This weekend was certainly slower than the previous one. Doesn’t mean we didn’t pack a few things into it, one of them rather momentous.

On the Road

The family checked off another big milestone when C passed her driver’s test and got her license on Saturday.

It has been a bit of a struggle with her; she was first eligible to get her license the week of Thanksgiving but wasn’t close to either being ready or having enough hours behind the wheel then. She was very anxious about the entire process and it was a chore to get her into the car on a regular basis. Where M was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get her license, C was part of that cohort that saw no great motivation to get hers ASAP.

As recently as January I was worried that she would ever get it. She wasn’t driving very often, and when she did wasn’t making much progress in her skills. In March something clicked and it all came together, her ability improving quite a bit and those normal, new driver mistakes getting fewer and fewer. She still made me very nervous, or even yell at her, at least once per drive. The other moments were much better, though.

It is tough to grab a weekend test time around here and last weekend was the first chance to get one on the books once we thought she was ready. On the way to her test some other young driver pulled right in front of her in a roundabout. She braked correctly but just sat there. I reached over and punched the horn so the kid knew about his mistake. “Use your horn if you need to, babe.”

When we got to the BMV the test guy was walking out with a lady. They were gone for about half an hour, so C had an idea of how long the test would take. After she left I nervously tried to read, without much success. I checked her location every few minutes to see where they were. After only about 15 minutes I noticed they were only a few blocks away. As they passed the BMV I said a silent prayer, “Please keep going. Please keep going.” But they turned back into the lot.

Damn. That seemed way too quick and I wondered if she had done one of the automatic fail errors. When she walked back in she had a blank look on her face that I couldn’t read. The tester waved me over to his station and when I got there she whispered, “I don’t think I made any mistakes but he didn’t say anything.”

Seconds later he said, “Well, you passed.” Come on, dude, we don’t need to drag it out. Tell the kid how they did right away!

The only bummer was C didn’t realize that she would be taking a new picture and freaked out a little because she wasn’t prepped for one. The nice lady helping us with that part of the process told her she can come back and amend her license with a new picture down the road. I guess that means we’ll be paying for another license but since she thinks she looks like a criminal in the picture she took Saturday I guess that’s worth it.

We immediately violated all the rules by letting her drive a friend to dinner Saturday. I was, again, nervously tracking her location but she made it there and back fine.

Two teen drivers in the house now. Which means the first fight about who gets to use the car isn’t too far down the road.

Kid Hoops

A 1–2 weekend for L’s team, and we were fortunate to get that win.

In our first game we trailed by 14 early and were getting pummeled by their big girl. This girl was ginormous. I’m guessing 6’3”+ and very wide. She wasn’t super athletic but had a bunch of old-school post moves, long arms that helped her get any rebound, and she was blocking every shot in the lane. I know she scored 24. I’m guessing she was very close to a triple double with blocks.

Our girls made a run early in the second half to make it a game and it bounced between a 2–6 point deficit most of the half. We hit a couple threes and took a four point lead late. That got down to one with about 40 seconds left, us inbounding at half court.

One of the super annoying things about travel basketball is that the rules are never the same tournament-to-tournament. Some weeks you play 14 minute halves, others 16. Occasionally 20 minutes with a running clock. Some weeks it takes five fouls to foul out, others six.

This week you didn’t start shooting free throws until there were 10 team fouls. The other team only had six at this point. Despite our struggles with their pressure, their coach decided to start fouling intentionally. Inbound, foul. Inbound, foul. Inbound, foul. Four straight times until we went to the line.

This was super dumb. I can’t stress this enough. One of the worst coaching gaffes I’ve seen.

On three of those inbound passes we almost turned it over. If the coach had told them to trap first and then foul, they likely would have been able to get a steal. On one play I guarantee the ref would have called our girl for traveling but since the coach was screaming at him to call the foul he did. She was so worried about getting us to the line that she didn’t give her team a chance to play defense. If they get a stop they could go down, run a good play for their big girl, probably get a basket or put her at the line (she was 4–5 from the line), and then force us to get a shot up.

Oh, she only had six players. One of them fouled out in this sequence.

When we finally went to the line we missed – of course, we shot like 25% from the line for the weekend – but we got a stop and steal on the other end, then they fouled us again. Which was that player’s sixth foul. They played the last 30 seconds of the game with four players because their coach was super dumb.

We again missed the free throw but got the rebound, scored to go up three, and survived a last-gasp three to get the win.

Thank you, Ohio coach!

We got smoked by some very athletic girls from Wisconsin in pool game two. They led by 24 at one point, we got it down to seven late, but lost by 14.

Then in our bracket game we lost by 10. Again, we trailed by 20 by whittled it down to four. Our girls loved digging holes and then trying to get out of them.

A pretty crappy weekend for L. She hit a 3 right before the halftime buzzer of the first game – that’s her thing now – but rolled her bad ankle about 30 seconds into the second half and didn’t play again. She rolled it on her own, didn’t trip over anyone else or do it as a result of contact. Even with the light brace she was wearing she immediately went down and hobbled off at the next dead ball.

Not a lot of swelling but it is very sore and now we have to figure out how long to hold her out to give it a chance to heal. She wanted to play Sunday but I told her if she rolled it again, she was not only putting the next two weekends in doubt, but would put all her June activities with CHS in jeopardy.

We tried to get her a Steph Curry-approved brace Sunday, but the one we brought home seems defective so I have to return it and find another. We’re also going to keep her in a light brace at all times and do some home rehab once her pain level goes down. I badly sprained my right ankle my sophomore year of high school and it was never the same. I hope she hasn’t inherited my bad ankles along with my bad eyes.

Kid Soccer

I believe I mentioned that L signed up to play on the St P’s soccer team, which is an eighth grade tradition. Between her previous ankle issues, the weather, and basketball conflicts, she was only able to play in two games.

In the first she had one chance to score but took a terrible shot – with the outside of her right foot from the left side – from way too far away from the goal. A dad near me asked, jokingly, “What kind of shot was that?”

“A shot by a kid that hasn’t played soccer in four years,” was my response.

In their final game last week she had another good chance to score, took a great shot from the right side…and one of her teammates ran in the way of it and blocked it for the defense. I’m not sure that it had a chance to go in but it would have made it on-goal.

After the game we were parked by the St O coach and she came over and asked L, “Do you play travel? You’re a really good player.” That pumped up her ego more. She seriously told me two weeks ago she thought she could make the CHS team. I laughed at her and said, “Maybe if you quit basketball and play soccer all summer.” Then I reminded her that she told me her team was trash (it was) and not to get too excited about dominating practice.

Oh well, she had fun playing one more time even if she wasn’t the same player she was back when soccer was her thing.

Pool Season

We finally shook that cold spell and the girls were in the pool a couple times over the weekend. M had friends over Friday night and two of the local nephews took advantage of it on Sunday. I hate to jinx it but if it stays as warm as the next 10 days look, we might be able to keep the heater off except for that quick boost right before the weekends when people are coming over.

Now it will probably be in the 30s next week…