Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Yawn, fireworks, and softball

Guess all that patriotism plumb tuckered me out. I'm sleepy today, and feel I have little to say. But is that stopping me from blogging? Nah.

The Oak Park fireworks were beautiful. We had a lovely time last evening, sitting out along the perimeter of the high school, waiting for the sparks to begin. Lots of chatting across the street as neighbors and friends exchanged greetings.

Just as the fireworks were about to begin, a 5 year old boy and his family parked themselves behind us. We were then treated to his non-stop breathless narration of the fireworks. I'm sure many would have been annoyed by it, but I was moved by his endless enthusiasm. Would that I have half the enthusiasm for life of a 5 year old.

There are so many different flavors of fireworks. I particularly enjoyed the high up ones that burst, then end with a comet tail of color. Then there were the screaming mimis (low on my scale of enjoyment), the Christmas tree light poppers, and the falling rain glitter. Ah. 25 minutes of beauty was quite satiating.

This evening's festivities are a bit more mundane. Annie's softball team is having its season-ending party. I'm looking forward to this, too. She's had a wonderful season. Oldest girl on the team, which is a fun and unusual role for her, June birthday girl that she is. She moves on the ballfield with an ease and grace that comes from talent and hard work combined. It was a pleasure to watch her play.

It was also a pleasure to watch her emotionally mature in the past few months. A fell into a batting slump early on, and did her usual Annie routine: she beat herself up, got very angry, announced she's a terrible player, and continued to slump. But we spent a lot of time talking about the effects of her behavior. I kept asking her, "Is being hard on yourself helping you play any better?" and "What would help you play better?"

After a week or so, there was one of those oh so encouraging light-bulb moments when she truly got it. She lightened up. We went out and wore my barely adequate pitching arm out. And she climbed out of her slump fairly quickly.

Because she's such a perfectionist, I know this is a lesson that she'll learn and relearn. But I was so glad that the light turned on for her this year, however briefly. And glad, too, for this team. She's made a really good friend this year, one who she feels is just like her: a sporty and fun girl, not incredibly into boys and clothes.

It's so hard to be a girl in middle school. I wouldn't relive those years for a million dollars.

Off to get ready.

Until tomorrow,


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