Have you seen the movie “Kicking and Screaming” starring Will Ferrel and Robert Duvall? It’s pretty funny. The title of that film goes well with the day I’ve had so far. My precious nephew, Seb, is staying with us this weekend. I found out today that he doesn’t like pants… at all. He is so opposed to them that I fear this winter will be a long one for my brother and sister in law. His shorts were in my dryer so I had to stand my ground and not let him go to Riley’s soccer game in his underwear. We are still friends but that might be because he is now in his beloved shorts.
Now it was time to drive to Riley’s last Upward soccer game. Once I loaded my crew into the swagger wagon, I realized I forgot to eat breakfast. I don’t forget to eat folks. So I called my wonderful mother in law and she took one for the team and entered the local McDonald’s on free coffee day. I will probably buy her a really expensive Christmas present as a way of saying thank you. Seriously, FREE COFFEE. That place was insane.
Then we got behind a truck pulling two wagons of hay. Riley started to panic. “Mom, we are going to be late!” This was said in more of a wail than words. Bailey was screaming because she said I wouldn’t let her go to the bathroom at home. (Totally false statement. We all know kids NEVER have to use the bathroom until they enter a car.) Lily and Seb were being angels. Things could have been worse.
We finally arrived at the field and I unloaded everyone. Did I mention that Stephen had to work today? Oh, I didn’t?? Well, he had to work, for the third Saturday in a row. Lily spilled a bottle of water on her pants immediately. I told her to sit in my chair and said “Here, have a snack.” Snacks fix most emergencies. The game finally began.
Riley’s team isn’t very good. Bless their hearts (and you know what’s coming when someone uses that phrase), they are downright bad. But I love them. They played so hard today and they were up against the Manchester United of Upward soccer. I think the Yellow Jackets (us) knew what was coming but they played with guts and gusto. At one point we were actually winning 2-0. It was amazing even if it only lasted for a few minutes. The final score was 8-3 and we lost. That’s okay. I’m proud. Our team did not finish the season kicking and screaming. They held their heads high and made a beeline for the after game snacks.
My husband, Stephen, was a “baller” in high school. He loved (and still loves) basketball. He had a very successful career and considered playing in college. Unfortunately, a knee injury changed his plans. In exchange for not playing at the college level, he met me. I think things worked out pretty well for him…
As we all know, it’s very hard to give up something you’ve loved for so long and that is how Stephen became Coach Dr. Moses. (I love when people call him this because I think you have to pick either coach or doctor but when you put them together it makes me laugh.)
When we first moved back to Cynthiana six years ago we would go to the occasional game and before I knew it, Stephen was stopping by the gym to watch a scrimmage or help with an individual workout. Then he became an assistant coach. Now he is going into year three as head coach of the freshman team. You may be thinking, “When does a busy doctor have time to do this extra job?” Well, he doesn’t have time. He makes time because he loves working with the kids and it’s possible that he needs to escape the massive level of estrogen in our house. (I choose to believe the first reason is his main motivation.) His last two teams have made it to the regional championship game. We joke that he deserves a raise this year. It’s a volunteer position. Stephen almost turned down the offer to continue coaching during the 2012-2013 season. He is gone more than usual due to practice and games and it is exhausting for both of us. Losing my dad has made the past seven months difficult to say the least. I knew that if he said no to coaching, he was doing it out of concern for me. I loved him for that and almost went along with that decision. I finally said “Just do it.”
Please don’t be impressed or think I’m selfless because I’m not. I will complain. I will drink too many Pepsis at the concession stands because I think I “deserve” to indulge. I will count to ten to control my impatience when I have to take one of my girls to the bathroom for the 20th time in one quarter (I seriously missed an entire game because Bailey was potty training last year. We provided tons of entertainment for the people sitting behind us). I will get grumpy because I had to chase our three year old up and down the bleachers while breaking up an argument between the two oldest.
Despite my flaws I will be Stephen’s biggest fan. No referee is off limits. During one very heated tournament game I sent him a text that said, “If you don’t get thrown out, I WILL!” I like to think he fell in love with me a little bit more at that moment. I will drag our girls all over the 10th region and they will have a great time just like they have the last two years. We will be together; on opposite sides of the gym, but still together in the same building. I will wear my very tacky “ I ‘Heart’ The Coach” shirt that embarrasses Coach Doctor. On the way home I will think about my dad and how much he loved that Stephen was coaching, how he called it his “mission work”, and how I wish we could rehash the game together play by play.
