You should me. I am actually....sunkissed. This is rare. I am of Irish stock, I burn in the sun, peel and then burn again. I don't tan much.
So, I was startled this morning when I glanced at myself in the mirror after my shower and I looked really...sunkissed, not burnt to a crisp. I've been gardening and going to Liv's softball games (a double header on Saturday) and I almost always forget to put on sunscreen, so I expected to look...reddish...not sweetly pinkish.
But, mother nature smiled on me for once and I look...okay. I will never be like Bing or Liv. They never burn, just bronze beautifully. They both have olive colored skin that turns nicely in the sun, never sizzles like mine does.
You should see Liv on that ball field. Her coach is very feel good, so believes that instead of having the best play and the others get a chance occasionally...everyone gets a turn doing everything. Well, Liv didn't join the team until late in the year, she wasn't sure she wanted to play softball, hadn't played since first grade. She thought that maybe being on a swim team would be enough for this year. But...my totally-not-like-me-when-it-comes-to-sports child kept hearing the softball siren call, so she finally made up her mind to join. Somehow I produced an athlete and yes, I'm as surprised as anyone who knows me.
And then most of the teams were filled. We finally found a team that had room for her and can I just admit right here, right now that although they are called "the pinks"...it would not be unfair to call them the "bad news bears."
Not a lot of real talent. A feel good coach, who doesn't so much coach as constantly praises for every single caught ball (because it is....um...RARE that they catch it) and he is about as talented a coach as I would be. Bing (who played on softball teams until college graduation and then coached for several years) is convinced that this man ("Call me Phil") has no idea how the game is played at all. Her hands are usually in balls of fists during the whole game as she grits her teeth and tries not to leap up and throttle the coach.
So...when Liv decided that she wanted to try out for pitcher, that door was wide open and her coach was just fine with giving her a chance. Bing, Liv, Socks and I spent many, many nights at the park where Bing taught her how to do the "wind up" and somehow got this tall, gangly, very skinny girl to produce a mean fast ball. I usually sat on a picnic table and watched or was constantly yanked around by Socks, who could not get it into his head that he was not to chase the ball. And then...a light went over my head and I started letting him go when Liv batted, so that he could retrieve the ball and proudly bring it back to drop at Bing's feet.
This weekend, Liv was allowed to pitch.
And as Hey Zeus as my witness, I was AMAZED at how good she was. Her poise. Her way of smiling sweetly at the batter and then slamming the ball at home base like she meant business. One batter after another went down and towards the end, their knees were shaking and they were quaking as they peered nervously at that tall girl who looked like a stiff wind would knock her over sent that ball slamming towards them at 100 miles an hour. Bing was almost crying, she was so proud. Socks had to be kept at home because he can't stand not to be a part of the team and chase those balls.
Unfortunately, Liv has to take turns with three other wannabe pitchers on her team. Intellectually, I understand this perfectly. There is a sweet girl on the team named Spencer (and you would think with a name like that, she would be good at sports, yes?) who is so hopelessly bad at this game that you wince when you see her try to do anything. If the ball comes at her, she cowers. When she bats, she drags the bat behind her to the plate and looks like she can barely lift it. When she is playing in the back field and a ball soars her way, she doesn't really run after it, she sort of....lopes. And then she has no idea where to throw it when she finally picks it up. This doesn't usually matter since the batter who should have made it to second base TOPS is usually rounding home by this time. Once she managed to throw the ball at the first base player's head. Spencer's mother often sits next to me on the bleachers and she has high praise for the coach. She knows that without his good grace, Spencer would be on that bench. So, yeah...I get it. And I also tend to think that, at this age, they need to be learning the nuances of the game and not be overly competitive about things.
Of course, it does make it hard to watch when "Call me Phil" lets Ashley pitch instead of Liv. Ashley throws the ball slow and steadily reasonably close to home plate. She is a batter's dream. They scored 10 runs in one inning. Liv played third base and didn't get to touch the ball once since no matter where the other players were, everyone threw the ball to first base. I thought that Bing was going to blow a gasket.
"I get it. Every child needs to experience being on a team. BUT, for pete sake's, Maria, they do need to learn the basics of the game, don't you think?
Yes, I agree. It is painful to watch your child not get to strut their stuff. But, a good lesson, I suppose. And, you know...this whole thing is harder for me and Bing to watch than for Liv. She seems happy when she pitches but not upset when she doesn't. I'm wondering if this lesson is more for us than for her.....
So, we will all be good sports.
And today, we all decided to treat ourselves to a movie. But which one? Liv wanted Dark Shadows. I wanted The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Bing wanted The Avengers.
We considered. While Bing had no real interest in Dark Shadows, I will watch anything with Johnny Depp. And neither Bing nor Liv thought that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel looked interesting, we all thought we could sit through The Avengers.
And it was a lot of fun. As in Thor, I fell madly in love with Tom Hiddleston all over again. And really, bad guys are SO much more interesting than the good ones, although Robert Downey, Jr. has that good-guy-who-is sort-of-a-smarty-pants-bad-guy-at-heart thing going on. We got up early to go to the morning showing and it was nearly sold out. And we did what we always do when we go to morning movies: we got egg mcmuffins on the way and ate them when the movie started. So..yes..breakfast and a movie!
Seriously, go see this man:
Now, it is time to prepare for another work week. Bing and Liv are both done with school for the summer on Wednesday, so they are both in great moods.
It will be a slow summer, the kind we haven't had in a while. Liv will finish up soft ball and then go on to swim team. Bing has no travel plans this summer, will teach a summer school course at the local university. There will plenty of time for us to weed the garden and sing to the vegetables and herbs. I am still trying hard to talk Bing into going to Branson with me for some couples time this summer. Oh, and did I mention that Lee DeWyze just happens to be playing down there? So, if Bing won't go with me, anyone want to meet up with me to go see Lee? No coupling of course, just good ole fashioned Amurikan fun.
Liv has announced that she is finally ready to change her bedroom from the little girl's room it is now. Although she has teened it up a bit, she still has a big round rug with the alphabet circling it and some borders around the wall that seemed a good idea when she was a baby. (A cow jumps over the moon while dishes run away with spoons.) Now, she wants some wallpaper with tiny primroses on it and a soft Lakota rug made by her paternal grandmother. It's well past time for her Zippy Monkey quilt to be replaced with an Lakota quilt that will look much more like her. She has a painting of our family up now that she did when she was 5. She wants to do a new one now to replace it. Her baseball bat will sit in the corner while her bathing suit hangs on her doorknob all summer long.
I will hate to see those dishes running away with spoons go....but...it's time. It's time.
Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, the official beginning of Summertime. But, it's already here in our house now. Everything feels sun splashed.
A magical summer is coming. I can feel it in my bones.....