Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have been waiting for this day for weeks.... Opening day of soccer season for USA Soccer. I'm happy to say that I'm getting a reprieve this year in as much as my 3 kids will be playing on only 2 teams since Kelsie is playing up a year. Kelsie should be playing with 5 & 6 year olds; but since she started early (at age 3) everyone thought that she would be just fine to play with Lyndzi and the 6 & 7 year olds, so both of my girls are able to play together on The Shockers. WOOHOO!! Nicky will also be playing with The Shockers; but the 10 & 11 year old team and Luis is an assistant coach for both.

We started practicing just a couple of weeks ago and though all 3 kids were ready to start playing again it seems that Nicky has decided that this is the year for him to become a soccer player. Soccer seems to be making more sense to him lately and he is playing more purposefully which is so beautiful to see considering that he is not naturally an athletic kid. Nicky is an academic overachiever and he isn't used to be second best, but thus far at soccer he has not been a reliable, outstanding player and he is determined to change that NOW. Nicky has been plagued by an event that took place 2 years ago when he scored his first goal in a game but as luck would have it; after play resumed, the ref blew the whistle and announced that the goal hadn't counted and Nicky was devastated. All of the parents and his teamates assured him that it was an excellant goal and even though they weren't counting it, he still SCORED A GOAL; but he just didn't buy it and has been trying to vindicate himself ever since. So yesterday after practice, Nicky told me that he had been scoring many goals; that he knew that he needed to kick the ball to the side of the goal in order to score AND that he felt like he was going to score a goal on Saturday. He then said "What would happen if I scored a goal tomorrow?" And I replied "I would party like it's 1999." Which only served to date myself and confuse Nicky; but I thought it was hysterical.
Luis and I gave all 3 kids the usual pre- game pep talk. "We want you to play hard and give it your all; but most importantly HAVE FUN. It doesn't matter if you score a goal, (although it would be great if you did;) just try your hardest. And then we were ready to go.
We started our soccer day on the field at 730am. Nicky had the first of his double header at 8 and his team won 6-4. There was a noticeable difference in how Nicky was playing; so much so that one of the mom's commented; "Nicky seems to be playing with more confidence, he's more aggressive." And another said "I don't think it's going to be long before Nicky scores a goal," To which I replied "From your mouth to God's ears." Not because it's so important to me; but because it's important to him. We praised Nicky during half time, moms, coaches and players alike. Everyone told Nicky what a great job they thought he was doing and I think that really helped him. The game ended and we went on to watch a couple of friend's games before the girls warmed up at 1030.
Coach Russell decided to let Lyndzi try her hand at playing goalie and so in the hundred degree weather, Lyndzi put on the long sleeve goalie jersey on top of her uniform AND the soccer gloves, and she was raring to go. Lyndzi did a respectable job considering she hadn't had any practice as goalie and no one was really playing defender but for the second half she played forward and really played well. Lyndzi has scored goals in the past but today she scored an AWESOME goal and we all went wild. Now, what can I say about Kelsie? Kelsie is a natural fighter; so of course she played HARD. She held her own and then some and I couldn't have been more proud of my 5 year old running up and down that field, kicking with such determination and never giving up. Kelsie made a goal attempt and wasn't successful BUT I have no doubt that she will be scoring in the near future. The "Little" Shockers did far better than we had anticipated and it seems like they have a lot of potential; even though they lost.
Win or lose, I never tire of watching my kids play; which is a good thing since we had to head back over for Nicky's 2nd game of the day. We were joined by my friends Jackie, Tina and Kristin which just made our day even more special. I am so grateful to have friends who would sacrifice THEIR free time to come out to the soccer fields on such a hot day and watch MY KIDS play. And I am SO glad that they were there to witness Nicky in his glory. The game had only just begun and Nicky had a REALLY good kick. I was impressed by how hard he had kicked the ball and never in a million years would I have guessed that this kick would score a goal BUT IT DID! I felt like I had been watching the kick in slow motion; like Steve Martin in "Parenthood" when he is waiting to see if his son Kevin was going to catch the baseball. And although I didn't get on my knees and dance across the field, like Steve did; I screamed and clapped so hard that my hands hurt. Jackie said that she had NEVER seen me so excited and I coudn't agree more. I was SO overjoyed for Nicky and his accomplishment; that it was truly one of the best moments of my life. The moms were cheering, the coaches were astounded, and his teamates congratulated him; but MOST importantly, Nicky was satisfied. He was proud, he was confident, he was victorious. What a moment! What a day! Life is good!
Till next time...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Friend in Need

Up until 2 hours ago I had very different plans for tonight's post. Basically it was going to be a grammar lesson of sorts, or a tirade about grammar is probably more like it; but then I got this email from my friend Cheryl and suddenly grammar didn't seem quite so important (at least for tonight.)
The email was titled "If I Get 10 Donations by Friday Night, I'll Run/Walk 10 Miles in a Pink Wig!" And read: So I already know I am crazy training for a Marathon to try and cure blood cancers, but just to prove it to all my friends and family, if I can get 10 donations by Friday night I will wear a pink wig while I do my 10 mile training run. Pink is in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and all of the women I’ve loved who have been taken by or have beaten this disease. Many of the advancements by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society funded researches benefit all types of cancers, including Breast Cancer. Just go to this link to make an online donation. You can also read about why I am on a Quest to Cure Blood Cancers, like the one that took my father from us over 10 years ago.

