The idea that I spent a good portion of the morning watching the US mens team loose and I am still pleasantly pleased with them is rather unique. I would have to admit, I almost give more credit to Ronaldo and Portugal for chumping it the entire first round of the World Cup rather than heaping praise on the hit or miss US team. Granted they did what they needed to do to survive through a tough schedule and to emerge which should bring some favorable light upon the MLS for being able to have a team built primarily out of what many in the world consider a weak league. I am however, tired of passing the grade “in American style”, with scrappy attitude and mixed technical ability. I would love to think we could string together a few moments of truly beautiful soccer to convince the world we can actually be a team worthy of understanding the worlds game. We have the ability, players, and the resources but it has just never come together quite like a key in the lock. All that said, I am glad we are through so I can dose myself with another self stimulated steroid/adrenaline boost on Tuesday as I anxiously watch another US game.
Enough about my armchair thoughts on US soccer, I could go on for days. The rest of my day was spent in a similar unbalanced state of pleasure. I love hanging out with the boys but today they really tested my devoted joy in their presence. I talk so often about how lucky I am to have time with them, to still be part of their lives, to have a role in their development, to help guide them towards being productive little men some day. Yet, today I felt like maybe my unfettered love has spoiled them a bit to much. I know I am more of a softy than Brooke. Given my burden of diagnosis with AML I only feel it appropriate to want to lavish them with love, praise and the occasional treats. Today I questioned strongly if this has not produced some little monsters who feel they are entitled to more than they should be.
Both Liam and Finn are extremely verbal and have become well versed in the art of debate it would seem. After the last three days of doing nothing but being questioned on my recommendations/directions I was getting a bit perturbed by their outright disagree-ability with my parenting skill. Part of this was due to Finn’s refusal to nap for the past 4 days which in retrospective I should have forced upon him. Liam on the other hand was just being snarky. The combination of the two of them arguing with me and nit picking each other was pretty annoying.
Two years ago, Brooke and I would worry already about the two of them having more say than they should. Also we were often concerned that as we were doing quite well and the two of them rarely went without any frills, we were raising some rich brats. Obviously, our concerns changed with the idea that the two might loose their dad and the world they knew would be left in a scramble if not shattered. Thanks to the amazing support we had around us their lives were not tremendously disrupted by my ordeal. The two of them both however did have a notable change in their mentality and attitude towards what was do to them in life. I think for sure Liam was concerned about the ramifications of my illness. Despite his verbal prowess he didn’t talk about the possibilities much but his outward action was obvious.
Even with our headlong fall into the cancer canyon and the struggle to find our way we have managed to keep the boys lives pretty smooth. As they see me seemingly improved I believe their young minds have moved on as the kid world changes rapidly. I worry after these last few days they need to be reminded of how fortunate we are and that nothing is really as stable as it seems. This is tough to do. As I was getting close to loosing my cool today I forced them on a rainy walk. No bikes, no toys, I choose where to go, and there was no indication for an end or reward for the trip. Given the fact they wore Grudjen rain gear and walked only a few miles I don’t feel this was really a hardship walk but it was a change from me doing what they want the majority of the time. In the middle we just sat on a bench with very little view and I verbally accosted their recent behavior. Liam seemed to get a little bit of it but Finn seemed to shrug it off and found ways to make his walk entertaining anyway.
Finns response reminded me a little of what I used to do to the many soccer coaches I had in the past, mainly Rob Bowman, when they were frustrated with our effort. If I just smiled and let his anger slide off he and others usually have no recourse but to smile back and realize they were on the side lines and needed me out on the field. Finn grinned when asked if he understood. A cute and mischievous little four year old grin. Just like the US/ Germany game I walked away from the little talk, headed towards home on our cushy hardship walk wondering how come I keep watching. I know why, I am lucky enough to do so, and even in the moments of head swinging disbelief you can’t help but be a little proud that we are growing. You can’t help but love that.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.