Monday, October 29, 2012

Creating Wonder

Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
~Henri Matisse~

I'm sure it's true of all parents, but there are so many days when I just sit and marvel at Wonder Boy and I revel in the Wonder that is our Boy. To see his mind at work, to try to see the world through his lens ... it sends shivers down my spine.

Wonder Boy is a creative force! And it is something that I greatly admire about him. It started from an early age. He sees the world in a different light than I do. And rather than frustrate me, it inspires me (mostly). When he was tiny, we could see it in his play. Watching him put together a puzzle one day, I realized he wasn't matching up the pieces by color (like I naturally do) but rather by the physical shape of each individual piece. As he grew, you could hear it in the rhythm of his speech. Even after years of speech therapy, he has his own way of getting his point across. And today, as he is firmly stepping into his adolescence, you can see it in the way he learns, the manner in which he simply absorbs new skills.

Wonder Boy goes through phases of creative explosions. Usually we will see these explosions when he is picking up something new. This summer, you might recall, he got all fired up when he learned how to make paracord bracelets. He made them for all of his friends and Wonder Dad and I both sport several each as well! A few years back he studied up on balloon twisting and for months each visitor to the house left with a souvenir.

Right now though, he seems to be taking it to a new level! There is music in the house thanks to his viola. He looks forward to his practice time. In fact, he enjoys it so much, we have to make sure he has all of his other homework done before we let him begin or he loses track of time and can get behind in his academics before he realizes it. He's also revisiting his love of Origami. Like a lot of kids, he loves making paper air planes, but simple planes were not enough. So he found books, websites, and on-line videos to help him kick it up a level. Now we're finding everything from animals to ornaments to more planes than you can shake a stick at around the house.

And if this were not enough, as we edge closer to all of the fall holidays, there are more opportunities for a creative kid to make his mark.

This week we have been working on our Day of the Dead sugar skulls. The whole family has joined in the fun molding and decorating our confectionery creations. We also worked on getting our Halloween decorations up. And after a trip to the hobby supply store, we are dreaming of all the creative fun that Thanksgiving and Christmas will bring as well!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Almost Perfect Day for Soccer

Today was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day and there is no better way to spend it than at the soccer fields, if you ask me!

We had another cool front blow in this weekend. Temps at game time were in the low 60s, which is chilly by Texas standards. I think it was more noticeable to those of us on the sidelines than the players, but still, picture perfect weather for fall soccer!

This game was to be a highly anticipated rematch with their opening weekend opponent. That game ended in a hard fought tie and the teams matched up really well in skill, size, and enthusiasm. I know Wonder Boy at least stepped onto the pitch this week ready for another tough, exciting game.

And in fact, the action of the game turned out to be all we had anticipated and more! Both teams came out hot and put everything they had into their efforts. Wonder Boy's team jumped out to an early lead, but despite their valiant efforts, they just couldn't hold on for the win.

With the way these kids match up, I know they'll all be looking forward to the chance to meet up again in the tournament in a few weeks.

As for us, the spectators of the game, it was just plain ELECTRIC to sit there on the side lines and cheer for our guys! I know they lost, but it was STILL a lot of fun to watch. Both teams worked so hard and they both had ample opportunity to clinch the win. You can't be disappointed to see that kind of effort, no matter which side comes out on top.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mid-Season in the Midfield

Soccer season is in full swing now and Wonder Boy is busy soaking up every sweaty moment of it! He seems to be finding his niche with his coach and team. It's no surprise to us, but he again seems most comfortable in the midfield.

His passing skills are continuing to improve and he always seems to have a good feel for where his teammates are at and where they are going. I believe this is what makes his passing so effective.

He's also getting a bit more time in the back field, adding a bit more depth on defense. And while this may not be his favorite spot to play, he certain is helping his team and is very good at disrupting the opposing offense's attacks.

This game ended up in another loss, but Wonder Boy and his team had a lot of chances to pull even or perhaps even take the lead. They are working hard in practice and we see improvement every week. It's only a matter of time until they put it all together on game day as well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tough Loss

Game 3 for the fall season found the weather returned to hot and, of course, Wonder Boy had a noon start time. Oh, well.

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start - the Boy's team was down a handfull of players and had to start with 1 fewer on the field than the opposing team (and no subs on the sidelines either). Eventually a couple of stragglers made it to the park so that the team had enough guys to even up players on the field, but they had to work through the heat with only one substitute.

That said, the Panthers (that's the team name) continued to battle hard and kept things close throughout.

Wonder Boy got to start on defense this time was and even chosen to take a couple of goal kicks in the first half. For a kid that looks like he could be blown over in a stiff wind, the Boy has quite a leg on him and I think he really surprised the opposing team in that regard as his goal kicks soared overhead.

In the second half Wonder Boy returned to playing midfield and we, again, got to see him shine. I am in awe of how well he sees the field. He's always looking to find the open man and works hard to get the ball at their feet. I so wish I had a bit of that instinct in me.

In the end, the other team edged out a one point win. But again, we were super proud of the way Wonder Boy and his team fought the good fight. They never gave up and they had every opportunity to at least tie the game if not win it outright.

Personally, I am hoping for a return to cooler weather for this next game! But you can bet we'll be yelling our heads off on the sidelines regardless.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Funny Thing About Fall Soccer ...

Fall in Texas is an odd time, to say the least. More often than not, you can't really tell the difference between summer and fall, aside from the occasional thunderstorm.

Week #1 of fall soccer found it HOT. Temps were around 95F at game time. And you could tell. The poor kids were drenched to the bone within just a few minutes.

Week #2 we actually had a rain out! Sure, the kids were disappointed, but we really needed the rain! So we had a quiet family day and enjoyed the gentle soaking rain.

Week #3 however brought a rare cool weather game! Wonder Boy had an early game, 9am, and temps were not expected to top 65F!

It's fun to see the kids bundled up on the walk to the fields. Sure, they warm up awful quick, but I noticed a boost in their endurance and those of us on the sidelines were much more comfortable than usual too.

This was another truly exciting match! Wonder Boy and company struggled to put points on the board, with two goals being called back for off-sides fairly early on. One of those was a really close call and we fans couldn't believe it was called back. Then the other team found the net and we all fretted that the guys would go home wondering "what if" about those 2 missed opportunities. But like they did in week #1, Wonder Boy and company dug deep and found the net with just a few minutes to spare to get the tie! Wonder Boy even got an assist on that goal!

Great way to spend a fine fall morning, if you ask me!