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.
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 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?
Douglas came home yesterday from school feeling a bit bummed. His Nike ACGs started to come apart on him. They were his favorite shoes. Time to go shoe shopping.
We get to the store and find a style we liked. I instinctively grabbed a pair of size 4-½ thinking he moved up a half-size from the 4’s he was wearing. Nope. Way, way too small. We ended up getting a size 5-½.
I asked Doug if his old shoes were hurting his feet. He said “a little”. He’s grown almost two sizes in half a year. Douglas is growing up fast.