Diary of A SAHD: A new game reborn.

So not too long ago I was lamenting Frank’s transition from backyard sports and games with me to the big boy world of organized sports. In this case specifically, AYSO soccer. Frank calls it “Soccer Ball”. My old Air Force buddy Tony calls it un-American. Both may be right.

I had to literally pull Frank from the car on that first Saturday morning but now, as has been documented, he loves Soccer Ball. He has yet to kick the ball in an actual live game even though he plays 3 of the 4 quarters every game, but he loves it.

Quick side note here: My swarthy complexion and Frank’s long hair may be giving the “coach” a false sense of Frank’s abilities when it comes to Futbol, as my ancestors call it. I mean my father is the first one of the family born in America, his mother having stepped off the boat from Italy to the streets of Philadelphia. But that’s where the connection to the fine game of European Futbol ends. In truth it never really existed in the first place.

Anywhoo, Frank’s love of running with his teammates as they play soccer every Saturday morning, 8 freaking 30 every Saturday morning, has hastened the demise of one of my favorite games, Driving Range.

Trying to flee as I rain down all manner of golf ball on him.

Trying to flee as I rain down all manner of golf ball on him.

Driving Range is a game Frank and I came up with that allows him to play in the back yard and allows me to do something other than sit in a chair and watch him play in the back yard. Frank drives his motorized John Deer tractor around the back yard, pictured left. I stand at the west end of the yard and hit golf balls at him trying to get one to land in the tractor bed. If I get one in the bed, Frank has to reach back, while still driving forward, get the ball and throw it out before I can hit another one in the tractor bed. It’s almost as a awesome as the game of golf itself.

No doubt you can now see why I have missed playing Driving Range. And everyone take a breath, the golf balls are plastic.

Well I’m here to tell the game has been reborn. Another funny/not so funny side note here. When that thought dawned on me today, it reminded me of my father meeting someone who professed to be a born again Christian. When my father would hear of someone being reborn, as it pertains to their faith, he would shout “Hallelujah I’m a Christian” laughing in that mocking tone only an Italian-Catholic, who still speaks Latin, can do. I have experienced this first hand. It’s still funny.

No matter because through a combination of a small twist of fate and Frank’s new found love of Soccer Ball, we have reconfigured the game formally known as Driving Range. It has been reborn.

Our next-door neighbor got a sweet deal on a motorized John Deer tractor. Little Bennet has been buzzing the cul-de-sac in his new ride. This prompted Frank to want to drive his again. It had been growing moss under the deck so I had to do a little refurbishing. Now all Frank wants to do is drive the thing around in the street like his buddy Bennett. So I was left sitting in the drive way watching them go round and round, for freaking hours it seemed. Can’t hit golf balls off the driveway, or into the street for that matter.

But I can kick a soccer ball.

Yeah my thought exactly.

So now Frank drives around and I try to kick the ball into the truck bed. This is exponentially easier than hitting a golf ball in there plus I’m getting much more exercise, so it’s a win/win. Now unbeknownst to Frank, I’m actually trying to kick the ball into the tractor cab and hit him. You know for the added degree of difficulty. Got him four times today. The last one hit him right in the snot locker. That’s his nose for all you Johnny Rebs out there.

Man, he laughed so hard after the ball hit him in the face I thought he was gonna toot for hours.

Turns out it’s a great game. We still need a name, though. Help us out in the comment section.

So Driving Range is reborn and it’s better than ever and I’ve only got one thing to say to that: Hallelujah I’m a Christian!

(Yeah I know it was a long trip to that joke.  Sue me.)

Diary of a SAHD: And So it Begins.

Well, we’ve come to that moment.  We have reached the end of one era and the beginning of another.  Days gone by, relegated to our memories, to be recalled fondly while sitting around a fire, burning the hell out of a marshmallow, in a hideous attempt to squeeze it between two graham crackers and a piece of Hershey’s chocolate and call it smores.  Seriously, does anyone make those things without turning them to a inedible molten lava mess?

I'm thinking smaller socks maybe.

I’m thinking smaller socks maybe.

No matter.  It’s gone, all gone now.

We signed Frank up for AYSO Soccer.

No turning back now.  First it’s soccer, then basketball, then baseball….

The lazy days of hanging in the backyard, hitting golf balls at Frank as he dodges them in his motorized tractor, are just about gone.  For those of you that have been to one, we call the game, Driving Range.  It’s just like at a real driving range where the guy drives out on the range with a tractor to scoop up all the balls and the people practicing spontaneously take aim at him.  Same thing here.

Frank drives his John Deer dump truck around the yard and I hit balls at him trying to get them to land in the truck bed.  He laughs himself silly and it’s great practice for me.  If I manage to land one in the truck bed, I do my victory dance and Frank reaches back to get the ball, while still driving, and throws it out of the truck with a snarl and as much distain on his face as he can possibly muster.  As much as we play this, I should be better at golf than I am.

Anyway, once we start down the road of organized sports, forever will it dominate our path. Driving Range will be replaced by actual driving, to and fro, hither and yon, here, there and everywhere.

It was inevitable I guess.  Just like pre-school.  I was wrong about that, Frank loved it and it was great for him.  I’m assuming the same will apply for soccer and what ever else he gets into.

That AYSO is some serious business. The online registration form was no walk in the park.  I’ve filled out applications for security clearances that were less involved then that AYSO form.  It’s not exactly the most user friendly site either.

After about 2 hours of struggling, cussing, and not being able to print the form, I grabbed up Frank and we went to the registration joint with check book in hand, but no form.  The entire drive I was steeling myself for the inevitable confrontation with the rules happy folks who must run this para-military organization.  My frustration with the inability to print the form was compounded by the fact not one sign directed us to the building we needed once we entered the park.  After turning around for the fourth time, suppressing several F-Bombs, I get this from the back seat: “Daddy, hahaha, you missed 11 roads already, hahahaha.”

I am now ready to throw down with the first senior citizen volunteer who tells me I need the printed form from the web site.

Turns out that was a big build up for nothing. A dude comes up to me and I start in on my tale of woe.  He says, “If you were able to submit the form on the site but just can’t print it, no worries. Give your money to the girl there, get your uniforms from the table there.”

Alrighty then.  So the girl taking the money was 20, maybe.  The lady running the uniform table was 35, maybe.  The dude greeting us when we walked up was 40, maybe 43.  In other words I was the oldest person in the entire park, by years.

In the end it took all of 6 minutes to drop a check, get tiny tim his pint sized soccer uniform, and think up some pretty lame excuses why I couldn’t volunteer to coach Frank’s team for an hour each Saturday.

Of course Frank is ecstatic.  The socks are his favorite part of the uniform.  He was able to “ice skate” on our wood floors all day long.

All and all Frank’s organized athletic career is off to blazing start.

As for me, well at least eight weeks of four year olds playing soccer should yield a few blog posts.

I’m going to miss playing Driving Range.