Once again, that bitch Mother Nature has been playing havoc with our family sports schedule. I’ve lost track of how many practices, games, and other events have been wiped out over the past month. Seriously, it didn’t rain here for like six weeks, then, as soon as fall practices started, we began getting multiple downpours each week right around the time a kid was supposed to be doing something.

Here’s where we stand now.

M’s kickball team will not defend their City championship. They won their first two games – another game was stopped after one inning because of rain with them up 9–1 – before they ran into a buzzsaw. We had heard St L had been practicing four nights a week to come after our girls. We weren’t super concerned at first, because we had never had trouble with them. But we also heard they had a bunch of soccer players that had not played since fifth grade that were coming back for one final run at City.

And, damn, those chicks were good.

We were up by five or six runs after two innings but then got blasted. We narrowly avoided getting run-ruled after six innings and scored enough in the 7th to only lost by 16. It really wasn’t that close, though. We’ve never played a team that could kick like St L’s. Every girl through their entire lineup could absolutely blast the ball. Even their tiny girls who looked more like 6th graders could boot it. Our lineup is good, but also has several holes in it and we just couldn’t keep up.

That was a bit of a bummer, but I thought it was a good sign that all our girls recognized they got beat by a better team and came to terms with the loss pretty quickly. My memory might be a little off, but I believe this was only the sixth regular season loss these girls have had in nine seasons of kickball. And only their fourth regular season loss when playing against same-aged girls. Pretty impressive.

A night later we had an exciting one-run win over another one of our big rivals. I missed this game running the other two sisters around.

M’s team has a double header on the schedule for next Monday. Those will, likely, be the last two games this group ever plays together.

C’s team won their first three games and had their biggest game of the year Monday night against St. S, a long-time nemesis for her class. They were undefeated too, but where we were scoring between 20–30 runs a game, St. S had scored over 50 runs in all five of their games. Before we started, I joked with our coach that if we could just hold them to 30 and kick well ourselves, we had a chance.

Things got off to a bad start when three of our girls went to St. S instead of our field. Two of them caught their error quick and arrived before the game started, but the third girl rolled in in the second inning.

We somehow held them scoreless in the first, scored three in our half, and were up 5–2 after two. Then came the proverbial “bad inning”: we gave up 12 runs, eight after getting two outs. We dropped two balls in the outfield, bobbled a bunch of balls in the infield, and were on the wrong side of a close call at first.

We never got back in it and lost by 15. So no City for C’s team. She’s had a steady, if unspectacular season. Girls don’t kick it to the suicide spot as much as they did when they were younger, so she’s made a lot fewer plays than she did a year ago. But she still generally makes them when the ball is kicked her way. And I always laugh when another team tries to run on her and she races some girl down from 50 feet away. Her kicking has been hot-and-cold, like always. She has a few home runs. She’s also booted some deep balls that have been caught. Such is life in sixth grade. She has scored from first on kicks to shallow center a couple times. Once she almost ran down a teammate who was a base ahead of her when they were both coming home. She was giggling the whole time.

St. P’s will send at least one team to City this season. Our 7th graders are undefeated and two games ahead of everyone with one to play. And L’s classmates are still undefeated, although they have two tough games this week against teams that each have one loss. I’ve been giving L grief all season about “What if they go to City without you?” She always looks like she’s filled with mixed emotions when I ask.

Cross country has suffered from the weather, too. The first meet of the year was cancelled Labor Day weekend because of heavy thunderstorms. While S and I were in New York, C ran and finished in 10th place. It was her fourth fastest time ever, which was pretty good considering she’s barely practiced because of kickball and the weather. A friend sent a picture of her just after she finished and she looked like she was going to throw up. Then last week’s meet was wiped out because of heavy rains. I’m kind of anxious for kickball to get wrapped up so she can have a couple weeks of good training before the City meet in early October.

And L’s soccer season has yet to begin. She was supposed to play two games the weekend before Labor Day, but as all teams had just started practicing that week, both were postponed until October. Then last week the fields were flooded. So this Saturday will be her first game of the year. I’m counting on tornadoes or a blizzard or some other crazy weather to keep them from playing.