Mom and her three girls Day 3

A Husband Free Week –

Today I am thankful.

I am thankful for the quick call I got to have with John.  He had his first day in the office today, sounds like it was a good day.  I can’t imagine the level of exhaustion; he hasn’t had more than two hours of consecutive sleep since Friday Night. Being able to hear his voice & catch up for a little bit was the highlight of my day.

I am thankful for school & soccer.  Some people think our schedule is too chaotic & I guess it can be but we are better that way.  The girls all got off to school in the morning without an issue.  I worked from home with Shadow as my only distraction.  He clearly misses John too, was a bit needy but so cute.  The girls got home from school, did homework while I cooked the dinner we would eat later.  We had a good two hours on the soccer field, came home ate & ready for bed! No time for massive melt downs – YAY!

I am thankful for an understanding boss.  I head into the office pretty early so I can leave at 4 & take care of pick up.  With John out of town I have to take care of drop off & would get into the office at least a hour later.  My boss thankfully is ok with me working from home or coming in a little bit late as long as my work gets done.  Having that flexibility is a huge gift that takes a lot of pressure off when trying to juggle everything this week.

Last but not least, I am thankful that at 9:45 that the house is quiet & at least two kids are asleep! Mia & Olivia being asleep seems like a bit of a miracle considering 30 minutes ago Mia was insisting on practicing the clarinet.  Jules is of course still up because she can NEVER fall asleep.  Maybe, just maybe, they will all sleep through the night!

One more thing I’m thankful for – Monday is over; this means John will be home in 4 days!

Pushed to the sidelines

968925_10201143646931036_71760859_nIn 2009 I began coaching my daughter Julia in soccer. I started out as her recreation coach and eventually became her travel coach. Along the way I also became Mia’s rec coach when she got old enough to begin playing soccer. When Mia moved to travel I became her assistant coach. Since 2013 I was Julia’s head coach and Mia’s assistant coach.

With such a heavy coaching load when Olivia started playing soccer Cathy jumped in and coached her in rec. Recently US Soccer announced changes to how they structured the age requirements and I suddenly found myself without a team. So, for the first time in seven years I would have no team to coach. Olivia moved up to Travel this season and since I had already been coaching two teams another coach stepped up and took over her team.

Right now my daughter’s play soccer for three different soccer clubs in three different townships. With the conflicting game and practice schedules I wouldn’t have been able to coach even if I wanted to. The season started over a month ago but I wanted to wait before I made this post to give me some time to adjust and see what it was like. I had time to get used to it because in the summer I didn’t have any practices to run, just practices to run my girls to.

When the first week of soccer came I took Julia to her game. Julia, the girl who I had been coaching since she was five. The biggest difference came at the end of the game, which Julia’s team won 1-0. The feeling of victory was different; I don’t know how to describe it but it didn’t feel as complete as they did when I was coach. I didn’t feel I was a part of it like I did when I coached. It didn’t feel like we won, it felt like they won.

But like in all things you adjust, that feeling lasted only that one weekend and I quickly learned how to enjoy my daughter’s victories just as a parent and not a coach. Now more than a month into the season I am enjoying life on the sidelines. It is nice not to have to plan out practices, make sure I have all the paperwork before games and lug around a bag of balls (insert your own joke here). Best of all Julia’s new coach is 1000 times better than me.

I do miss my former soccer family and especially miss the girls I use to coach. I had been coaching the same travel team since 2011 and always felt I had more than three daughters. As tough as it was to not see my former players all the time I know change is inevitable. I always took pride in being identified as “Coach” and of course being able to teach something to my girls. However, they outgrew what I could teach them, I guess that is another inevitability I will have to get used to.cucnkzeuaaast1d

Mia being Mia

Manny Ramirez was a player most famous for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. He was an incredible hitter but also a very unique character. His personality gave rise to the phrase “Manny being Manny,”  among his teammates, media and fans to describe his behavior. I bring this up because of my middle daughter Mia.

