#tbt: Tales of a second-grade Laura

What did living my best life look like in second grade? Apparently it involved roller skates. And working toward that elusive two block adventure..

Can we also pause for the cause a moment though and appreciate how good I was at cursive at age 7 and a half?

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#tbt: Tales of a second-grade Laura

Just when you thought the well might be running dry… I found my second grade journals. I had the same teacher in second and third grade so we had the same kind of daily writing prompt thing both years and I’m real glad I kept them all because there are some real gems in there, so this feature on the ol’ blog can go on for quite a while longer.

The story below omits several key details that don’t make me look like the bad guy I actually was in this story. (Meaning the part where we wouldn’t help her into the truck so she stood on the bike in gravel and it slipped out from under her and she had to get stitches).

*BONUS – I wrote about it again in third grade. Still only half the story. Still not taking responsibility for her hospital trip.. still obviously working through some shit.

#tbt: Tales of a third-grade Laura

Today, we visit the subject of being a parent. And what it apparently meant to me, at age 8.

First, to be a mom:

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You only get school clothes and trolls. Oh and school supplies.

To be a dad:
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I am so glad I didn’t end up a father because I do not want to be a band director, however I would be a better one than the guy currently doing the job my dad was doing when I was 8. Also can we note that when you’re 8, $40-$50 a month is BANK.

At The Pahk

My sisters and I basically grew up at the ballpark near our house. At some point or another, beginning when I was 9 years old, one of the three of us has been playing softball over there. And Dad has been coaching. Until a few years ago when we finally all grew out of the rec leagues and it was time to hang up the cleats.

I played third base, Rachel pitched and Sami played catcher. Dad coached the younger girls teams, mostly Sami’s, who he named the Cubs after his favorite pro team.

There are two things you can count on a homemade card saying when Dad gets them from the students at the school where he’s principal. “Go Cards” (for Louisville, of course) and “Go Cubs” (the only baseball team he’s been a serious fan of that I’ve ever known).

We grew up with a love of the game – though sometimes it didn’t seem like it when we were arguing with Dad about a strikeout or error or missed catch or whatever. But we were out there all the time, playing, and eventually umpiring younger girls’ teams to stay somehow involved.

This summer I worked the Special Olympics softball tournament and being back in that little concrete building behind home plate, announcing the batters’ names and keeping score – took me right back to all those years at our ballpark.

Besides Dad’s Cubbies, the only other team we’ve really had exposure to (besides the farm team in town) is the Cincinnati Reds, who are an hour away and we’d go see play sometimes when they were up against the Cubs.

Eventually — and believe it or not it was before that time they won the Series when I was in college in ’04 — I developed a love of the Red Sox. I think part of it was because they’re the sworn enemies of the New York Yankees (who I can’t stand for several reasons) and because it was a team where I actually knew who several of the players were. That was back in the days when Nomahhhhhh played. And then Johnny Damon, before he became a traitor. And Pedro Martinez.

Dad’s team has Wrigley – an amazing field with that brick wall behind home that is immediately recognizable. My team has Fenway.

I think honestly, more than the team, it’s the park that I like. Weird? Maybe. But it’s old school. Its 100 years old this year. And has the look of the old ballparks that you see on the news reels and in A League Of Their Own.

(Best movie quote ever? Basically.)

It’s got The Green Monster, a giant green wall that doubles as a scoreboard that I’ve wanted to see for years. And it’s just awesome. I can’t really explain it.

It’s no secret in my family that I love that ballpark. And when I found out my sister and brother-in-law got to go to a game there with MIT, I was insanely jealous.

So when we headed to Boston last month, there was really only one thing I wanted to make sure I saw. And that was Fenway.

And wouldn’t you know it……..

dreams come true

That’s pure joy right there. Similar to when this happened.

Needless to say, several pictures were taken, as we had to document my dream coming true.
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Thanks Rachel for taking me over there and Sami and Ines for being troopers that walked all the way over there with us to see it.

I’m going to go back. I’m going to go to a game. I’m going to see the Green Monster in person. And even if I don’t, this experience was pretty great on its own. Dream come true.

Hell, I would have been OK just going for a ride on this:
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day 29 – a song from your childhood

In all my 27 years, I have wanted a few different jobs.

At age 3 or 4, apparently I wanted to be a bus driver. And as long as I’ve been able to hold a pen and/or paper, I’ve wanted to be a writer.

Except for that span of time when I was in love with the movie “Free Willy.”

Yep. That movie, as some of you may know, almost changed my life.

I don’t know what it was about it. I’m a softie. (In other obvious news, the sky is blue.) I also will love any movie with an animal – no matter how wild – that ends up forming a bond with a character and somehow saves it.

