The Girl had her very first soccer game last night.
She ran. A lot. She made contact with the ball once, maybe twice. She sat on a blanket with her team. She shook hands at the end of the game.
And I was proud of my baby girl.
But it had nothing to do with soccer.
Because while I can appreciate that she is learning new skills, learning how to relate to others, learning how to be part of a team, I have to admit, all things sports-related leave me feeling a little “meh”.
No, the pride was all inspired off the field.
Just before half-time, The Girl seems a little off. She’s looking around, maybe dancing a little. And I walk back in my mind, to when I was running around the house, trying to feed supper to two excited kids, get them into soccer gear, and remember the damn water bottles. I remember telling her to make sure she went to the bathroom before we left.
But I don’t remember her doing it.
At first, I try to convince her that she’ll be able to hold it. She’s not buying it.
I scan the area. All the adjacent buildings; the school, the community hall, the rink shack, all closed. We don’t know anyone who lives within a block of the place. And I’m not taking her all the way home.
As I try my hardest not to curse her for not being a born a boy (because damn, I really love that about raising a boy), I panic and weigh my options.
We have no other choice.
We find a relatively dense bunch of pine trees, walk between them. And I tell her how this is going to go down.
Watch out for your soccer shorts. And your shoes. And try to balance. And try not to get it on yourself. And be quick so no one sees this.
She was unconvinced. This kind of went against everything I had ever taught her about etiquette, bathroom or otherwise. But she’s always up for a challenge. And she REALLY had to go.
Copping a successful squat? Really damn hard.
Getting it right on your first try? Genius.
Not one drop on those shorts, not one stray trail down the leg, not one wet shoe lace.
She can score goals all damn season. And I could not be as proud as I was last night.
Good job, kiddo.