Growing Up Carter, Life right now

Coach Pitch.

Carter Patrick started playing baseball on a real team and OH MY HELL is it cute.

He is STOKED about the apparel involved. Cleats? Hat? Jersey? Socks that reach his scrawny mid-thigh? Check, check, check. Throw in pants with a little belt, a brand new glove, his own bat, and a helmet, and you’ve got two broke parents and one serious fashionista …isto? Fashion-ister?

(He is a Muckdog. No, I’m not sure exactly what that is, but I Googled it once and it has something to do with feral dogs who hang around onion swamps. Rad.)

Him cheering for teammates and scrunching his eyes under his brim and the surprise on his face when he hits the ball — BASEBALL IS SO CUTE.

And also, baseball is a crucible on my very sanity and patience.

Carter has cried no less than three times about baseball. He asked me if he could quit multiple times a day for a week straight.

He doesn’t cry because he gets hurt or because he strikes out. No, Carter cries because he isn’t instantly perfect at the game and that is earth-shatteringly frustrating. This is how life goes with Carter. Baseball, gymnastics, double-digit subtraction — he would rather just not try something than be bad at it.

So I make him keep doing it, whatever the current ‘it’ is. I am ruthless that way. I rule with an iron fist when it comes to not giving up. I’ve read too much Malcolm Gladwell and Carol Dweck, and also I’m just plain mean. I like to set my kids up to fail, just for spite, obviously. #justmomthings

There’s a sweet spot with every new skill where all of a sudden Carter gets all about it and everything is right with the world again. We reached that point this week with baseball. He’s familiar with the practice set up, the kids, the allocation of drink breaks. He’s hit a few solid line drives, he’s got the hang of this whole catch thing, he’s making less mistakes — which of course is not because HE’S PRACTICING or because Mom and Dad wouldn’t let him throw in the towel. It’s because he is SO GOOD and he loves it and are we watching?

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Yup. Still watching. Choke up on that bat, son.

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Growing Up Carter, Uncategorized

On Carter Patrick and the Whole Ocean.

In three days, Carter Patrick will be five years old.

And there’s so much to tell about him.

The way that he wakes me up every morning, his eyes the only thing I see over the blanket, to tell me good morning.

How he plays the air guitar when he’s singing his signature rock n’ roll song, “I love you, Mom”.

How he runs, full speed, past all the other kindergartners to hug me when I pick him up from school.

How he’s reading and he’s writing and he’s doing math problems.How whenever he writes the daily message faster than his teacher he laughs and says, “You just got beat by a four year old!”.

How when the cashier forgot to give him a sticker at the grocery store, he told me, “She probably thought I was a grownup.”

How when I said I was on edge, he wanted to know why I wasn’t living on the land.

Or how he sticks his tongue out in dance class when he’s learning new moves in dance class.

How even on Jack’s grumpiest days, Carter can make him laugh.

How he wants to be just like Dad, so he draws pictures of the two of them fishing — and they both have beards.

How much he loves hot chocolate and peppermints.

How he holds both my hands in his when he says his prayers.

And just like that, he’s five.

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“Mom, are mountains plants? If there’s oxygen in your blood, does it help you breathe? Does it rain in California? Ok, ok –please don’t call Grammie — I’m going to nap.

Mom? I love you for the whole ocean, and the whole ocean is just ours.”