I hope everyone had a nice weekend…mine was spent with the boys, because Anne headed up to Portland to visit one of her friends for her birthday.
I was really looking forward to a cool “just us guys” weekend, but the boys were really in a lousy mood most of the weekend. They just wouldn’t stop bickering with each other, and Ryan had on his “I’m 12 and you’re an idiot” pants most of the time. I bet he found them in my box of stuff from my parent’s house…I think I’ll go burn the “I’m 14 and you’re an asshole” pants before he can find them. Nostalgia be damned!
We did do some cool things this weekend, though.
Nolan had a soccer game on Saturday, and I thought I was going to miss it because I have a class on Saturdays, but the teacher gave me the OK to come late, so I could watch the game. Nolan’s playing indoor soccer in a different league than the evil AYSO league he played in last year here. It is really non-competitive, with the focus put 100% on the kids having fun and goofing off. The parents and the coaches were really cool, except for one parent who was sitting next to the kids and me while we were waiting for Nolan’s game to start. This guy’s kid must have been, oh, five, maybe six years old, and his dad thought it was extremely important that he scream at the kid to “ATTACK THE GODDAM BALL, JUSTIN!”
Yeah. He’s lucky I wasn’t wearing my “I’m 29 and you’re a shitty parent” pants, because I’d have let him have it.
The coolest thing happened at this game, though. Nolan had invited my parents to come and watch, as well as two of my friends. My friends never showed up, but my folks did, and I wish I could recreate for everyone the look of pride and joy that filled Nolan’s face when he saw that they’d come to watch him.
They walked past the goal where he was standing, and he just lit up, and came running over to us, and threw his arms around my mom and then my dad, and said, “You made it! Thank you for coming to my game!”
He’s seemed a little unhappy recently (I think there’s some stuff going on with his dad), and it was really awesome to see him so joyful for a change.
He played a great game, in pretty much every position. He did not allow a goal when he was in the net, and nearly scored three different times. The game was a total blowout, but I could tell that all the kids, on both teams, were having a great time. I guess it makes a difference when parents aren’t wearing their “I’m middle-aged and unhappy with my own life so I’ll try to get some vicarious glory through my kids who just want to play and have fun” pants.
Saturday night, Ryan spent the night at his friend’s house…he told me that they spent the evening singing karaoke with his parents.
I’m not too sure I’m so comfortable that.
So Sunday came, and I took Ryan and Nolan geocaching.
We started out looking for this one, but it just didn’t want to be found, so we headed off to another one, which Ryan found really easily.
Filled with the flush of success, we headed up to this one, which was my favorite of the day…what a beautiful hike, where we saw some deer, and a spectacular view of where I grew up in La Crescenta!
We were all feeling tired, and thinking of heading home, but the kids insisted that we go try one final cache, which Nolan found, much to his delight.
I realized that the best part of it for me was not the actual finding (although we were pretty frustrated to not find the one at the bridges), but the spending time with the boys (oh, how I wish I could call them “my boys,” but that’s another story) and discovering new places that we had never seen before.
We’ve gone looking for 5 different caches here in the last week, and each cache has been in a place that I’ve driven past about three hundred times a year, but never bothered to look at closely.
For example, I drive over the Colorado street bridge at least 4 times a week, and I’ve never been down into the Arroyo before. If any of you live in Pasadena, I strongly suggest heading down and walking the path that leads beneath the two bridges. It’s really beautiful, and great for dogs. Just watch out for the poison oak!
I thought back to the metaphor about ignoring things which are right in front of us, and I was really greatful to the people who placed the caches for giving my an excuse to explore these areas, and spend the time discovering them with the kids.
Anne came home late last night, after numerous flight delays, and all was right with the world. It was a good weekend, indeed.
Thought for today:
“People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.”