, well, they could be better. We don’t have to travel to any of the farthest-flung schools like we have in the past. But M’s and C’s teams especially have very difficult schedules.

M’s team starts tomorrow against their arch rivals who have beaten them all three times they’ve played, including in last fall’s city championship game. That class hasn’t lost a regular season game against a same-age team in four seasons.[2] It could happen in game one of this season. After that they play three more games against schools that are usually pretty good.

C’s team has a brutal schedule. They play three games against two different teams from the north side’s best program. She’s in the 5th/6th grade division, so odds are at least one of those teams has sixth graders on it. The only good news is that school also tends to lose a lot of their best players to club soccer right around this age. And then C’s team also plays two other games against schools that almost always send teams to City.

Third grade is such a crap shoot we have no idea. L’s team plays a couple games against a really good school. But are their third graders any good this year? Are our third graders any good? We won’t know until we play.

Practices have been funny to watch. M’s team has been playing against the 8th graders. Before their first scrimmage, a lot of us wondered if the 7th graders might win. That was silly. The 8th graders have slaughtered M’s team all three times. So maybe that bodes well for the season, because playing against 7th graders will seem easier now.

C’s team is pretty solid, although they lost one of their better players to a broken arm.[3] They’re starting to show a much better understanding of how to play defense, which the good teams start doing in fifth grade. Now if we can just get some of these girls to kick the ball through the infield.

L’s practices have been wild. Third grade kickball is kind of a nightmare because roughly three girls out of 15 will have even half a clue how to play, no one can play defense, and the ball tends to get thrown to the wrong place a lot. The games promise a lot of 20-run half innings because neither team can get three outs on defense. I’m helping coach this team, which I may regret when we’re in the midst of our third-straight two hour game.

But all three girls are having fun, which is the most important thing.

  1. “Where does she want the lights to go?”
    “I don’t know, I better text her.”  ↩
  2. They lost two games as fifth graders to a team of sixth graders. By six total runs. Not that any of us remember.  ↩
  3. M’s team lost a girl to a stress fracture, and L’s team also lost a girl to a broken arm. None of these injuries happened playing kickball, I should note.  ↩