We will be married 12 years in July. Our oldest will turn 10 in July. Our 5th child will be born in July.
This past weekend, my beloved Jayhawks bowed out of the NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight.
You know, for any other program (except maybe UNC, Duke, Kentucky) that would not be cause for major mourning, but rejoicing in a great season.
Yes…other programs would rejoice in their team NOT winning the conference, NOT winning their conference Tourney and NOT getting to the Final Four BUT getting to an Elite Eight. The fact that KU’s cross-state rival, K-State, made it to an Elite Eight last year (and fell short of the Final Four) was the cause of much rejoicing and partying. The fact that our Border-Rival Missouri made it to the Elite Eight in 2009 (and not the Final Four) made their coach much-beloved.
Even the fact that other teams (like Pitt, for example) lost to lower seeds and didn’t even make the Sweet Sixteen doesn’t remove this stigma that KU for some reason didn’t live up to expectations.
In 2011, not one top-seeded team made it to the Final Four. Further…no second-seeded team made it to the Final Four. And Kansas lost to VCU, a team…by the way…that is mature, focused and playing some great ball (and it helps that they shoot lights-out from behind the 3-point arc).
No, I’m gonna say, there’s no shame in KU’s loss. I don’t think there is EVER any shame in being one of the top 8 teams in the tournament.
Add to the Elite Eight appearance the fact that KU – for the 7th consecutive year – won the Big XII title. 7 years in a row, KU is tops in their conference. KU also reclaimed the Big 12 Championship title in the post-season tournament. Oh yeah and their record is 35-3. KU wins a heckuva lot more than they lose.
Being a Jayhawk Basketball fan is bittersweet.
You get to root your team on to a win most of the time. You get to wear your gear and have lots of people in lots of different places say, “Rock Chalk!” There’s a tradition of winning basketball that’s difficult for most other programs to go up against. KU’s first coach was the inventor of the game himself. We’ve had many “greats” play for KU – Wilt Chamberlain being the main one. We have a coaching tree that spans to other great programs – Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp – both known for establishing and nurturing amazing programs at UNC and Kentucky respectively – hail from KU (played together, coached by Phog Allen).
But because your team is in the NCAA tournament every year and usually seeded fairly high, many years, if/when they don’t make it to the Championship game, you have to put up with jubilant “other” fans telling you how your team choked. And you have to listen to pundits talk about how KU didn’t fit the bill…yet again. Even though your team was the only local team to make it that far.
I suppose I will take putting up with the sour “other” fans if it means that every year my team is winning the conference, winning the post-season Championship tournament and getting into the tournament…even highly seeded. By the time you get to the Elite Eight – any team you meet is good. Whether it is because they are on a roll, playing with a major chip on their shoulder or whatever.
It’s true…KU didn’t win the NCAA Championship for 2011 (really? losing in the Elite Eight is a choke?). Fine. It doesn’t mean their season is a major disappointment (I swear MU fans must write all these articles).
Sure, as a KU fan, I’m disappointed they didn’t go all the way. But I think it’s wise to remember that more years than not, KU is not going to go all the way to the Championship. I’m so glad someone reminded me about 8 years ago…ONLY ONE TEAM WINS THE FINAL GAME.
Why would some of my fellow Jayhawk “fans” want to berate this team and what they did not accomplish?
I’m pretty darn proud of our Jayhawks and what they DID accomplish.
Further, I wish VCU well in the Final Four (I have family hailing from Richmond, VA – I’m a fan!) I think we have a VERY good chance of seeing the tournament champion with an 8 or an 11 by their name (indicating their seed).
My mother grew up in a dysfunctional family environment. She was the oldest of the four children and she often described for us how embarrassed she was of her sister, who was severely obese. My mother spoke of days when people would say to her, “You’re the only normal sized one in your family…what happened after you?” So, her resentment of heavy people was deeply rooted and difficult to expel. And she was acutely aware and nervous that any of her children might end up like any of her other siblings.
My biggest focus has become to help us all view each other and ourselves as images of God. God, our Heavenly Father, created us. We need to maintain and care for our bodies. We need to keep them healthy and strong. We must yearn to see what God sees within and without.
*I have since questioned when I was due with Sarah. Because I didn’t chart, I have no idea of conception date and I had irregular cycles from coming off the pill (we weren’t real well-Catechized and hadn’t come into full understanding regarding the Church’s teaching on sex in marriage). Because she was 9 pounds, 9 ounces chances are she wasn’t “early” but since all of my babies since have been about that size, I might have just been 40 weeks.
It’s a Monday and I have some jumbled thoughts to share, so thought I’d go the Mumble route. Have a great Monday! TOOJE usually has some Mumbles up on Mondays. Whether she does today or not…go check her out. She has adorable children!
1. First of all…ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! My team is in the
Final Four Sweet Sixteen (wow…got ahead of myself!! fixed on Tuesday morning). Granted, their bracket is all sorts of messed up with upsets just about everywhere but by them, but they’re still playing!
2. Woke up to this article over at National Catholic Register on the disconnect in the message from “over-population” people to stop having babies…or to control the number and the fact that they are silent regarding whether people should continue to engage in sex. It’s a refreshingly different take on the argument.
