BITCH – ARCHIVE

Still pulling from my old blog, and this is easily one of my favourites. I loved coaching ball; the kids, the sport and especially my colleague in coaching. Good times! ūüėÄ

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BITCH

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

~Meredith Brooks “Bitch”

I remember the first time I was put in the same context as the word “Bitch”.

I was 13 years old and my mother was in the middle of a nasty exchange with her sister. A bitter and eventually vengeful person, this woman had some beef and laid out her anger in a letter, including the reference that my mother’s eldest daughter was “a bitch”.

This wounded my mother terribly. I can only imagine how she felt inside as I know how I would react if someone made a derogatory comment about one of my children, never mind my sister.

At the time, I was shocked. I remember thinking I knew what incident she was referring to, but didn’t think that action would qualify me as “a bitch.” It took me a while to process the idea that there were people out there – in this case, a family member, who had a very dark impression of me.

Kinda heavy for 13…. That kinda crap messes a person up for a while.

I can remember referring to this branding throughout my teen years. Kind of an excuse for anything I felt contrary to – because after all, I was “a bitch”.

Over time the brand became a badge of honor. I had a backbone I’m not sure I would have discovered as young and my ability to stand my ground comes from the fact that while you have a right to your opinion, I sure as Hell have a right to mine. Don’t confuse my ability to concede or defer with weakness. I simply don’t care as much about the issue as you do. Because if it matters to me, I will go down for the count. And there are very few people whose opinions truly matter to me any more.

As soon as I realized this, the better I felt about myself. A type of empowerment, if you will. Why worry about other people’s opinions when there are very few whose opinions truly matter?

Which brings me to last week. I’m assistant coaching First Born Son’s ball team AGAIN – long story there I won’t bore you with – and it came time to hold the first practice.

Faced with 13 12-13-year-old boys, I realized there needed to be a strong impression made. The hormones are working. Some of them are as tall as I am and a couple of them easily out-weigh me. This is where you have to go for the weak spot – the brain!

“When I’m talking, no one else is talking,” I started, which beautifully shut two of them up. “When Coach J is talking, no one else is talking. That’s just common courtesy. When I’m here, I’m not FBS’ mother. I’m Coach Sarah to him, just like I am to you. He’s not my kid when we’re here. There are no favorites. You will work hard. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have fun and I’m not a prude – I’m not hung up on swearing or being frustrated when you are practicing. When we are in a game you WILL represent your town to the best of your ability, which means NO swearing, NO trashing the other team AND DEFINITELY NO tearing down your team mates. When I tell you to run, YOU WILL RUN. Softball is a running sport. When I tell you that you will be running an extra lap you, will do it, because gentlemen, I bring my own vehicle for a reason – and that’s to stay here until the lights come on if that’s what it takes. I will wait you out – that’s right, I am a BITCH.

At that point, one kid fell off the picnic table…. All of their mouths dropped open – except for FBS – he knows about my bitchiness.

Three practices later, if someone speaks while I’m speaking, I merely stop talking and look at them. They immediately stop and usually they blush. When I’m running a drill and they are not executing the way they should – I stop – spell it out for them and they immediately adjust their actions. They speak to me with respect, or genuine friendship, since they realize that 90% of the time, I’m very easy to get along with and truly want for them to improve. I despise shouting.

While I would not suggest telling young girls they are bitches as a means to create character, I would have to say what started out as somewhat of a damaging experience has since become something that I would not change even if I could.

I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I’m your angel under cover
I’ve been numb, I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Hi! My name is Sarah!

Okay, so we didn’t actually break up, stop being so dramatic!

The fact is, Summer is my favorite season and thanks to my ever evolving career (standard work week – yeah, shift work – BOOOO) I’ve tried to max my time outside as much as possible.

So let’s catch up, shall we?

For starters, this guy –

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Has grown into this guy….

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And folks, that photo is over a month old. The most recent check-up revealed that Roman is a fighting 33 kgs and Cane is 27 kgs!!!! He’s only six months old. I’m actually thinking about using him as a sled dog to get me to work this winter!

