This summer, maybe even more than those of years past, is moving in a blur. This opinion piece from the New York Times has been making the rounds in email and facebook and if I would find the time to read it I would likely find that it describes our family’s summer pace quite aptly. Aside from the normal commitments of work, laundry and feeding of boys, this summer has been particularly full of sports.We’ve had swimming, baseball, soccer and general forward movement happening nearly every day since school ended in May. And, just when I’m feeling like our daily dose of sports might just run us into the ground, we have days that are so much fun I can’t imagine not having experienced them.
Andrew’s summer camp stages an annual triathlon for the kids. They spend two weeks “training” during their pool and outdoor times and the result is the Raintree Ironkids Triathlon. Andrew participated in the intermediate version which meant that he swam four down-and-back laps of the pool, rode four laps of the bike loop and ran four laps around the pond. The kids were marked with numbers just like in a real triathlon and it was a total hoot to watch.
Waiting for his heat to start.
Finishing up his last lap. He was in dog paddle mode by this point!
In the transition area between swimming and biking.
MVI 2639 from Susan Henderson on Vimeo.
Pausing, oh so briefly, to have his lap marked during the run.
In true Montessori fashion, there are no winners announced in this event and every racer is made to feel like the top finisher. He loved the whole experience and I would be a little surprised if this goes down in the history books as his last triathlon.
The Tour of Lawrence bicycle races fell on the following weekend and Andrew felt like maybe he’d had enough exercise for the week but Thomas was not deterred. He and I headed downtown bright and early on a VERY HOT Sunday morning so he could complete the Kids’ Fun Run on Massachusetts Street. He brought home bragging rights as the fastest six-year-old on the street that day. This kid frequently hears that his brother is fast so for him to feel like he was too that day was priceless.
MVI 2651 from Susan Henderson on Vimeo.
Way to go, T!
The biggest single time slurp of the summer – aside from the already mentioned work, laundry and feeding – has been, without question, baseball. Thomas just completed his inaugural six games of t-ball and I regret that while I have some pictures, they’re not very good. The lens is clouded with dust from the field and my focus wasn’t great, which might have been due to sweat dripping in my eyes. His mid-day games weren’t ideal in this summer’s heat. If you asked him he would tell you baseball isn’t his thing; he didn’t really dig all the waiting around. We’ll encourage him to play again next year, because his enduring memory of this season might be that he had to stand in the outfield and sweat off his sunscreen.
Andrew’s baseball season with the DCABA Royals also just concluded. His was a 14-game regular season and we tacked on a league tournament at the end for good measure. While there were definitely times when the season felt long, it was pretty fun to watch the kids improve each game and, let’s be honest, we all love a winner. They finished their season at 13-4 and won their league tournament last night. I am frequently heard complaining that Lawrence feels pretty small some days, but last night was a great reminder of the benefits of small town living. The league championship game was played at Free State High School. That means that two teams of seven, eight and nine-year-old boys got to play out their final game under the lights, on state-of-the-art turf, with real dugouts and a real scoreboard and a real announcer.
The boys’ very wise coach had them practice how to graciously tip their cap as they were introduced during the pre-game, but Andrew was caught off guard by hearing his name again. He was first in the rotation last night and as he approached home to start the game, the announcer called his name and number as the first batter. Andrew momentarily froze and looked around to figure out where that voice had come from, not anticipating that he would be called to the plate. At that moment it occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve ever had my name called in that way and I was pretty darn happy to live in this little town where a youth baseball game draws a crowd of supportive organizers, parents, grandparents and family friends to support a bunch of great boys.
Getting some hardware that he would have slept in last night if allowed.
Your Douglas County Amateur Baseball Association American League Champion Royals!
Number 4 on the field, number 1 in this mom’s heart.
The goals for what's left of summer are to soak up all the pool time possible, eat dinner at a normal hour with more frequency and enjoy each blurry moment.