My mom is a tough lady. She is tiny but don’t let that fool you. When I casually mentioned I’d like to get a tattoo in memory of my dad, she quickly shared her opinion. I didn’t ask for her permission since I’m 35 and she can’t threaten to take away my car or college tuition (I joked that I was going to get some ink in college and she said without missing a beat that she’d burn it off with a curling iron…) but she shared her thoughts anyway. I’m still on the fence. Needless to say, if I do get one, there won’t be a blog post because I don’t want to get grounded. I know mom just worries and still sees me as a little girl. She can’t help it. Now that I have three daughters of my own, I understand. There are some other things you should know about my mom.
1. She can whistle so loud that it’s stunning. I’m talking the two fingers on each side of her mouth whistle. This woman should hang out at construction sites and make the workers uncomfortable.
2. She is a fanatic when it comes to rules. Mom tried to teach us how to play poker during a particularly long series of snow days. She had a page of rules. It was ridiculous. My dad used to say that if my mom was alone in the Sahara and came to a stop sign, she’d stop.
3. She graduated from college at the age of 36 while running a home and taking care of three school age children. Mom wanted a college education and she completed a Masters and Rank 1 in education in five years.
4. Mom is a great cook and as my husband says, a “foodie.” We tease her about this a lot. She tolerates us.
5. Finally, my mom is a woman with a great deal of grace. She and my dad were married for 40 years and her loss can only be understood by others who have been through the same thing.
I want to be just like her when I grow up
My husband, Stephen, is a primary care physician. He has a tshirt that says, “Trust me, I’m a doctor!” I love when he wears it because most people probably think it’s just a silly shirt. But if I wore a shirt that said, “Trust me, I’m married to a doctor”, I would seem like an arrogant jerk; like I’m bragging that I snagged myself a money maker. (Disclaimer: I hit the jack pot ladies and gentlemen. And I’m not talking about cash. I wouldn’t trade him in for anything, not even a private yoga session with Adam Levine… sorry, I get sidetracked easily.) I would like to wear something like the above shirt because people assume that I have a clue about medicine and I DO NOT. I know when my kids are sick and that’s about the extent of things. You see, Stephen was a science man in college (where we met) and I was the girl who only entered the science building to complete Biology 100 and Geology, also known as “rocks for jocks.” I was a communications and spanish major. When my husband is on the phone for work I think HE is speaking a foreign language.
Having said all of this, I feel extremely lucky. When one of our kids wakes up sick in the middle of the night, I don’t have to dial up the on call physician. I just turn over in bed and say, “Hey, we have a puke situation. I need you to wake up REALLY fast.” Stephen works extremely hard for our family and I am able to continue my reign as CEO of our house without taking a job outside the home. My decision to stay home means we aren’t rolling in the cash but that’s okay. We are rolling in love, laughter, and tons of laundry.
The title of my very first blog entry is meant to give you some insight into the kind of person you will have to deal with if you plan on checking this page very often. Basketball, dumplings, and bluegrass music are three things that are as much a part of me as my arms and legs. The first two I love. I know love is a strong word but seriously, I love them. The third has grown on me. Each of these were also loved by my late father and I want to dedicate this first entry to him. I lost my dad very suddenly on February 19, 2012 and the only way I know how to deal with his departure is by talking about him so here goes….
I went to my first basketball game at the age of six weeks. Yes, my parents were insane and I still can’t believe my mom didn’t inflict bodily harm on dad for taking me at such a young age to a sweltering germ filled gym (and it was in Breathitt County. No offense to any Breathitt Countians but if you’ve been in that gym you know what I’m talking about.) Over the years dad and I went to tons of games together: games that my brother played in, state tournament games, and UK games. I loved every single one. We drove through snow, ice, and even ran to get away from some angry bottle throwlng fans at a particularly heated event in Hazard. Now I want to love basketball the way I used to love it. It’s hard but I’m trying.
Chicken and dumplings took awhile to become a favorite. My mom is an amazing cook but it took a few years for her to find the perfect recipe for dumplings. When she did, our lives and waistlines were forever changed. She started making a triple batch for the Mullins family Christmas Eve gathering. Dad and I knew that those luscious pieces of dough mixed with chicken would disappear quickly so we would “test” the batch before we began the drive to Floyd County. I’m proud to say I can make them now and two of my three kids love them.
Finally, my dad loved Bluegrass music. We went to festivals when I was a kid and he always had the newest CD from the hottest artist in his car. I had an appreciation but I just didn’t get into the music as much as he did. Dad said that when he retired he was going to go to lots of Bluegrass festivals. He didn’t get the chance to fulfill that dream so I plan on doing that for him when I can.
There is a lot more to me than these three interests but I think each one helps tell my story. Tell your story. You never know who might need to hear it.