Naturally we watched ball. M&M was on a kick-ass team and had a very successful season at a number of tournaments, not to mention the Super-Duper Nationals in Nova Scotia in August. They won. Of course.

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As you can see, she picked #22 because it is the date of the birth of her favorite Aunt. She’s so thoughtful that way. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

During the skills competition in Nationals she won for fastest runner.

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Which is why THIS is such a dangerous posture for the opposing team.

First Born Son took to the field for his final year in ball.

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And he had a great season! Lost in the finals for the A-Side Championship, but hey, going down swinging means there’s no shame in the game! He’s also had some other big events in his life.

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Sumthin’ missin’ here? THE BRACES ARE GONE! We are really proud of the fact that he’s done so well in caring for this teeth, which meant the braces could come off early for all the late summer/early fall activities on the calendar.

However, we are still paying for the braces…… For a couple of months…. Seems wrong don’t it?

With a family wedding coming up, we needed a suit for FBS. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help us out with this!

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With as much experience as my father has in selling suits, NOT taking him was not an option. Watching him flip through the fabric actually made my eyes a little leaky! Love how FBS is ROCKIN’ the running shoes, shorts and jacket look!

Second Born Son had easily the BEST. SUMMER. EVER. After starting with a party for his Confirmation….

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…he only had a few short weeks until he left for camp….

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…where the first thing they do is check for lice. I’ll give you a moment to scratch your scalp.

Better?

He also got his trip to Canada’s Wonderland, with his best bud, (who also went camping with him).

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The two of them mastered the rides. While The Big Guy and I waved from the ground in a couple of instances.

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This is Leviathan. It’s stupid big. We STARTED our day on this ride, and the boys ended their day with it. It’s so big, that when you think you should be at the top of the first big hill you look up and realize, you’re only half-way to the top!!!!

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That is my child up there. I could not fit the top and the bottom of the hill in this frame. They loved it. I am apparently getting old.

We also enjoyed the prerequisite trips to the beach. We love laying out on a blanket and enjoying the sand. Until some ass comes along and parks right in front of us with la-z-boy style “beach chairs” that obliterate our view of the water. We’ve decided to stick with the more secluded beaches from now on!

Then there is “The Party”. We decided to have a pork roast this summer, which coincided with our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

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Yup – did it up right. Got a tent, tables, and waited for the friends and family to arrive! Some even stayed over. We had our own little tent city!

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Needless to say, the highlight was the pig. My parents had pork roasts on our farm and I’ve always remembered how much fun we had, and how good the food was!

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SBS could have done without the head on the pig, but Roman didn’t seem to mind! Some wanted to contribute and brought their own favorite salads…

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So if anyone left hungry, it was their own damn fault! We had a fire pit that night and enjoyed a huge breakfast in the morning for those who stayed overnight. The kids are ready to do it again.

I think I’ll need a year to think about it!

The boys and I headed to the beach with LS’s family and my parents.

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The beach is my father’s favorite place. It’s a genetic thing as I’m pretty much ready to live near water NOW! The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast. ALL the kids…

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**STYLE NOTE** LS has buzzed 85% of her hair off. And yes, she’s rocking it!

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When I had to back to work (shift work – BOOOO) the boys had a little fun in Toronto.

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The Hobbit House made out of Lego – such a wonderful, family-oriented place, Fan Expo…

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…uh…ahem, where exactly is your hand my husband????

Okay, we’ll wrap this up now. Suffice it to say that it’s been a jam-packed summer and with the “fun” associated with back to school – FBS in Grade 11 (sniff sniff) and SBS entering Grade 8 (whaaaaaaa) I’m just starting to catch my breath now!!!

Would love to hear below how you spent your summer!

 

 

 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It seems to be a right of passage – to bemoan the future of society when one looks at the generation that follows.

Kids these days. No respect for authority. No standards, and on and on.

But I found it rather ironic that based on the behavior of adults lately, how can hold child to a higher standard?