I’ve already gotten 1 donation since I sent this challenge out via Facebook. Will you be # 2, #5 or maybe lucky #10 (or #15?) I promise to post pictures on Facebook and email if you help me reach this goal. Some people have asked ‘is there a minimum donation?’No, I know you will give what you can (but do keep in mind that I will be trekking 10 miles in 90 degree weather in a synthetic pink wig.)

With love and Heartfelt Thanks

I'm running a marathon to find a cure for Blood Cancers
I know I can do it, because I know why I do it!

Well, I read that and I felt compelled to help her. September, someday between the 10th and 12th (I have blocked the day out of my memory) marked the 23rd anniversary of my Mom's passing and I could not in good faith refuse the opportunity to assist Cheryl in her fight to raise money; ESPECIALLY when she had offered to wear the pink wig to honor breast cancer awareness month. I immediately used the link and made a $25 donation and then because I wished that my donation could have been more, I forwarded Cheryl's email to my friends,with the following note from me:
The below email comes from my friend Cheryl; who I grew up with. Please take a moment to read her email and if possible make a donation to support her efforts. I know that our wallets are all a little lighter these days; but if you donate anything at all you will receive a receipt to use for your taxes including a tax ID #.
I believe that one of the women Cheryl is trying to honor is my mom, Lee Howell who passed away in 1986 after a terrible battle with Cancer and in her memory I would truly appreciate any donation that you could give to support Cheryl’s efforts.

Be Well!!

MUCH Love,
Within a few minutes I received 2 emails from Cheryl; and as she has given me her permission; I am going to share our correspondence with you because I think it is more powerful than any story I could tell:
Dear Paige
I cannot being to thank you enough for helping my efforts as I work towards raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). It’s overwhelming (in a good way) to know that the people that have meant so much to me at different times in my life have reached out to support me now. I love the thought of honoring your mom as well as my dad. I remember so many fun times at your house, having tea parties and drinking Constant Comet. Your mom always made me feel so at home. I know how hard it must be without her sharing in your life now. I will always miss my father... but it's been nice to ‘spend a little time with him’ every Saturday morning, as I work towards erasing the very disease that took him from us. I know that once again he'll be there with me on race day, and I am so happy that together we can honor his memory in this way.

Please let me know if you want me to wear your mom’s name on my shirt when I complete the Marathon in January.

Hope you and the family are doing great. How wonderful that Facebook has put us back in each other’s lives.

With love,

PS: I will keep you posted about whether I hit 10 donations and wore the Pink Wig to training. You were the third donation, but I have a lot of faith that you won’t be last.

And then Cheryl sent another note in regard to me passing on her email:
This gives me perma-grin and tears me up. So very special of you Paige. Your mom will help me get through those 26.2 miles on January 10th. I will definitely keep you posted on my progress and get ready to see me in my pink wig soon.
To which I responded:
Hi Cheryl,
It would be my fondest wish to do the 3 day in honor of my mom one day, and so I figure until I can make that happen I will do everything I can to support you and your efforts to eradicate this cruel disease. I hope my email can bring you even one donation that you wouldn’t have had. If anyone donates PLEASE let me know, so that I too can thank them.
Thank god for the power of Facebook, for friendship and memories.
And then 3 more emails followed; one from my brother who also made a donation in honor of our beloved mother, one from my EXTRAORDINARY, friend Dawn who plans to make a donation and the last of the night from Cheryl, which said "Thank you – this means the world to me! Heading off to bed. Assured to have wonderful dreams now."

What more can I say? Silly question coming from me. But I guess I could quote my brother who just wrote to me and said "feels good to donate!" And you know what... He's RIGHT!! This donation has made me feel useful in a completely different way. I feel like I am contributing in hopes that others will not have to suffer the way that my beautiful mother did, or the way that my brother and I did or the way that Cheryl's dad or her family did AND since you too are my friends, I am asking for your help as well. After all, if THIS isn't about THE GREATER GOOD; what is?
I meant what I said in my email to my friends; ANY AMOUNT will due; so please help Cheryl to make this run / walk her most memorable and profitable yet. Your contribution would mean the world to us.
Till next time...