Dec 19 2010

The Weekend

Published by at 11:36 pm under Personal

This weekend, as with most of our weekends of recent, was filled with a great deal of events. Most notably, TJ had 2 tournaments he was involved with this weekend. Nothing to tire out a youth like getting home just after 10pm only to need to be at a school the very next morning at 7:30 for the next events weigh in.

Unfortunately the event on Friday was not so conveniently scheduled Friday afternoon and a 2 hour drive away. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to tear myself away from my daily grind to see his match. He was in good spirits after returning despite not getting his first bout win.

This is TJ’s first year with wrestling and, even at that, wasn’t fully decided to be involved until a mere couple of weeks prior to the start of the season. As I recall, he waited until the evening before the first meeting with the coach before deciding for certain to join. A good portion of his motivation to join was to stay in or get into better shape for his first sporting choice of football.

So in he lept into a pool full of kids seasoned by years of experience that he lacked. I’m not sure if he displaced his lack of success as being the price to pay to be involved, but at any rate, I was happy to see that he has been positive about wrestling through it all. He found a comfort with his place but also has seemed to develop an interest in the sport beyond his original goal that stirred a desire for him to improve and learn more.

That was all well and good but there was nothing more we could have asked for than for him to have his efforts rewarded with success beyond his enjoyment of the activity. That day finally came. After countless bouts and many matches, close calls like the bout he was leading in points only to be pinned in the 3rd round, his hard work and practice was rewarded with success. He finally had his hand lifted in victory. There was little that could have happened to sullen his mood after that point. Being so excited that he nearly forgot to return his winning bout sheet back to the head table.

A small success and huge feeling of relief had fallen. I would have felt horrible if he hadn’t been able to taste some sort of validated success for the season. I am not about to say that my involvement was anything to his level, but living and dying by your child’s successes and failures is draining to say the least.

So here it is in all of his glory. TJ’s first win.

These matches are almost unbearably long. I have learned that it’s needed to bring a sweatshirt or some other article to be used as padding on these seats that certainly did not have comfort as a top concern when they were built. I do have to say that the plastic bleachers do have a gentler feel to them after many hours of use than the natural wood bleachers do. If any of you find yourself in a position to make that call, I give you my opinion on the matter that they are decidedly a more comfortable material. I have to admit that I no longer look upon those parents bringing in their own portable cushioned seats with a look of mocking but more a look of envy.

We rewarded his success with a treat at any fine establishment of his choosing. This allowed me to become aware that Denny’s has a new culinary masterpiece gracing their menu. I’ll let the description from their website do this it’s due justice:

Grilled cheese with a twist. Four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. Served with wavy-cut French fries and a side of marinara sauce.

If that doesn’t set your mouth watering, then you sir are not alive. I somehow found the will to avoid it’s temptation and likely have earned some (albeit not much) additional time at the end of my life by sticking to a patty melt. I’ll save that cheesy option as a treat for a day for me. This was TJ’s day.

Today we decided to take it a bit more easy. We decided to test the slopes at the local sledding hill. I use the term easy only in relation to the previous days. If you have ever tried to motivate and squeeze 5 children into clothing suitable for extended time in sub freezing weather, then I’m sure you realize how loosely I’m using the word. The final product can only be aptly explained by a crew Ralphy’s younger brother bundle up in “A Christmas Story” of varying sizes.


The older kids found some friends from school so we ended up dragging the younger ones around from one end of the hill to the other until they found their Goldy Locks suitable side of the mound. Most of them seemed to have a good time. All of them I’m sure but Zoe. For some reason she still can’t bring herself to overcome her fear of “things that might be fun but doesn’t get exposed to them daily so it’s out of the question”. I kind of understand as I used to be an anxious kid too and was stricken with completely irrational fears that I know limited the fun I could have had. The sick part, even though I went through, I haven’t the slightest idea of what we can do to convince her of how silly these fears are. I’m chalking it up to just one of those things that people have to decide on their own to overcome and grow out of. I did, hopefully she doesn’t take as long as I did to get there.


This is getting a bit long winded though. Hell, I wouldn’t even read this much so if you got this far, I commend your commitment and hope you are a fast reader. Would have been a shame to waste too much time on this. As a reward, enjoy some pictures from the sledding.





The rest of the captured moments can be seen here.

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