For starters, teachers in Ontario are protesting Bill 115. It is a detailed Bill handed down from the Provincial Government. One of the points of this Bill is that it suspends the Right to Strike, something that has been exercised thoroughly in the past. The Province has stepped over regional school boards and handed down a contract that, amongst other things, freezes teachers wages and reduces the number of sick days they are entitled to. A number of other Public Sector employees have been put the same position, not to mention the Separate School Board Teachers, who signed their agreements, in spite of not being pleased with the situation they were in.

However, the public school teachers’ union decided to protest the legislation, and starting in November (prior to the government handing down the Bill), started one day walk-outs in protest. Parents were given two days notice to find alternate childcare as schools were closed. Just about every school district had participated in rotating strikes. Once the Bill was passed before the end of the year, one day rotating strikes would be in contravention of the Bill. Both elementary and secondary school teachers planned another day each, of walk outs.

Now, the position the union is taking is that their members cannot in good conscience teach children about democracy when their own Rights are being stomped upon.

Hmmm.

How about a child’s Right to an Education?

How about not using children as hostages?

How about not punishing parents for something they have no direct control over?

Now, I’m not a fan of government legislating away Rights. But you know what I’m LESS of a fan of?? Teachers, who are in positions of authority and already complaining about lack of respect and support from students and parents, talking about taking action which was deemed ILLEGAL by the government. The Premier was elected by the people of Ontario, therefore, he acts on behalf of the taxpayers. If you don’t agree with the government, you get to vote them out at the next election.

In the meantime, you have children seeing teachers talking about breaking the law. Yup. Like it doesn’t apply to them. Fortunately, the government stood behind their legislation and indicated that any walk out would be deemed illegal (uh….YA?!?) and the Union backed down.

This week, teachers took the streets in front of their local MPPs’ offices, as well as Queens’ Park to protest Bill 115. Hmmm, taking your message directly to the politicians you are trying to communicate with. What an educated concept! You enact the democratic process as you exercise your Right to peaceful protest, while NOT breaking the law, and maintain your standing with parents and students (not alienate them). BRILLIANT!

Then there is the shining example that is Lance Armstrong.

From the first time that our sons told their first fib, we have been very clear on our position; no matter what it is that you have done, it will be twice as bad if you lie about it.

Didn’t complete a project? Bad.

Didn’t complete a project and then lie to Mom and Dad about it? BAD BAD.

We watched the build up to the Oprah Winfrey interview (first portion to air tonight) and viewed a montage of Armstrong denying, denying, denying, denying, denying that he took performance enhancing drugs. Not him. No way. NEVER! Now that he has lost his corporate sponsorship, endorsements, titles and respect, he has decided to fess up. Oprah has been guarded enough to say that he does not confess in the way that she expected, so I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that he will say that the entire sport is doping, so therefore it is an even field.

If we all cheat, does anyone do anything wrong?

I looked at my sons and said, “Do you see? Even adults have a hard time with this concept of why it’s bad to lie; and it’s made it worse for him, like it’s worse for you.”

While a small fortune has been raised in his name for research, the base of his foundation is built on a lie. Cancer survivor turn seven-time Tour de France champion turn celebrity. Dare I say, hero?

No. Liar.

How can we have a higher expectation of children, when society presents such questionable role models?

Parenting just got harder.

 

 

Catching Up

I think it is an unspoken law of blogging that one takes off the summer months, if not cut back the number of entries. In my case, I tried to pack as many things into each day as humanly possible.

It’s hard to believe that with the return of back to school and fall routines, that it was only two months ago that we were admiring First Born Son’s gardening abilities.

 

While the lettuce was impressive, his corn and sunflowers are MASSIVE. He entered the sunflowers in the local Fall Fair and won third. The tallest stalk was 10’4 ft so I cannot imagine how tall the winning entry was!!! I’m waiting to get sick of eating corn, since its on the table every night. Hasn’t happened yet!

