Sunday, April 29, 2012
Ava, third from left
The courts are in a park that's set back in the bush. I mean, you turn off the main road and drive through this darkened neighborhood, and just when you're thinking a haunted house must be around here somewhere...you see the turnoff for the park.
And come to find out, everyone was there. If you've been wondering where all the people have gotten to on Friday nights? Apparently they're at netball. Because, back in the wilderness, there were hundreds of cars parked and kids running to play tennis and netball and lacrosse. And parents and reluctant siblings and coaches.
There are about 15 courts, and because they're just sorta plopped into the forest, everyone stands around court side to watch their team, or sits on big rocks off to the side.
Ava had a blast. It helped that her team won! It was fun watching her get the hang of the game. Each player has a player on the opposing team that they're supposed to cover, or mark. (Sorry, I'm still figuring this out.) Anyway, the other team had identical triplets. So half of the team looked the same! Clearly a tactical advantage! "It was a bit confusing," Ava told me later.
This will be our Friday night for the next several months. It was fun! Jason has been waiting for our kids to play sports since before we even had kids. He stood on the sidelines, shouting little "tips" to Ava. Keep in mind, this is the first netball game either of us have ever watched.
I sidled up next to him. "Babe? Let's observe the culture. Do you see other parents coaching their kids, over the voice of their actual coach?" He grinned. "I know, I know. I'm just excited. I'm American--it's what we do." "I know you are!" I said, "But let's tamp it down a bit, so people will still like us."
With everything we've had going on over the last few months, it was really nice just to be there and feel normal. Which we are, of course. But you know what I mean, right? It was chilly out there, and I thought to myself...how grateful I am that I get to keep my hair. A windy winter night out there with no hair wouldn't be so nice.
The things you think of sometimes.
Then, the game was over, and won, and it was time for ice cream! Jason's parents are here, and we all trooped back to the car. And in one of those rubber-meets-the-road parenting moments, we had to remind Grace that she couldn't have any, because she refused to eat even three (3!) bites of dinner. (Mom, we gave her 50 million chances, I swear. Don't hate--appreciate!)
So she had a level 2 meltdown (tough, but it's no level 3) and Jason dropped her and me at home to go to bed while they went on. After all, who wants to watch others eat I've cream when you don't get any?
Are we so mean? Don't worry...I confess to you now that I gave her a lollipop before 8am the other day.
Um, I'm American? It's what we do? I really have no idea. The things we do sometimes.