Thursday, October 4, 2012

Danger in suburbia

Yesterday I found out from my neighbor that a convicted sexual offender had moved in just up the road. He was convicted of sexual assault on a 13 year old girl. 

He happens to live very close to where my 6th grader catches the bus in the morning. 

Of course it sent chills down my spine and the proximity freaked me out. 

Once I had taken a deep breath I realized a couple of things:

Suburbia is like any other place, you find all kinds of people here living side by side.

In the city we were probably surrounded by convicted criminals and we just didn't know about it.

At least here, I know that we live in a community where we look out for each other, especially our kids. I can't tell you how quickly my friend's email went viral around our neighborhood. 

So this man is living down the street, close to potential targets but he is surrounded by vigilant, caring parents who will now be even more vigilant.

One last thought,  people who are considering a move to the burbs because it's safer, should really think that through. It just like everywhere else.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Soccer Coach

Since I was going to be at all of my daughter's soccer games I decided to take the soccer mom thing to the next logical step and be a coach. 

I got the background check, I did the online training and then patiently waited to see who my co-coach would be. The one that would make coaching 10 kindergarteners fun ! 

Three days before the season begins an e-mail from the soccer commissioner finally arrives. In it I found out that I'm coaching with two other dads. 

"What!!! I'm coaching with two other guys?!" I say to my husband. 

This threw me off the whole ideal that I was going to have a fun girlfriend and together we would be great models for our girls. It also set me off on a "hear us roar" soliloquy...

"If these guys think that I'm going to pick up the team t-shirts, get the team list out to the parents, send out reminder emails and organize snack while they sit back and pretend to coach the kids, they are dead wrong!" I say to my husband who at this point just knows it's better to nod and say nothing!

"And by the way I am not sending that first email to my co-coaches, I'm not doing any organizing!"

Five hours later.

I get this really sweet email from co-coach 1 saying that he'll read over all of the league information and send an email to the team parents. Co-coach 2 sends an email saying that he's picked up the team ball and would love to share some ideas on how we can co-coach over a BBQ at his house! Co-coach 2 changed his business trip so he could be at his daughter's first soccer practice and this weekend brought his co-coaches soccer whistles! They've turned out to be fun, chill and great partners!

What can I say? We city girls have a lot of pre-conceived notions about soccer in suburbia. Some of them are true (you'll be hearing about them I'm sure in the coming weeks) but sometimes you get a nice surprise!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Note to self

This Monday morning was a little bit more rushed than usual.
But I managed to make everyone lunch, morning snack and breakfast. Remembered Theo's library book and Bella's PTA note. I remembered to give school supplies for the kids' class. Most importantly I remembered it was picture day so I made sure Theo wore a clean shirt and braided Bella's hair. I felt pretty good about doing all of that in an hour.

In the middle of this whirlwind, my 6th grader was having a hard time getting up this morning so I sweetly offered to drive him to school, half way across town. You can't be late in middle school or you get a detention! So we hop in the car, make our way through the traffic and make it to the front of the school with 2 minutes to spare. I'm feeling so good that we've made it when I look down and realize that I'm wearing my pink pajama bottoms and a bright pink flimsy tank top and that Gabriel needs me to get out of the car and open the door for him. Of course behind me is a line of cars waiting and with parents watching me get out of the car. I forget to unlock the back door so I have to go around the car twice, totally exposed. And it gets worse I look up to see the new Middle School principal standing in front of the school watching me!

Ok I guess 6th grade isn't socially embarrassing enough I had to go ahead and make it just a little bit more awkward!!!!! ( At least I turned down the dance music before we got in front of the school)

Note to self: Remember to change out of your pj's at all times. Don't assume that you won't have to get out of the car. 

Note to self 2: Remember not to wear pink to the meet the principal at back to school night later this week, maybe he won't make the connection!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Here's the problem!

On Tuesday a 15 year old cross country runner got hit by a minivan. Everyone had an opinion about it! 

My take is that drivers in Westport think they are superheroes. Everyone here thinks they can drive a car, text, speak on the phone and yell at their kids in the back sit all at once and still get from point A to point B without hurting anyone!

Today I was behind a car that had a bumper sticker that really spoke to me. It read "Put the phone down and no one will go hurt."

I loved it and instantly wanted one for my car.

Two seconds later I saw the driver of the car not only look down at her phone to read a text, as she was pulling away, but she put on her glasses because she couldn't read the text, as she was driving. 

There you have it in a nutshell, why none of us are safe on the roads of Westport. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Enjoy the silence!

This morning at around 8:01am I thought I heard a collective sigh of relief in Westport. 
I'm pretty sure that it came from all of the mothers who got their kids off to their first day of school!

Of course we'll miss those lazy summer days with our cherubs but let's be honest, having a few hours of silence will be nice won't it?

Be honest! It's nice to get a break! How are you going to spend your first day?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soccer Mom

For me and many other city girls there are two uber symbols of suburbia: the minivan and the soccer mom.

When I moved here three years ago, my husband rented a minivan for my trip from the city to our new house in Westport. I cried so hard and my reaction was so violent, that he promptly cancelled the reservation and got me an SUV instead. The minivan has never come up again.  ( I know, I know it's the most practical vehicle for families, it's my personal mental limit)

Fast forward three years...I am a soccer mom.

How did this happen to a city girl you ask?

How did this happen to me I ask?

Well future suburban moms beware, it happens in a flash!

Here's how it happened to me.

Your kid is born into a Spanish family that lives and breathes soccer. In fact, his first uniform is given to him at birth.

He innocently plays soccer in the park with his dad.

He takes the cute pre-school soccer classes in Central Park.

He gets into Kindergarten and joins the local soccer league with all of his friends.

He plays a couple of years on the regular soccer league. One practice, one game a week. Not so bad.

Turns out the kid is pretty good and the talented kids try out for travel soccer. So of course you want the best for your kid, if he's good enough let him try out. (I was torn for the entire selection process! Hoping for him he'd get in, hoping for me that he'd be rejected!)

Oh no he makes the team! He gets his own number, a full uniform with his name on it, that's the sweet side. The downside, all of your sudden he has a pre-season clinic during summer break, two practices a week, two games a week one on Saturday and one on Sunday. A tournament during the nicest long weekend of the fall.

But hold on, it doesn't stope there. Your second son also likes to play soccer and the "baby girl", who is now entering Kindergarten wants to be in the game!

Here's the status:  my kids are exercising, learning the ins and outs of being a good team member, making friends, gaining confidence and I have to drive them to a soccer event 6 days out of 7 every single week!

I am my worst nightmare, I am a soccer mom (tequila anyone?).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Make it stop!

Tropical storm Irene has brought an early start for fall clean up.....which means it's the start of hours and hours of my most hated noise in suburbia the #@#$ leaf blower!

You know the folks out here love their lawns to look as though they lived in TV land so it's a sin to have one leaf lying on your lawn or around your flowers.

You know it's all about convenience out here so it's a minority of us who actually rake and put the leaves in a bag....and then while we work we have to listen to the incessant buzz of leaf blowers. Of course because the majority of people use them it means that when one stops another one begins and before you know it you've spent your entire weekend "in the country" listening to leaf blowers!

My neighbor's leaf blower started at 8:30 this morning and it's hasn't stopped since! (not an exactly efficient tool) I wish I could make it stop. But I can't so I'll just close the windows :(