Yesterday was the first Beach Day for the McCarthy Family since school started. It was also the first time that all three kids, Alex and I were going to the beach together. I think Alex was looking forward to this more than the kids.
We packed the car with our beach essentials – boogie boards, beach chairs, surfboard, frisbee, footballs, sand toys, wetsuits, shovels and a cooler of food. We arrive at 11am in Morro Strand beach off of 24th street in Cayucos to clear, calm and warm weather.
Courtney and I spent a good part of the day boogie boarding. Douglas and I dug a big hole in the beach. Alex and I threw the frisbee and football a lot, she’s quite good at both. Savannah enjoyed the break from her homework and practice. It was the most fun we have had together in a long, long time.
Today Douglas starts Fifth Grade. He looks so young and full of life. I met his Teacher today and she’s very enthusiastic. Doug’s got a wonderful year ahead of him.
Me, I look like I’m a hundred years old. I feel it too.
Had an awards ceremony today at Santa Margarita Elementary School. The Principal announces the Math Award by saying “and I understand Douglas is some sort of a Math Wizard.”
Darn right he is. Congratulations Son.
Opening Day is one month away. Today we start practice. Douglas is taking a big step up for a 10-year old. He’s moving up to the Majors division, playing with 11 and 12-year olds.
Last season was a breakthrough for Douglas. He was one of the starting pitchers in our rotation. There was only one other 9-year old in the AAA division who pitched as consistently as Douglas. Douglas pitched three solid innings in our Championship Game and helped us win. That’s a photo of him in that game.
In the Majors, he’s going to face better hitters. It’s not going to be easy for him to get strikeouts. As a hitter, he’s going to face bigger kids. They all throw hard, some throw 65mph. He’s going to have to work harder, harder than he’s ever done. Practice will be less play, and more work on skills and drills. Douglas can’t coast on his natural athletic ability anymore. This is the Majors.
This will be my third year managing Little League. I’ve finished in second and first place. I hope my players do well in the Majors. I have a good approach to developing ball players. Getting a group of boys to work as a team, to believe in themselves, to do their best, to play safe, to learn baseball skills, to being a good sport, takes a lot of my energy.
I’m eager to get all my new players together. I’m nervous about meeting their parents for the first time. Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much energy running this team. Then I think about what it means to Douglas and the rest of the boys. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Douglas was playing with some Legos and he decided to take a picture of it. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Douglas is still home with a sore throat. He just beat me again at chess. He just took his Queen to d1 and checkmate. He’s turning into a little Kasparov.
Douglas is home from school today. Yesterday he came down with a bad cough. I’m keeping him home until it totally clears up.
I haven’t been able to get much work done around here. We got to enjoy a bacon & eggs breakfast together. And we played a few games of Chess.
I stupidly lost my Queen in the last game and he proceeded to take away all my pieces one by one until it was just my King left. Then he chased me into a corner into checkmate, all while avoiding stalemate.
Kid’s ruthless, even if he isn’t feeling 100%.
Thanksgiving last year was a challenging time for the McCarthy Family. Being that it was the first one without Janet was hard enough. Complexing matters was that I had a fractured right hand from a Mt Bike accident. Somehow I managed to stuff the bird, carve it up and cook a delicious six-course meal using only my left hand.
I look forward to Thanksgiving every year. I enjoy the preparation and cooking of the bird. Sometimes I would experiment with a different stuffing recipe. It always was delicious, better that any turkey my relatives cooked.
A few years ago Janet suggested we have Thanksgiving with the Arndts next door. I thought it was a great idea, being that it was outdoors and all. I said that I’d do the turkey. Janet said no, the neighbors were doing it. Next year, same thing. And the following year, same thing. I was relegated to not cooking the bird, not cooking anything. I didn’t even get to carve anything. And I let her get away with it.
This year we have Alex with us. Her, Courtney and I have a whole menu of delicious things to cook for tomorrow’s feast. Courtney already started by making rolls today. I’m looking forward to doing the turkey, the cranberries, and the sweet potatoes. They’re helping with the stuffing and gravy, green been casserole, apple pie, pumpkin pie, stuffed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cookies and apple salad.
I’m looking to a fabulous dinner tomorrow with Alex and my three kids. So are Alex, Savannah, Courtney and Douglas. Should be an epic Thanksgiving Feast. Hope yours is too.
Last weekend I took Douglas riding in the new Euco Skills Park. It was Doug’s first time riding ladder bridges. He had a ball.
Alex and I left the house this afternoon for a few hours. When we got back I found this little ladder bridge that he hammered together.
Isn’t it cool?