After a very nice, restful, relaxing couple of months, we are now officially dancing again! Lacrosse practice started this week. And because this is the way things tend to go, we have 6 practices to get through each week. For some reason we do not have the benefit of weekend practices this year (at least not during the warm-up/pre-game part of the season) so we are cramming 6 practices into 4 days. And to make things just a wee bit more interesting, Spencer practices on a different field, at a different park, than Quinn. If you are doing your math, you have figured out that Bob and I are doing that divide and conquer thing twice a week. And the icing on the cake? Practices start at 5:30. (It's a very big challenge to get out of work in time to get everyone home and fed and back out the door by 5:15 4 nights a week.)
But I'm honestly not complaining. Yes, our practice schedule could be a bit less stressful. It could be a bit more conducive to family life. It could have waited until the temps were a little warmer and the sun stayed in the sky a little longer. But we've done this dance before and we can (and will) do it again. Plus, it's only for a few weeks until games start and we can move some of this activity to the weekends!
It does, I admit, take a week or so to get into a rhythm. Yesterday was anything but smooth. One little step out of place and the ripple effect is impressive. A conference call that ran long had me running 20 minutes late. That meant that Bob had to pick up the little guys and they wouldn't have time for dinner before we all had to head out again. So Bob threw some food into some containers, packed up all the stuff to keep everyone happy and when I got in, I had just enough time to change my pants and shoes before piling everyone back into the cars and going our separate ways. It was a fast dance yesterday - with the benefit of a picnic dinner! We'll get into our groove. And the weather will get better! It's all downhill from here.
The other part of starting a new season is the parent dance. If I were an anthropologist or someone who studied human behavior, I am positive that this dance would be thesis worthy. It's complex!
The dance starts with the recognition of people you know. In many cases these are people met through some other sports team in some other season. Having 2 boys as close in age as Spence and Quinn is pretty interesting because we mingle parents between the older group and the younger group depending on the sport's specific cut off age. There are several boys who have played on both a Spencer team and a Quinn team. This is my favorite kind of dance. It's fun and relaxed and comfortable. In many cases these people are considered friends. This is our social circle and, honestly, we miss these interactions during our "down times".
Then there's the group of people that you recognize, but don't know. You've seen these folks around, but not had direct contact with. Or if you are like me, you may have had some small direct contact in a kindergarten open house years ago and have no memory of the encounter. This is a challenge for me because I am TERRIBLE with names. I don't like that freestyle dance at all!
If you are lucky, the group of parents are all in the same boat and all trying to learn the steps together. If you aren't so lucky (which is the situation we find ourselves in with Spencer's new team), the majority of the team (and the parents) are already established. They have already danced this dance and they have gotten past the stepping-on-each-other's-toes phase. In these tricky dances, you have to wait and watch and figure out when it's time to cut in. That first dance is always the most painful! I find this remarkably similar to middle school dances!
The most interesting part of all of this is how quickly things fall into place. In no time we will be doing a well-coordinated and perfectly in-sync line dance both at home and with the new teams. It's amazing how things tend to work out when you have so many different people singing their own tunes. And the combination is always more fun than dancing alone at home!
So dance on! We've strapped on our sneakers and we're ready for the new jig!
Here's a picture from Quinn's team on his first practice and one of Beck bundled up and trying to stay warm!