And all the December lights were shining

A good week on the teenage parenting frontline

See this is the thing with committing to produce a fresh blog piece from the oven every Monday: sometimes it comes out finger-lickin’ good, and sometimes it’s an unsavoury mess.

But this one, this one I write with helium-gas fingers bouncing giddily across my keyboard.

Can’t get those letters, words, and paragraphs down fast enough.

So much to talk about in 1000 words max.

It’s been a good weekend.

O off to the second of two football trials over the weekend yesterday, and himself and his sister K jabbering away in the back of the car.

She is in great form, chatting normally with us, on her way to meet her pal, and the two of them off into town on their own to do some Christmas gift shopping.

All talk of Dublin City and the majestic lights over Grafton Street and instructions from A and I on where to go for the stuff she has in mind.

Usually K and O are hived off in separate iPhone worlds on opposite corners of the seat, or bickering when K starts singing – loudly, as she does – and he’s soon grunting “Shudd uppPPPP”.

Oh, oh … spoke too soon.

O peeps around the corner and asks if he can use the computer for five minutes, something to do with installing software for a minor change in the control interface on his PS4. Or something like that.

This becomes 10 minutes at least and involves Dad helping with opening software from an unidentified developer and trusting his son’s promises that his computer will not explode or take in a fatal virus.

But it’s done and he’s happy.

Can you imagine Tolstoy having to come off draft 26 of War and Peace because his 13-year-old had a PS4 issue!

But it’s fine for draft one of‘s latest meister-work!

O’s search for a new team continues, and this time there is joy.

On Saturday, it was into Dublin City centre to try out for another of the city region’s finest teams.

It’s funny, but the signs were good from the off. O was light-spirited, no bother taking his Weetabix and hot milk on board.

And this carried into the trial. He was on the balls of his feet, controlling the ball, moving and passing with precision and conviction even in the kick around before the start.

Oran kicking (1)
O in full-on training mode a few years back

Soon he was in the thick of a mini five-a-side tournament with the other 20-odd triallists.

The club play on a fantastic astro pitch, and the first team guys were down on the far end of the pitch training.

O impresses in the five-a-side and 15 minutes in, the head coach calls him over and tells him to go down and introduce himself to the coach taking the first team’s training session.

He’s training with the big boys!

Dad and Mom are looking in through the mesh from an adjoining pitch, halfway to blue-cheeked petrification, and there is even a short but intense ice-coated rain blast from the grey Baltic heavens to make sure.

The glamour!

But O is in there, looking thoroughly at home with these lads.

It’s impressive stuff, the speed and crispness of the passing drills, and a warm thrill in the tummy when we hear the coach commend our boy’s efforts by name.

They are there for over two hours, with a full on 11-a-side match to finish.

O is beaming when he eventually comes over to us at the end.

I was in the toilet when the head coach came over to A and, talking directly to O, invited him to training next week, and told him he would sign him if he was interested.

O is not given to overstatement, but when he observed in the car that “I could not have imagined that going any better”, A and I just grinned to each other in silent delirium.

That evening we went to a lovely house party, and my abiding memory of the evening is the discussions everywhere in the jabbering kitchen on dealing – coping – with our teenage offspring.

These became more animated as more and more wine, beer and delicious home-made pizza went down.

Savoury to go with the unsavoury!

No matter what war story one shared, or jaw-dropping interaction with surly son or daughter one recounted, there was as bad, and sometimes even reassuringly worse coming back from fellow front-line combatants.

This was M.A.S.H. without the blood!

But it was such fun to let off steam, and embellish the conflicts in the telling!

The next afternoon O was to play a friendly with another top class team who, this time, had contacted us to inquire if he wanted to try out for them.

It was only Siberian-cold on the sidelines as we noted they were to play three half-hour tranches of football. Three! O is still stiff from yesterday but ready to go again. Three half-hours!

O has to sit, or rather stand out, the first half-hour, but then as they huddle, O gets his top off, and he’s out there.

He does really well. He starts off competently, and as the match progresses, he’s advancing up the field, directing the other players more and more, and altogether impressive.

The head coach had told me a couple of days ago, he was trying out loads of kids, and would not be finalising his squad until January.

That evening a message drops into my phone. The coach is very impressed and says that although he won’t be deciding his squad yet, he would be happy to sign O up.

Job done. Two trials, two options.

Game on!

We can’t forget out girl.

She loved her outing into town, and banished her Mom from the kitchen as she showed me the beautiful Christmas gift she had bought for her.

I told her about O’s trials and how delighted myself and her Mom were with how things were going for the two of them.

She is really involved in her school work, and loving art in particular, producing some really lovely drawings.

It is so wonderful to see her engrossed in perfecting the charcoaled lips or eyes of a figure in her sketch pad, and trying to get her to leave it for now and go off to bed.

Yes, a good weekend. 

