So far, this summer has come out swinging. Literally.
Over the past few weeks, Charlie has been grinding his way through his first season of t-ball, in our local 4 and under league. I was so excited by the idea of him being old enough to play, that I offered up my services as an assistant coach, thinking this would be an incredible bonding experience that I could share with my son.
The practice nights spanning the entire season have certainly had their share of ups and downs. We’ve dealt with getting lost and being late for several away games; having to pull over and spring into a Google-Maps-Waze-accessing frenzy, double checking street addresses, all while barking at the navigation system. Clearly, buying that soothing, sexy ‘cougar’ navigation voice for 99 cents hasn’t deterred me from getting upset.
We’ve dealt with my son over-exaggerating, walking around in his cleats like I’d strapped Folger’s cans to his feet, falling down in the middle of practice, whining about how baseball is ‘such hard work and takes a long time’. I was intrigued (and a bit sad) by the way my son listened to the other dad coaches, but wanted nothing to do with my suggestions or instruction. I came to realize that this was normal.
And none of this takes into account the 90° heat/95% humidity with swarming gnat outbreaks every Thursday night and Saturday morning that made you feel like you were practicing in the depths of the Congo.
But with the small handful of taxing moments, there were also so many good ones.
I got to feel the excitement of taking the field on opening day as a ‘dad coach’, hustling onto the infield with a fantastic group of little 4-year olds in their brand new uniforms. It was fulfilling and nostalgic to help instruct the kids, working on simple skills in a game that I’ve loved since I first played back in 1984.
I relived my childhood memories of lining up after each game and high-fiving the opposing team, yelling ‘good game, good game’ and then putting our hands into a circle to leave the field with a ‘Go, Red Sox!’ NOTE: I LOBBIED HARD FOR A DIFFERENT NAME (LIKE THE PHILLIES) AND THIS STINGS EVERY TIME I HEAR IT.
But most importantly, I got to watch the excitement on my son’s face as he smacked the first hit of his life…and the last one of his season.
Charlie’s last bat of the season. Good cut! #prouddad A video posted by Adrian Kulp (@dad_or_alive) on
With baseball ending yesterday, it only opens up a little more time for other things this summer. Visits to our local orchard to pick our own fruits and vegetables, camping and fishing at the lake, swimming at the neighborhood pool, practicing fielding grounders in the backyard…
OR, my wife’s first order of business as we drove home from the season-closer, binge-stopping at every yard sale along highway 27. Evidently her idea of squeezing more things into summer includes picking up retro cookie jars and vintage Pyrex bowl sets for bargain prices.
With little time left yesterday before I agreed to play in the all-dad neighborhood softball game, we stopped at home to change and refuel. I’m one of those guys that likes to cook all the time – crafting meals to entertain, homemade soups on a cold day, even down to classic sandwiches on a summer weekend – but with three kids and the summer hitting at full-tilt, I don’t always have time for that.
Yesterday I gave something new a shot. Stouffer’s (maker of my life favorite, the French Bread Pizza) has given me a healthy wingman. I knocked out that Cilantro Lime Chicken with all white meat mixed with seasoned brown rice in a verde tomatillo sauce with a wingman of it’s own, a tasty black bean and corn mix.
This thing was damn good. My wife actually got sick of me telling her how good it was, especially as I kept mentioning that it had 25 grams of protein – ‘You’ve said it three times already! Stop bothering me, I’m cleaning off my new cookie jars.’
The reality is, aside from annoying your wife, it’s nice to have quick and healthy options for the times when you ACTUALLY don’t have the time to cook.
These entrees are crushing it… and gave me the energy to do the same last night at the neighborhood softball game.
A photo posted by Adrian Kulp (@dad_or_alive) on
So far, we’ve got a ‘good game’ going this summer – and I’ve got a couple of great wingmen to help.
Of course, I’ve partnered with Life of Dad and Stouffer’s® on this post, was compensated and received product for my participation, but the thoughts, story and opinions are all mine, baby. Please let me add, that the Cilantro Lime Chicken entree devoured by me above isn’t the only #FitKitchen recipe available – they also come in Steak Fajita, Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey, Monterey Chicken, Bourbon Steak and Oven-Roasted Chicken – all packed with AT LEAST 25 grams of protein.