I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately. The other night I was driving over to the high school to pick up a kid from swim practice. A soccer match was underway next door, and I had to stop to allow players and parents to cross the street. I felt an incredible surge of jealously as they passed in front of my stupid van, and suddenly all the bitterness of my oldest son not making the team this summer came flooding back. I just wanted to floor it!
When I mentioned the near “code red” incident to Doo, he said straight up, “You’ve got to move on!”
But that’s the problem. Almost two months have passed, and I still weep for my son (and curse those who made the team) when I remember that he won’t be able to compete in a sport for his school. He won’t have that camaraderie that comes from being with a group of teammates twenty-four-seven. He won’t ever be cheered on by classmates and teachers as he plays his heart out for his community.
Then it hit me. Sure I’m disappointed for him, but deep down (in places I don’t talk about at parties) I’m disappointed for me! He doesn’t give a rat’s butt about playing soccer at this level. I’m the one who wants the glory of having a kid on the team. I’m the one who wants to be part of a close-knit group of families who win and lose together, and I’m the one who wants to be congratulated on the success of my son. I want his name on that wall. I need his name on that wall! This isn’t about my son, it’s about me! I “just can’t handle the truth.”
The question is what do I do with this revelation? My first thought was that maybe I should join a team. But most basketball leagues use words like “over 40,” “female,” and “half-court” as punch lines. Then I considered a road race. After all, I finished a mini last year and really enjoyed it (as much as anyone who pees herself while hauling her cellulite around for 13.1 miles can). I’d also love to get back into coaching track, but with a family I have more responsibilities than even I can possibly fathom. Besides work, my days are filled with chauffeur duties and laundry piles (and semi-successful attempts to incorporate lines from “A Few Good Men” into this article).
I have to figure something out. It’s clear that I can’t keep having such visceral reactions to high school sports teams. A code red is not an option! Peace out.