All my daughters are unique, sweet and intelligent girls. Mia isn’t an exception to that rule but she is a cult of personality. Last year in school they were given an assignment to design their own world. Mia’s world was call….wait for it “Mia’s World.” In Mia’s World everything was named after Mia. One time during a car ride with my wife Cathy she said “in my world there would be no cars, everyone would ride the Mia train.” That is Mia being Mia.

There is nothing Mia enjoys more than watching herself in the mirror. In fact there are times she is in trouble, getting yelled at and we catch her looking at her own reactions in the mirror. Think about it, the girls is getting yelled at but takes the time to look at herself in the mirror. Don’t get the wrong idea, she isn’t conceited. She is a very sweet and caring girl; she just never met a mirror or camera she didn’t like. It is Mia being Mia.

Just the other night Mia had a soccer game. At the end of the game she couldn’t find her ball so I ran around looking and asking if anyone found it. I sent a text to the whole team to see if anyone accidentally picked the ball up. Turns out Mia left the ball in the car. What was Mia’s friend’s response to the incident? “What do you expect? That’s just Mia.” It wasn’t the first and won’t be the last time one of her friends gave a similar response about her. They understand it is Mia being Mia.

Friday night we were going out to dinner and Mia wears a sundress, it was 17 degrees out. She has been a fashionista since she had the ability to dress herself. There could be a foot of snow on the ground and Mia would want to dress like a summertime diva when we go out, just another example of Mia being Mia.

Living with such a big personality can be maddening, the most maddening? She is exactly like me. The smart ass comments, the rolling of the eyes, not taking life serious, getting yelled at and smirking? That came from the John Floyd playbook. While I might want to choke her sometimes I can’t help but laugh. The things she says, the facial expressions, I have to admit the girls has got timing and is genuinely funny. It’s hard to get mad at Mia being Mia.

I have to be honest I would like to crawl around in that chicks head. There is no doubt Mia lives in her own world (Mia’s world) and it’s probably better than the real one. She clearly has a different take on things and can’t wait to see her grow up and I hope she never changes. I look forward to many more years of Mia being Mia.

My time as a single Father……day 6

Finally I am done with this single Father business. The morning started early because Santa got Mia and Julia time at a winter soccer camp that is being held in our town’s high school gym. The girls got up with no fight and did a good job of getting out of the house on time. Being a soccer family it was appropriate that what happened next took place while my girls were at a soccer event.

Cathy had text Julia and I that she left a little before 10 from her sister’s house in Connecticut. Although she said she wanted to meet us at the camp I figured with that time frame she wouldn’t make it. Mia’s session was from 10 to 11:30 and Julia from 11:30 to 1:00. I told the girls they would see their Mom shortly after we got home. However, at 12:30ish Cathy came strolling in and Olivia and Mia almost knocked her over. When Julia got done I met her as soon as she got out and tried to shield her from Cathy to heighten the surprise. It didn’t disappoint.

It was a great reunion and officially ended my time as a single father. Did this time give me more appreciation for real single fathers? Not really, because honestly I already had a ton of respect for them before this. I always wondered how single parents could do it alone. Being in a two parent home is hard enough. The single Dad and Mom’s in the world have and always had my respect.

What do I take out of the whole experience? I cannot cook at all. If left to me my kids would starve or develop whatever are the after effects from a totally unbalanced diet. We would be like college kids, living off Ramen. And that is probably the least of the bad things that would happen.

To tell you the truth it was a fun little adventure that we had, Dad and his three girls had some quality bonding time. Julia stepped up as the oldest and was a big help. Even Mia and Olivia did their part, like when they did the dishes. I was proud about how well the girls held together, they missed their Mom greatly, but still held strong and did what they had to do.

Now I think I’m entitled to direct all bickering and whining to their Mother, for a little bit, don’t you?