Yet Another Milestone

When I was 18 and about to head off to college, 4 years seemed like an eternity. Now, four years is barely a blink. I can’t believe it’s been nearly six years since Simon was born. And now, he’s headed off to kindergarten. Yesterday was his first day of elementary school, and I couldn’t be more proud. He showed no signs of nervousness or anxiety and jumped right on the bus like it was the most natural thing in the world. He came home after a long first day happy and full of energy. I know there will be moments of anxiety and stress during his many years of schooling, but I couldn’t have hoped for a better start.

Mary might have more trouble adjusting to the loss of her playmate (or tormentor, depending on the minute). She was a little bit out of sorts yesterday and I think it’s because her older brother wasn’t around. But she starts preschool next week (don’t worry, another post to come!) so that should keep her busy for a bit.


Somebody Turns Five Today

It hasn’t really been five years since Simon was born, has it? Insert appropriate cliche about time going by really fast. So here are the highlights.

I got the idea for this post from Kristen when she did it for her son last month. She’s a better writer than I am, so I’m going to let pictures do most of the talking. Thanks, Kristen.

Brand New

Simon and Casey

Casey wasn’t quite sure what to make of this new creature that had invaded her home. We weren’t quite sure either. All I knew is that he was cute as a button during the day and infuriatingly AWAKE at night. We solved that problem during the first year. One of many new parent learning experiences.


Simon's First Birthday Cupcake

You turned one and the cuteness had only begun. Your exploded into a blur of motion and sound as you learned to walk and talk with gusto. It is right around the 1-2 transition that kids hit their “peak cuteness” and you did so with style, charming everybody from your grandparents to the grocery store clerk. You set a high bar for your sister.


Simon Enjoying his Hot Chocolate

I feel bad for whoever coined the term the “terrible twos,” because I thought they were pretty fantastic. You were old enough to be able to communicate what you wanted, but not old enough to really be testing limits with any seriousness. This was an awesome age, and I wish I could remember more if it more clearly.


Simon and Erin Working on the Compost Bin

Three was a big year for you. You got a sister (not pictured!), and you LOVE her. Sometimes a little too much. But man is she lucky to have a big brother like you. You spent some time in New York and Texas visiting your grandparents this year, and you’re still asking me when you can go on a plane again. Apparently it made a lasting impression.


Simon and Mary

You started going to preschool at 4 (well, technically the first month you were 3). After one or two teary mornings, you settled right in. You also decided to seriously test some limits and cop an attitude. It was a rough couple of months, but you seemed to get over it, and are generally a very pleasant, sensitive, loving child. You ESPECIALLY love your sister. I love that you two are so close in age, and I hope that you remain close as you get older.


Sandy Simon

So here you go at five. You’re getting bolder, but no less sensitive, and this time next year you’ll be in kindergarten. You’re getting so big so fast, I simply can’t believe it. I just have one request. SLOW. DOWN. But thanks for a great first five years. It’s been a blast.

That’s “Coach Campbell” to you!

Impeccable Form

Simon is reaching the age where it is appropriate for his parents to push him into activities in which he would otherwise have absolutely no interest. Er. . . that is, Simon is SO excited that he’s going to be playing Bantam (read peewee) soccer this fall. I was so excited about getting him involved, that I went out and signed up to get certified by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association as a U8-U10 coach (there was nobody offering the U6-U8 course locally).

The course was very valuable, and immediately shattered all notions of coaching youth soccer that I had from my elementary school soccer days. Kids want to have fun? What?! Shocker! No laps?! No LINES?! Half of my time spent in peewee soccer was running laps and standing in lines for certain drills.

The course was run by a coach with over 25 years of coaching experience, and boy did it show. We spent the afternoon out on the field. He first showed us some drills (and quickly exposed our beer guts and poor conditioning), and then we spent a couple of hours watching him actually work with the kids. And I learned that coaching youth soccer is probably more of an art form than anything else.

I have my doubts about coaching a team that Simon is on. I’m not sure how he will respond to an environment where his father is an authority figure outside of “Dad.” But we’ll give it a go this fall and see what happens. Next step? World Cup 2026!