A child who shall remain nameless (so if you think you know which child she is, you don’t!) came home tonight from her first softball practice of the season having discovered that none of her former teammates are on her team this year. And even suckier a lot of them are on the same, different team this year.
She was distraught. Quite distraught. I felt really bad for her. It does suck. So I leapt into action digging the softball commissioner’s digits out of my husband with a hacksaw. I was going to fix this, stat! But something strange happened. As I dialed with murderous rage a little part of me stepped outside of my body to observe.
The Commish picked up. I tried to keep my voice level and calm despite the distraught ruckus in the background, explained the situation to the Commish then awaited his answer. The part of me that had stepped outside of the situation and was carefully observing the exchange, overheard how terrified the Commish sounded on the other end of the phone line. It was as if he were prepared to have my arm reach through the phone line and snatch off his balls.
Just that moment’s tremor of fear in his voice calmed me down. No matter what he said I knew my kid was not going to move teams, we were not going to let her drop out of the season and she would eventually make friends on her new team and everything would be fine.
I listened as the Commish explained that my daughter was one of the strongest in-fielders which is why they needed her where she was to balance the talent. He had me a Complimenting My Kid’s Athleticism. Now the calm me and the freaked out/helicoptering/I-don’t-ever-want-my-kid-to-suffer-even-though-it-might-force-her-to-grow-up me merged.
There were more tears and recriminations once I shared the sad news. First I empathized, then enough was enough. The evening ended with my daughter coming into my bedroom and telling me she’d been praying to God about getting on a team with her friends, and also about middle school and also about puberty and that God wasn’t holding up His end of the deal and that she doesn’t believe in him anymore.
We don’t go to church. We don’t have a spiritual plan. We pray spottily. Still, I found myself saying that she didn’t have to believe in God if she didn’t want to. But that sometimes the God of my understanding doesn’t give me what I want, but often He gives me what I need. And maybe this disappointment would help her grow strong enough to handle further disappointments which Life will throw her way regardless of how good she is. And maybe she’ll grow to be so strong that disappointments won’t scare her very much anymore.
She is asleep now. Her sister is asleep. Henry is asleep. And I’m going to Boden to buy a dress. Not online. I’m flying to London. Cheers. S
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