3. I have swum four times since my last OB visit. It seems I finally got the motivation I needed to get to the pool…in the form of keeping my weight in check over the four weeks proceeding that check-up.
4. Swimming wears me out like nothing else. When bedtime comes around…I am literally out within a minute. And I feel worn out all day long (when I get it in first thing). The schedule is Wed-Thur and then Sat-Sun. That’s the only way I can get it in with Craig’s work schedule. Longer swims on the weekends. The second day in a row…I REALLY feel the fatigue from the previous day’s swim. But I’m glad to be back in the pool.
5. I take Dominic to his orthopedic checkup today. I noticed last night he was walking more smoothly…like the limp had finally gone. I haven’t seen him really run, yet, though. So, we’ll see. But I’ll be glad to see how it’s doing.
6. My kids go back to school today after spring break. They NEED to go back. This weekend was full of bickering and fussing at each other. I think they are tired of each other.
7. Lent is going fairly well so far. I finally got a book to read to feed my soul…The Virtue Driven Life. It seems to have the premise that we have lost our way when it comes to the virtues these days. I am a little ashamed to admit that at a given moment, I probably couldn’t name the seven virtues. But maybe this will help me!
8. I volunteered to be track coach for grades 4-6 at our parish school. It’s been interesting since I am pregnant and haven’t been running so I can’t really just start running with the kids. I am able to do some of the plyometric exercises though and I love saying (as I keep my plank-hold for the entire minute): “If a 37-year-old 5-months-pregnant woman can do this and keep her belly off the ground, you 10-year-old girls can do it!”
9. I think I’m going to start a “Whine List” and write down all the “Whiny” complaints I get from the
kids girls during workout. “It’s too hard.” “I’m tired.” “I caaaaaannnnn’t do it!” I bet if I focused I could remember the really funny ones.
10. It’s a new week. Boss is back from vacation. I realized I really am just four months away from this little one joining the world and spring is upon us! Life is good.
Have a great day!!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how very different I am as a pregnant woman versus my non-pregnant self. Being pregnant is such a huge blessing, but it’s probably one of those blessings that I overlook due to the fact that there are so many things I don’t like about myself while I’m growing a baby in my womb.
I find that I feel guilty whenever I complain or even think about complaining about my pregnancy. For one thing, how blessed am I to be able to conceive at all? For another, each child is a gift from God, how dare I find one thing wrong with it?
There are so many things that I complain about when pregnant. I gain weight. Quickly. I lack energy for exercise. The last thing I want to put in my mouth is a vegetable or a fruit. Clothes never fit right. I’m short-tempered and easily frustrated with my children. I’m more withdrawn at work. Every time I am out with all of my children, I get this weird sensation that everyone is looking at my belly and wondering what is wrong with me having all these kids. I could go on…but you get the picture.
How much of this comes from within and how much is a product of the society with which I interact?
It seems like I remember while pregnant with Sarah that no one thought it “weird” that I was having a baby. I got lots of fun, nice comments about naming and whether I knew if baby was a boy or a girl. Everyone was excited for the new arrival. When I was pregnant with Dani – again, not a big deal. Everyone seemed to think it was just grand that Sarah would have a sister. What a blessing! I had two girls born in the same time of year – lots of hand-me-downs!
When I was pregnant with Helen, it seemed…again…to be okay (but not AS okay as with Dani) with everyone that I was having another baby. Get it out of the way! Have the babies while you’re young (though I was 32 at this point)! With a third girl on the way, I heard, “Poor Craig” an awful lot and “Craig will never see the bathroom again.” While not overtly negative…we did not get nearly the amount of support that we had gotten in the past.
With Dominic this seemed to be worse. I got a lot more of the comments like, “Don’t you know when to quit?” and “Don’t you know what causes that?” I actually felt keen disapproval from some family members about our decision to grow our family and there’s a section of my family that seems to look down on us for having more than two or three kids.
With both Dominic and Helen, I felt the cloud of depression during the last trimester. With Dominic, it turned into a pretty long stay of Post-Partum Depression…I kind of came out of it when he turned one. I wonder how much of that was caused by the lack of support I perceived from those within my family as well as complete strangers.
What’s really interesting is that this time around, none of that has surfaced. For some reason, I have not experienced one negative reaction to the fact that we are having another baby. Everyone is excited. It’s almost as though I am having my first baby again. I feared informing people of the pregnancy – but those fears have turned out to be completely unnecessary.
And – I’m having a pregnancy where I feel really good about where I am with everything regarding our family. I’m content that I’m 24 weeks along and not wishing I were 40 weeks so I could get this over with. I find myself expecting to go a week overdue and I am okay with that. I am finding the energy to make it to the gym and get in the pool for a swim workout again. While my frustration rears its head every once in awhile with the kids, I have noticed so far that it’s not as bad as it was the last time around. I’m still a little bit more sensitive to criticism, but don’t let things bother me as much. At least I don’t think I do.
Obviously, I haven’t done an extensive, scientific study about whether my experience with family and society at large and their opinions on my childbearing decisions directly correlates to how I feel. It does seem like this time around, I’ve struck a good balance of feeling content about where we are with our family and my experiences with those on the outside of our immediate family unit.
Maybe people are treating me differently.
Maybe I’ve just grown up.