The kid without a team

My very dear readers,

Thank you for your nudges. Thank you for your soft and heartfelt compliments about Modern Mary. Thank you for having faith I would write again, because now I am.

In addition to my lavishly loving readers, I owe the end of this particular block, to another kind of modern parenting challenge. I freely admit, this was a conundrum of my own creation.

Several months ago, minutes after the last whistle of a resoundingly successful first season of soccer by Secondo, Miss Thang promptly informed me she wanted to play again. And, also, when did the next season start. Was it next week? The day after Christmas? When?

Secondo had discovered the lifetime (literally) she’d spent watching her older sister play English football had yielded a rather jolly result – she was good at scoring goals. Indeed, she loved scoring goals.  And not love in a, “Oh, this is so fun, I love everyone, sunshine and rainbows” sort of a way, but in a, “Move or be run over on my way to score another goal, you uncoordinated kindergarten rascal!” sort of (slightly scary) way.

I guess Mr. Bailey and I weren’t the only ones who noticed because at her penultimate game Secondo went on an incredible tear, scoring one goal after another, after another, and her assistant coach threw his hat out on the field in between widespread whoops and clapping. Modern Mary is not particularly a hockey fan, but I respected the gesture. As we walked to the car after that last game, the head coach caught up with us to let us know if (smile) Secondo wanted to play again, he hoped she would be on his team.

The next thing that happened, as it so often does in Modern Mary’s world, was nothing. I knew Secondo wanted to play soccer again. I knew there was a spring season. I knew how to get her registered and what team she wanted to be on. I also knew there was time aplenty to make that all happen.

And then, suddenly, there wasn’t.

In a sweating mad panic, after repeatedly forgetting for a week, after receiving several reminder emails from: the league, the coach, Mr. Bailey, and my fellow Modern mothers; I finally, on the very last day, registered.

Somehow I thought the soccer gods would smile on me, but no such luck.

Prima I managed to weasel in under the gun – but I was point blank horrified to learn Secondo was relegated to the waiting list. And not No. 1 on the waiting list, either. Fat No. 5.

For several days, I practiced deep breathing. I tried magical thinking: Secondo might forget, right? Then: Mom, my friends at school had soccer practice today. When’s mine?

For a couple more days, I rationalized. It’s a numbers game! I’m sure someone – or five – are going to drop out, change their mind, break their leg, move to Alaska. I’m not going to worry about it! Then: Mommy, I will always be your baby, right? I can’t wait for you and Daddy to watch me play soccer again!

That’s when sheer terror set in.

I started emailing people, calling in favors and gathering my crew of Modern Moms to rally their energies to get Secondo on a team. Time was running out on me. Games were beginning in four days, then three, then two. The league was silent.

Finally, I sent a sweat-soaked desperate plea to Secondo’s former coach, confessing my sins, falling on my procrastination sword and begging for him to use any influence he might have, should he be so inclined, to rescue Secondo from the sins of her delinquent mother and put that girl out on the field in shin guards.

Reader, it worked. Coach emailed three times, called and texted me to absolve me with the news he was thrilled to have Secondo join his team.

Relief ensued, as did happy dances and staying up past 10 p.m. to celebrate.

When you win as a Mom after losing and screwing up and feeling lame and sucky, God in heaven, it feels good. Really, really good. I think it must feel a little like kicking a black and white leather ball through the grass, around the pigtails and driving it deep into the net.