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48 comments on “And all the December lights were shining

  1. So happy to read about your family’s good weekend! Your son looks like he gives his all to his game, at least in the picture you showed. I’m glad he is getting some recognition for his efforts. We do (usually) want our kids to have what they strive for, don’t we?

    Is that 1000 word thing an unwritten rule? I always feel that pressure too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a rule of thumb for me Laurie as I feel anything longer stretches the general reader’s attention span!! He sure does give his all – playing football anyway! Thanks for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wordfoolery

    Good to hear it’s not just my teen house where you have to follow a zillion stories at once and be interrupted for parent tech support at any moment. Fun read, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you only knew how daft the idea of me offering tech support is!!! Luckily enough it was an easy thing to resolve!!. Thanks for your comment


  3. Sounds like you had a great weekend. 😊 #MixItUp

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some weekends just raise the bar don’t they? You certainly had a lot going on! I can remember being like your daughter and getting so engrossed in my artwork that I’d lose track of time…I went on to get my degree and work in visuals and design so keep on encouraging her talent. Oh, and my favourite part was the alcohol Fuelled parents get together rant off…is there anything better? #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, it is good to get together for a good wine-fuelled moan!!! It would be good if our daughter can find a way to use her creative talents to make a living … the world has more than enough accountants!!! And before you say it, I know plenty of accountants … lovely people! Thanks for commenting


  5. Well that didn’t take long did it? Well done O! It sounds like you had a good weekend and I agree there is nothing better than a good story telling session about the teenage offspring. Good weeks of parenting are truly a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great to hear things are going well for both of them, allowing their parents to reflect in the happy glow. Long may it last!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh wow what wonderful news. It is so lovely to have these parenting win moments and to see your children happy. Loved reading this. #mixitup

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Catie. Thanks for that. It really is worth anything to see the happiness this brought to our boy, after quite a tough few months. He is a great but of stuff. And our girl too is in a good place recently. We’ll take it before normal service is resumed!!


  8. So happy about your truce xx Well done to O for his amazing trials. #mixitup

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow sounds like a busy, but great weekend. Well done O on the footie trials! Thanks for linking up to #ItsOK


    • Hi Helen … it was that: busy and great. Delighted for our boy, after such a bad last few months he needed a change of fortune and he did it all through his own ability and determination. Thanks for your lovely comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like a very good weekend. Thanks for sharing it with us. #Triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tracey Carr

    Isn’t it great when you have one of those lovely weekends? I look forward to them so much because I feel it is the time when the four of us get to spend some real quality time together and it means to much. Midweek often feels like just a blur! I’m glad you had such a good weekend that it inspired you to write it down! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well Enda, I can imagine your fingers deftly gliding across the keyboard on that occasion! That sounds like a truly awesome weekend. May those Christmas lights keep a burning!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I do love a happy weekend tale! Thank you for sharing with #TriumphantTales

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dave - Dad's Turn

    Sounds like an awesome weekend! Love the multitasking going on there, truly dading it #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lots of parenting wins and feel-good memories! #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

  16. viewfromthebeachchair

    Looks like a successful week. Glad the fam is doing well. #thatsatsesh

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So great that the teens are having a banner week! And how amazing that O was signed to a team earlier than the coach even planned on! #GlobalBlogging


  18. well done to the teen for his football achievements #triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Glad you all had such a great weekend and that your son was so successful at the trials. Thanks for joining us on the #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Daydreamer mum

    There’s something reassuring when the kids can manage a conversation isn’t there?? A good weekend can just take all the gripes and problems and make them a little quieter #blogcrush


  21. #thesatsesh thank heavens, I’m not sure i could continue to read failed trial posts. lol

    Well done to all and we all deserve a good weekend….every weekend 🙂 heres to more in 2019


  22. How lovely to read such a feast of positivity, wonderful! Big congrats and well done to your son, fantastic news about the teams, I hope he’ll be very happy with whichever one of them he chooses. And best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the new year! x #thesatsesh

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Malin. Thanks have actually turned a little weird with regard to the team situation since: One coach withdrew his offer (not our lad’s first choice anyway, but still strange behaviour from the coach) and now the other one has not committed either. We still aren’t sure, which is hard on our boy!!! Thanks for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that. How cruel of them to offer it and then turn around and withdraw it. Hope it all works out for the best in the end, he’s clearly got talent and ability! X

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Malin … it’s a tough place to be, when you are playing at a good level but in the position where it is down to the opinion of coaches whether you are in or out. The trick is to be so good they can not block you. The truth is our lad is there or there abouts. We just wish he gets sorted so he can just concentrate on playing, without any of this nonsense to fret over. Fingers crossed!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, fingers crossed for him! Even at top level, you sometimes see very talented sportsmen getting messed about by thoughtless coaches/managers/agents etc, it’s sad to see. Hoping for the best for your lad! X


  23. Nothing beats a good weekend, amidst all the bickering 🙂 #itsoklinky

    Liked by 1 person

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