The UnderDog

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A few weeks ago, 2nd Most Honorable Son played in his final lacrosse tournament of the seaon. We weren’t expecting much because the team had not won one game at the last tournament in Indiana. And it’s not about winning- right? Also- it was hotter than a mother out there and I was secretly hoping to get home in time to just relax. But of course we cheered and told him to go out there and play his best. And he did, they all did. This last seeded underdog lacrosse team played their heart out, beat out a previously undefeated team and went from last place to a final competitor in the championship game. They played the game of their life and lost but came in 2nd place overall.

A great lesson for us all- NEVER EVER underestimate the underdog! 


Exchanging a Bathroom for a Scooter

April-June 2016 415A few weeks ago, we sent Big Boy to Lacrosse camp at the University of Notre Dame. We made a prior trip this past Spring and really enjoyed our time there. This was Big Boy’s first time away from home and he was so excited. In fact, he couldn’t wait to push us out of his dorm room. It really disturbed him that we hung out a little to observe the scene. He kept saying- “just go already!” He was more than ready for this.

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From a parent standpoint, I found the most interesting thing about the camp to be NOT the lacrosse skills he acquired while there from the coaches who hailed from various universities across the country. Don’t get me wrong- he definitely improved upon his stick skills and learned some new tips on defensive moves.

April-June 2016 414April-June 2016 417What cracked me up and surprised me the most were the life skills he learned while he was there- basically how to barter and work with others in a free enterprise system. Turns out- prior campers had this whole camp thing figured out. Boys had came prepared ready to barter, sell and profit from exchanging goods and services such as snack treats, stringing other people’s lacrosse heads, lacrosse sticks, nets, skateboards, and scooters. Big Boy said he sold his bag of beef jerky for $3.00 to another player. I responded with a “What? I paid over $5 for that bag?!” To which he promptly responded – “Mom- I had already eaten some.” I was thinking why in the world would you sell it then but instead said nothing.

Big Boy’s biggest complaint on day 1 was that his feet were killing him because the coaches made them walk back and forth from the dorm rooms to the playing fields a couple times a day- adding up to several miles on top of the regular drills and games.

So Big Boy did what he had to- he “sold” access and use of the private bathroom he shared with his roommate in exchange for use of another player’s scooter so that he could scoot back and forth throughout the day. Turns out Big Boy and his roommate had a corner room so they were the only boys on that floor to have their own private bathroom. Big Boy quickly realized what an advantage he had and used what he had to get what he needed.

The other player got to have his own private bathroom to do his business in and Big Boy’s feet got to rest just a little bit. And I had been worried about him and his feet. Yeah, right.

Rip the Duck

We are on our way home after a lacrosse tournament weekend in South Bend, Indiana. It was cold but we had a great time getting to know other lacrosse families and visiting University of Notre Dame for the first time. Grateful for this experience we all shared in together. Hope everyone had a great weekend!


IMG_1322The leaves keep falling off the trees. The wind twirls them round and round. There are piles of them everywhere I look- they are orange, bright red, olive green, yellow and brown. The trees look naked now- simple wood stumps whose scraggly branches poke you in the head if you don’t watch where you are walking. Fall has officially arrived in St. Louis.

Team Jackson has been here for almost 4 months. It feels longer than that and we feel just like the trees – we’re changing and we are not sure of who or what we’re becoming. Some days it feels like we are suffocating under this gray, cold sky. Losing our sunshine and vibrancy. Other days, we think- yes, we can do this. We can build new friendships, take risks we never thought we would, live outside our comfort zone and be okay.

FullSizeRender (2)I’m beginning to meet my people. Many of them are St. Louis transplants. We are a merry band of misfits in this town where outsiders aren’t necessarily welcomed with open arms. I plan to grow this lovely group to create the boldest, most kick-ass women you are ever going to meet in St. Louis.

L and I explore and eat out at a new breakfast place every week. Together, we are working with the middle school to see how we can create a more welcoming environment for new families. L pushes me constantly to go beyond what I know and feel comfortable with. “Let’s go bike-riding to the other side of the city! Let’s go here and here! We have extra tickets to Six Flaggs- here you go!” Oh, L- “don’t you know that I just want to sit inside my warm home and watch TIVO or read a book?  But, L won’t have it.

Key and I have a weekly walking date. We share our life story and how we arrived here and our daily struggle on how we might be able to get by in this town as outsider women of color. Key pushes me too- she forces me to attend elementary PTO meetings- “They expect us to not show up and because of that we must show up.” I like Key’s boldness- “I am completely comfortable with who I am and I don’t need to pretend to be someone I’m not. I really don’t.”  Key is like my reality check in this environment. Hold fast and strong to who you are and don’t you dare doubt yourself for one moment. Continue reading “Fall”