Case in point: After seeing “Water for Elephants” I would like to have a pet elephant. I could totally keep it in the courtyard of my apartment complex. They’ll have to start stocking bigger pet poop bags though…

But seriously. Free Willy was among the many movies of my childhood I could watch over and over and over and over again. Other than that? Had to have Devon Sawa or JTT in it.

That movie made me want to be a marine biologist. It was a job idea that stuck for a little bit until I realized how much I suck at anything science-related. I think mainly I wanted to do what Jesse did in the movie – minus the vandalism. You know, feed fish to the animals and teach them tricks.

And then there was that song from the movie. You know the one: “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson.

That song and that movie… I’m telling you…if I were any good at science you might not be reading this blog right now.

Thank God I’m not, right?

But seriously. When Michael Jackson died, they played all of his songs on the radio that week that followed. We were in Myrtle Beach at the time on vacation and had it – and/or VH1 on a lot, because they were doing a tribute. The ONLY song I wanted to hear and they seemed to be refusing to play was “The Free Willy Song” as I knew it when I was younger.

Finally, about three or four days into vacation we heard it.

And I thought about that movie. And how Willy jumps over the rocks into the ocean to be with his family and…

Just watch the video. I’m gonna go research rules on pet elephant ownership in a suburban apartment. And maybe watch the movie. ‘Cause you know I’ve got it on DVD. And VHS. What.

Momma said…

This is my mom’s column, which appeared with mine in this week’s edition of the newspaper where I work. She’s so awesome for agreeing to do this, and awesome in general. 🙂 And my dad’s so proud, it’s cute. He’s been showing copies of the paper to everyone. I had to go across the street yesterday to pick it up from their neighbors, who I barely know. True story.

I was asked by my daughter to write a little something this week for Mother’s Day. My daughter is Laura, one of the reporters for this paper. I think she is very good at what she does, of course. That being said, please don’t judge me on what I am about to write.

In trying to decide what to write about I got a lot of input from my children.  Along with Laura, who is my oldest, I have two other daughters, Rachel and Samantha. After mentioning several things I thought I might write about there were sneers and “No, don’t write about that, No, that’s depressing,” and so on. What I have decided to do is just tell you about a Mother’s Day or two that stick out in my mind.

Other than all three of the Mother’s Days when each of my girls were new babies and I was reminded of how special it was to be a mother, I would have to go back to the one when they and my husband thought breakfast in bed was a good idea. They were pretty small when this came about. The older two had planned it with their dad – who, I may add, is a stranger in the kitchen. Samantha was still a baby.

On the morning of the “Breakfast in Bed” the girls came Army-crawling across the bedroom floor to wake Dad and get started. Of course, I heard them, as most moms hear all noises after their children are born. I pretended, however, to be asleep as planned. Dad got up and they all went into the kitchen to “cook.” Our house was small and the kitchen was only a little ways down the hall from my bedroom. I heard everything. All the cabinets were opening and closing, the silverware drawer sounded as if it was being tossed around the room. Things were happening.  

Then, ever-so-softly, a knock came at my door, “Mommy, Daddy wants to know where the pan is you use for making eggs.” Then, a few minutes later, “Mommy, do you want orange juice or coffee?” and then again, “Mommy, Daddy wants to know where a vase is.” 

Needless to say, I wasn’t very relaxed lying there and listening to all that going on and answering questions every few minutes. But, I did the mother thing and pretended to be asleep as they came whispering down the hall carrying the tray and the baby. They came in and woke me up shouting ”Happy Mother’s Day!” I acted very surprised and they were pleased. Then they all left the room so I could eat in peace.

The funny thing is, while I very much appreciated the effort and love put into that breakfast, I really would have loved to just sit down to a nice breakfast with my husband and girls. After all, to me, that’s what Mothers Day is all about.

Through all the Mother’s Days I’ve been through, my most favorite ones have been those when I just have all my girls and husband around. We have spent many of those days at the ballpark at all-day softball games – they don’t stop for Mother’s Day you know, and actually were some of the most fun. 

The girls have done many nice things over the years for me, such as wearing an “I love Mom” t-shirt for the day (Laura), maybe for brownie points. One thing they try to do is to get a gift that makes me cry. Whoever does that gets a high five and apparently the opportunity to say ”Yes, I made Mom cry, it was a great gift!”
I love all the things they have done for me over the years. They haven’t figured out though that the best Mother’s Day for me is to just see all my girls, be around them and enjoy the beautiful young women they have become.

Who could ask for a better Mother’s Day gift than that?