Ode to Wednesday

I think everyone has a favorite day of the week. Some people like Fridays, the end of the work week, a chance to have a few beers and some pizza in front of the TV, maybe, or just because on Friday, you know you don’t have to wake up the next morning before the sun. Others like Sundays, for the slower pace and fat newspapers and an afternoon of football or taking the kids some place fun.

My favorite day is Wednesday. I know, it’s Thursday today, and a fantastic one at that — it’s a quintessential Massachusetts fall day today, with bright sunshine and a cool breeze that makes the leaves swirl off the trees and the Halloween decorations dance from front porches. Fall is my season, and a day like today is my perfect.

But it still is Thursday, which means my beloved Wednesday is over.

The midweek day is a respite for me, a break in the chaos of the other six. By Wednesday, we all have ourselves organized and settled into the daily routine, and our mornings are not rushed as they are on Mondays. The day is also the only one that no one has any sports or activities, which it’s a great chance for the kids to have after-school fun with their friends, unfettered by anything other than homework (which makes them happy, and happy kids means less bickering among them, which makes a happy Mom). It means we can eat dinner at a reasonable hour. We can relax after and read stories or play games or draw pages of pictures. It’s a day that lets us re-energize for all the others.

Today is a glorious one, and I’m charging up my iPod, ever optimistic that I’ll find some time for a walk in the woods. My mood is positive; I am hopeful. And I’m holding the peace of Wednesday in a safe spot in my mind, so when the crazy returns (football practice from 6-7:30, basketball tryouts at 6, mounds of homework and projects and chores), I’ll have the touchstone to remind me that, yes, peace can always be found.




Today, Tim Thomas, you are no hero

It finally happened.

Ice hockey has become a Thing in my house.

I guess I should have seen it coming. We live in Massachusetts, after all, and kids around here seem pop out at birth wearing skates and cheering for the B’s. But I am not from here. I haven’t skated since I was a kid — neither has Ray, who grew up in New York. We’ve never gone to a rink as a family, though Mitzi has gone a few times with friends. As far as watching sports on TV, hockey is about as popular in our house as cricket.

So far it’s just Cooper who’s been growing increasingly interested over the past couple of years, mostly because a few of his friends play (I applaud their parents — aside from the expense of equipment and ice time, those early morning practices are enough to earn you sainthood). Last year he mentioned once that he wanted to give it a try, then never brought it up again. I sighed in relief. Hockey Mom was not my destiny.

This year, though, with the mild winter and new playmates, Cooper, a natural athlete (which is honestly just the truth, not bragging) has had a lot of opportunities to play street hockey. He asked for a net and stick for his birthday, and his generous grandfather complied. It’s now hulking in the basement, and we upstairs are constantly bombarded with the wap, wap, wap as he slapsticks puck after puck. So far, he’s managed to avoid any windows.

Also for his birthday, he’s asked for hockey trading cards to add to his collections of baseball and Pokemon cards so carefully catalogued in three-ring binders. And he wants a jersey of some Bruins player. I know he told me the name, but it wasn’t one of the two I know. I haven’t really remembered a hockey player since I had a teenage crush on Ray Bourque (who was very cute) even though I don’t think I ever actually watched him play a game. He must have been featured in 16 Magazine or Tiger Beat.

All hockey, all the time — all of a sudden.  

So in his emerging hockey obsession, last night Cooper sat through the evening news, refusing to come to dinner, because he wanted to find out why Tim Thomas did not go to the White House to meet the president. I wouldn’t let him miss dinner, so we had to DVR the broadcast.

We still haven’t watched it, but now I have to figure out how to explain to my almost-nine-year-old son that this newfound sports hero was having a moment of selfish brattiness. That the only American citizen on the team couldn’t move beyond his politics and  let his country congratulate him and his teammates on a wonderful accomplishment. That this athlete’s behavior diminished what should have been a singular moment of celebration for the championship players — instead of applauding the men, everyone is now focusing on Thomas’s all-about-me petulance.

Yesterday, Thomas missed the save, the opportunity to show young fans everywhere how to express his personal views to the leader of our country without tantrum or negativity. He missed the chance to show kids democracy in action, as well as showing them that talented and respected athletes, the heroes they worship to passionately, can use their fame and skills to make a difference.

It’s a shame. Cooper loves sports and he loves heroes.

Luckily, Tim Thomas, there are plenty of choices for my son. Today, you’re not one of them.