 

It was a nice hot summer for swimming at Mom & Dad’s pond. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids, or Roman!! On a related note: this was one of the few activities Second Born Son could actually take part in – so he spent a lot of time in the water. His are is healing well and we go back down to the specialist in October for an update. This could be an ongoing pattern for a while. ¬†

 

 

While you saw M&M’s photos, her sister, Lil’ O also played softball and we loved watching her year-end tournament. “The power is strong in that one, master!!” So nice to see the kids enjoying ball. Now if we could do something about the nut-job adults who organize their teams….SIGH.

FBS had a great season playing ball. It was great to see a team of players who wanted to play ball, and not simply signed up because of their parents. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of structure to the team, and they didn’t perform well overall. “There’s always next year!”

 

SBS was my little fish this year. Since swimming was considered good therapy for his arm, and we normally do swimming lessons through to the end of elementary school, he enrolled at the local pool. PARENTING TIP: Try to get your child into swimming during the summer Olympics. I wish I had video of SBS splashing at himself and getting psyched like the big boy swimmers. HeeLARrious!!!!

 

What summer is complete without a wedding? It was a beautiful July day when this lovely couple made it legal. The painful part, to me anyway, is that I USED TO BABYSIT THE BRIDE! That’s right. That gorgeous creature you see there – I used to feed her snacks and keep her and her deliciously chubby little brother entertained. He’s not longer chubby and she’s beautiful. I’m taking all the credit.

 

Then there was the cottage. Easily the highlight of the summer. Due to the time restraints dictated by work, Lil Sis and I decided to split a week. She took the girls and our parents up from Monday to Wednesday. We all enjoyed Wednesday together, then she took her crew home, and my family stayed on until Friday. HEAVEN! Even when the weather was poor, it was nice to just be together and not have to do anything. This beach has special meaning for me and The Big Guy, since it is where he proposed. I love the fact that the cottage was on the beach, so we didn’t have to load anything up to enjoy the water!!!

 

 

 

I love how this summer turned out; with birthdays and sunshine and being outside. I just need two more months!!!

 

 

 

It’s Just a Game!?

You know the one thing wrong with kids sports?

The adults.

I spent the past two days watching my niece play ball. M&M is a natural-born softball player. One might think as her aunt, I’m biased, but when team mates comment on her being a pivotal part of the team winning, and she wins MVP honours, after a while, you get to think, “Yup, she’s as good as I think she is!”

So, I’m gonna brag a little. M&M is the best parts of good sportsman and good work ethic. Her coaches use her in multiple capacities.

A ball about to be spanked.

 

She hits.

 

She runs.

She likes to have fun, but she knows when its time to get back down to business.

 

She’s not a girlie-girl. She likes to get down the job done. Sometimes that means getting dirty…

 

 

 

Her coaches decided they wanted to pitch,

and then doing some catching,

then an inning or two at shortstop.

She runs like a deer.

In short, she loves the game and loves to play. So when her team won a berth in the season finals today, (an ill-timed loss meant they had to go around the long way with extra games and extra wins), we had high hopes. It became evident early in the final that this game might not be won on the field. The coach of the other team began using delay tactics and calling our team up on technicalities. Ironically, none of the issues were valid and the game continued, with the time lost on the clock. Other teams had warned us he might try this trick.

One might also note that the base umpire is the next door neighbour of said coach, and there were at least three plays at first base, right in front of our parents, that was obviously erroneous.

The girls put forth an admirable effort, but they came up short. Some might say the better team won; I would suggest that then you hold up a ball game in 35 degree weather, it’s not about the better team, it’s about the more creative coach.

Be proud Hooligans. With only two losses in the season, you should be proud with your year.

Blind, Deaf and Dumb Justice

I realize I don’t usually post this often, but I had to comment on this.¬†

What if you were told you had to give up 10 years of your life? There really isn’t a “great” decade to give up, but I can tell you the 10 years I know I couldn’t live without – 16-26.

During this time, I completed my college education, met my husband, married him, got my first job, first car and first house, along with my first child. I made friendships that have lasted to this day, and said goodbye to people who passed away. These were all significant events that led to me becoming the person I am today.

Now, imagine those years were taken from you for no. good. reason.

That would mean you are Brian Banks.

