I guess I can guarantee at least two posts a year to this blog, and they’ll both come in September. Today was Mary’s first day of preschool. After watching Simon go all last year and constantly asking when she would get to go, today was the day. It’s a fun exercise to compare the kids at their various different milestones, so here’s a link to Simon’s first day of preschool. She’s so little compared to him! Requisite pictures below.
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.
This past weekend, Kate and I got on unexpected break from the kids. Murray had grand plans with them during the day on Sunday, and my mom offered to have them sleep over on Saturday night. From all accounts, they had a grand time. Murray made a gingerbread house with the kids, and then took them for a ride to see Christmas lights before bringing them home. The kids had a ton of fun. I’m sure this will be one of those fond memories of Christmas that they have down the road.
Oh, and we learned one more important lesson: Place gingerbread houses up high enough that the dog doesn’t eat the gingerbread bushes and gingerbread men!
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!
I’ve discovered that taking a picture of one kid is pretty easy, compared to getting a picture of two. Today we took the kids out to try and get a decent picture or two for our Christmas cards. In keeping of the tradition of posting outtakes, here’s a small taste of what we had to deal with.
The Christmas 2008 photo session went well, and I think we got a picture we were happy with to use for our Christmas cards this year. A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me some lighting equipment (2 strobes, a reflective umbrella, and a light stand), and I was able to set up a little studio in our house. I took a metric ton of pictures, and there are probably a dozen or so I’d be perfectly happy sending out with our family’s Christmas cards. This flickr set is the best of the outtakes (view as a slideshow). Enjoy!