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Because I’ve been lonely lately (thought Dave’s birthday dinner helped amazingly), because my Oma turns 100 next month, I’ve been looking at a lot of old photo’s.  And I’ve realized I’m lonely partly because my house is so empty.  I’m down to only three kids.  Three kids is sooooooooooo quiet.

Dane is not here today, that makes it mouse-quiet.  Dane is loud. He is an energy ball.  He is a hugger.  When he’s not here, it’s so quiet.  I get a lot done, but sometimes, usually, I’d rather have the noise, the mess, and the hugs that come with Dane in the house.

I envy Dave his one-on-one time with Dane today.  It’s another soccer tournament, this one deep in the forest here.  The kind of indoor soccer hall that suddenly, magically, appears in a thick, dark, grove of trees.  I’m secretly hoping this hosting team has a fabulous baker mom & Dave brings me home some freshly baked Küchen (cake).  Being lonely also makes me hungry for treats.

Tess is leaving for the afternoon, I can hear her scurrying around in her room, in the bathroom, getting ready.  The outdoor ice rink is open.  It’s not quite freezing, but it’s open and she & her friends can.  Not. Wait.  It helps that I picked up an almost brandnew pair of skates at the Entsorgung Unterlagen the last time I dropped off our garbage. It’s not that they were in the trash, you can’t take things out of the trash, but as I was slowly & carefully reading the signs to find exactly which bin my old fan went into, another lady was slowly & carefully reading too.  She had a pair of skates.  A pair of used-three-times &  her daughter grew skates. In a 36.  Tess’ size.  I looked at her, she looked at me, we both snuck a peek at the garbage inspector, and she gave them to me!  Free! So, so, so happy.  And the garbage inspector looked the other way & only gave a little “Hmmmpf” to show his dissatisfaction at the rules not being followed to the exact letter of the law.

That leaves me home alone with Cole.  Cole who is Dane’s age, 7, in the photo below.  Cole who will be leaving home in less than 2 years.  I used to think those years went so slow and now I’m begging the years to slow down.  Stop.  Just stop going so fast!15NOV14_img

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My babbles have been overwhelmingly about Cole (Cole & Football) these last months.  It’s not that I don’t love my other kids, or I don’t see them every day, nor is it because they don’t have stuff too. It’s because Football is just that much of a time suck.  I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is over.  However.

Soccer, also known as Fußball, is apparently year round. I cheered too soon.  As I type Dave & Dane are in the car (affectionately nicknamed Daisy) on their way to Dane’s first . By the way, this does not mean “Indoor Berserk Rounds”.  I had to google that myself after giggling like a goose at the email.  It means District rounds, or tournament.  Oh.  I prefer berserk. Because. A bunch of 7-8-9 year olds running around playing indoor soccer is pretty berserk, loud, wild, crazy!

I actually first discovered Fußball is year-round in September when Coach Wolle (which means “wool” but is short for Wolfgang & also frequently cracks me up) emailed all us Kickereltern with the proposed winter Fußball schedule.  Dude had a tournament scheduled every freaking weekend through February!

We rebelled. Even for the soccer-crazed Germans that was insane.  I’m still confused how Wolle managed to find that many indoor soccer tournaments, within driving distance, in our little neck of the Schwarzwald.  All our villages are small.  The Schwarzwald is huge (according to Wiki it is 6,009 km²), but most villages are small & nestled in the hills kilometers apart.

So now we have one, maybe two, monthly indoor soccer tournaments all winter.  This is doable, and it makes Dane incredibly happy.  In fact, he’s so happy today he begged to pose for a picture before running out the door.  It was only after posing, after I snapped & approved the shot, that he gave me a mischievious little grin & asked if I captured his loose tooth poking almost straight out.

He knows those loose teeth poking in every direction are driving me crazy.   I love my little toothless wonder!


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Football (Football Mom, Friday Night Lights, Football is a way of Life).  Football is taking up all my free time. The request for volunteers pour in on a daily basis. I had NO idea anything could be more intense than being a soccer mom.  Now I know.

The awesome part, well parts, is that we are building an all-new friendship circle and family. Even awesomer is that Cole absolutely loves it & is shining.  He is a new, much-less-surly, loveable, but smelly, boy.  Manboy.  He is huge!  Even without all that padding. Not that the padding is working 100%.

Saturdays game was a tough one. The opposing team traveled all the way from our base in Lakenheath,England, that’s 18 hours on a bus! Those poor boys could barely keep their eyes open at the team dinner Friday night.  Thankfully they seemed much more rested for the game.

Cole played first string that day.  First string varsity! I’m impressed, he may be a Junior but it’s also his first year playing football.  Cole was ecstatic.  He got to be in for every defensive play.  And he did good.  Maybe a little too good.

Near the end of the game Cole tackled a Lakenheath player, a good, clean tackle, but the other boy landed on top of one of our guys.  Just the wrong way.  The field was immediately quiet as coaches from both teams ran to his aid.  The football players on both teams took a knee and watched anxiously. Usually, after a minute or two, the injured player gets up and resumes play… or worst case scenario, hobbles back to the bench.  Not this time.

This time the on-scene krankenwagen (ambulance) was called in and we all held our breaths as they administered first aid.  Pretty soon it was obvious the boy was not getting up.  Fairly soon after that, his leg was splinted and the gurney brought out to the field.  My heart sank.

Thankfully the boy was moving & gave a wave as they wheeled him away.  Shortly thereafter play resumed as well.  Shortly after that Cole took a helmet hit to the thigh & hobbled off the field himself.

Happily, Cole was okay.  In fact, with his adrenaline pumping he was okay enough to go back in and join in the last handfuls of play.  The Panthers winning easily.

Cole & I checked with the Lakenheath team to find which hospital the injured player was in (the Stuttgart area has five different hospitals, each with their own strengths, people are taken to the best-for-their-injury hospital not the nearest one).  We know how terrible German hospital food is, and we wanted to bring him dinner and our apologies. It was a clean hit, but it never feels good to land someone in the hospital.  Luckily, he was being discharged with a bad sprain!

Still, his leg can’t have felt good.  His injury required a hospital trip. Cole came home with us, but after sitting in the car he had a very hard time standing on his leg and bearing any weight.  That boy is too big to carry!  Of course he asked, he even tried to hop on my back.  Like I can piggyback a moose!

Thank God for Dane. Dane ran and got a wheelchair and joyfully, erratically, wheeled Cole around the store.  I’m not sure who giggled more, Cole, Dane or all the people we passed.


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