 

Brian’s story broke yesterday and today. It is chilling.

In 2002 he was a 16 year-old high school student who had a promising career in football. He had a full scholarship to USC and had no reason to believe he wouldn’t be playing in the NFL. He was going to live The Dream.

But 15-year-old Wanita Gibson had other plans. She told authorities that Brian kidnapped and raped her. He was brought up on charges and thanks to a brutal “Justice” system, and the joke that is “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”. On poor legal advice, (he was told he’d get 18 months instead of 40 years a finding of guilt) he pleaded No Contest, which meant he could take a plea deal. His lawyer felt the court would throw the book at a big, black teenaged male. Except it wasn’t 18 months…..

The kicker is – there was no evidence. This was strictly a He Said – She Said. Why did she level the allegation? All that has been revealed is that it was something he said, that she didn’t like. Certainly not anything worthy of what he received.

So he went to a State Penitentiary. Adolescence over. Dreams evaporated. Life on hold.

Until now. He is 26.

Wanita reached out to her “attacker” through facebook. It’s remarkable that she had the nerve to do this after her deceit, but the depths of her reprehensible behaviour were not limited to this. Amazingly, Brian accepted her friendship request. She then told him that she had lied about the attack, and hoped they could move past it. “Let bygones be bygones.”

*crickets*

What.

The.

HELL?!

It would seem that the “victim” in this crime had fared well. Follow Brian’s conviction and incarceration, Miss Thing decided to sue the high school where the “incident’ took place for lack of security (methinks cameras would have been helpful to prove Brian’s innocence – do YOU see the irony?) and was awarded $1.5 million.

Yup – that my friends, is rock bottom. Money taken out of an already taxed education system to reinforce the lie that ruined a man’s life.

While Brian Banks’ case was immediately taken on by California Innocence Project. Regardless, Brian was branded a convict, and a sex offender. He missed his prom, his chance to be a college star and what most likely would have been a promising career in the National Football League. I don’t want to think about the experiences he did have, thanks to the education he received in jail.

The first injustice is what has happened to Brian Banks. The second is to women all over the world who actually have suffered through kidnapping and sexual assault. It takes a great deal of strength to stand up to someone who has violated you and this woman has added insult to injury.

So what should happen to Wanita Gibson?

In a perfect world, an eye for an eye would apply. She could sit in a jail for the better part of 10 years. She could miss out on the life experiences and day to day existence she has enjoyed while Brian Banks was holed up in a cell. She sure as hell needs to pay back the $1.5 million she obtained fraudulently.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

As a mother, I’m horrified that my son, only two years younger than Brian was when convicted, could have his entire future hijacked by a vengeful girl. As a woman, I’m embarrassed to think that others of my gender are capable of such hateful and destructive behaviour. We cannot be so naive to think that this scenario would never happen. Gender blackmail is an ugly concept that is employed far too frequently.

Brian Banks says he has no ill will toward Wanita Gibson. He seeks no revenge. He is a better person than I, and a saint compared to her. He has said he would like to attempt a career in professional football, but the odds are against him.

I would hope one team would take a chance on him, and give him the chance. After all, doesn’t he deserve it?

 

Definition of Sportsmanship

Definition of SPORTSMANSHIP according

to Merriam-Webster

Pronunciation: primarystressspomacr(schwa)rt-smschwan-secondarystressship, primarystressspodot(schwa)rt-
Function: noun
:¬†conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning
or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport

“Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t
tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.”

­Jim Courier 

“One man practicing good sportsmanship is far better than 50 others preaching
it.”

­Knute K. Rockne 

It would be enough to say we were proud of the season First Bon Son had in
hockey. But to find out he received an award, especially for Most Sportsmanlike
Player, is truly the cherry on top. What makes it extra sweet, is that this year,

the players chose the award winners, so his conduct throughout the season,
in spite of some challenges, has not gone unnoticed by his peers.

In this house, Sportsmanship has been valued at LEAST as highly as
performance and accomplishment. Sports prepare you for the Real World,
and this award shows that FBS making some great steps in the right direction.

Everso proud!