It is another camp week for us, which means the house is a little quieter. M is spending her week at CYO camp an hour south. We dropped her off Sunday. Although we drove through rain on the way there, we did not have to walk through a deluge to get to her cabin as we did with C in June. M is very excited to be back for her third year there. Five classmates are in her cabin with her. Looks like it will actually be reasonably warm rather than scorching hot while she’s down there, which is a bonus.

Last week L went to soccer camp at Cathedral, her future high school. She was a little nervous about going as no friends were signed up. The camp is for grades 4–9, too, which meant she would be in the youngest group there. When we walked up on Monday morning all we saw were girls that were much bigger than her. I noticed a worried look on her face. I found a coach, introduced myself, and checked to make sure we were in the right spot. “Yeah, you are. Those girls over there are the high school team. They’re here to help.” Thank goodness, because while I have great confidence in L’s game, I had a hard time seeing her playing against 16 year olds.

Still, when I left, I had a strange feeling. She usually jumps right into things but she had a sense of reserve about her. She’s become a bit of a worrier over the past year or so, and something about her demeanor made me start considering her having a bad experience.

The camp was only 2 ½ hours each morning. When I rolled in to pick her up, there was a part of me that wondered if she would be upset about how the morning went, maybe even ask not to go back the next day. But, as I drove up to the fields, I saw her shooting and scoring in drills and figured everything was fine.

She ended up having a great week. The only bummer was her age group only had three other girls in it. The good side of that was she got a lot of reps and attention. One day I saw the head coach’s wife hanging out with her for a few minutes after practice. They were making short kicks to each other, back-and-forth. When she got in the car I asked L what that was about. She said, “She’s trying to get me not to cross my right leg over my left when I kick.” Private instructions from the coach’s wife, nice!

She did say that the other girls in her group were not very good. She had a great time playing with the high school girls, though. We have a couple daughters of friends on the team. One day one of them came over to say hello after practice. I know she was being nice, but she said, “Man, L is a soccer rock star! My head coach even came over and asked who she was and if she was going to play at Cathedral one day!” That made L smile.

They passed out their camp t-shirts on Friday. She did not take it off until we made her on Sunday night.

This is also my busy kickball week. Sign ups ended Sunday so I have to put teams together, get coaches in the system, make sure we have enough uniforms, etc. I’m also toying with the idea of changing how we divide up one group of girls. I’m sure that’s going to piss some folks off, which is always fun.

Our family controversy is that L decided not to play this season. She claims it is because she’s moving up to U12 soccer, that’s going to be harder, blah blah blah. Yeah, U12 is going to be a little tougher. But she’s always done just fine when she’s been a young kid on a team. And the time investment isn’t any different; she’ll still have one practice and game each week. I know that something else is bugging her about kickball, but I can’t figure out what it is. She seemed to enjoy it last year, although she did tell me then she wasn’t going to play this year. I asked her at least 50 times over the past week if she was sure. When we dropped off M at camp, two of the moms who coach L’s grade started chanting at her from the next cabin, “PLAY KICKBALL! PLAY KICKBALL!” Sucks for her teammates because she’s the best player on the team. But I will not force her to play. I’m hoping she does what C did with volleyball when she skipped last year and then, after watching some classmates play, immediately said she’s playing this year. Sunday night L backed off a little and said she’ll play in the spring. My response wasn’t, “That’s great,” or “Awesome!” or “Thanks.” No, I said, “YOU PLAY SOCCER IN THE SPRING, TOO! HOW IS THAT ANY DIFFERENT?!?!?”

Oh well.

M and C are both playing. M’s team will try to defend their (co) City championship in their last season together. C will be on the 6th grade A team and we hope finally putting the best players in that class on one team will get them a division championship.