Last night was our "double header" sports night. Neal (12), who has gotten lots of playtime thus far in the football season, last night found himself benched. And, even though Allie(14) played a solid volleyball game, her team lost pitifully against their school's biggest rival. Both kids came home completely dejected.
So, Dennis took Neal out to talk, and I took Allie and the girls out to ice cream (and 6 gallons of milk) at Braums to debrief the woes of being a middle schooler on an athletic team.
Of course, the little girls, now energized by a chocolate-dipped junior waffle cone, were in no mood for bed by the time we arrived home at 8:15. After some serious
I give Neal the pep talk, about how I love him no matter whether he plays or not, but I want him to have a good attitude and give his best effort, anyway. "I suppose this is the same stuff Dad already told you," I said as I left.
"Yeah, but I like to hear it from both of you," he replies sleepily.
I figured Libby should be about done with the legs by now, and I find her waiting for me on her bed. "Feel how smooth!" she says. I look at her and wonder where my baby went. Can she really be almost ten? We talk a few minutes, and I feel myself beginning to wane. "Let's wrap this up, okay?" I venture.
"But Mom! We haven't even talked about our day!"
I know better than to rush things with this one, so I stifle a sigh and settle in for a few more minutes. It's now 9:30. The chat rapidly moves from leg-shaving to a breathlessly enthusiastic conversation about "growing up." How did this happen? I keep wondering. She is such an odd mix of baby and child and pre-adolescent, and I never know which "side" of her is going to come out at any given moment. Having an older sister has definitely helped, but she still wants to hear it all from me (with a little help from The Body Book), and after a discussion of bras and feminine supplies, I make a mental note that I'm going to have to do Passport to Purity earlier with her than we did with the older kids. After that, I realize she's stalling and I just need to get her to bed.
Allie now comes in (they share a bed) and she is completely over the angst of the early evening. She's now discussing how she needs to wash her feet again, even after her shower.
Uh-huh. Well! I'm not real interested in toe jam. It's 10:00. I'm going to bed!