Black Socks

Someday, probably right after Squish goes to college, we are going to have one of those absurdly cool days in August– 78 degrees, some humidity, the occasional shower, and that day will fall on opening day for soccer.

In the meantime, since the kids go back to school in mid-August, and opening day happens right after that joyous event, we shall continue to stock up on sunblock and water bottles and deal with 100 fricking degrees.

But it is chock full of material, including this morning when Zoomboy and ADHD’D at each other, big time.  We were getting ready, and ZB was moving REALLLLLLYYYY SLOWLY and I was coming off of little sleep.  Suddenly I started yelling in one of those sudden bursts of anger that I can usually contain, and he made like a spastic four-limbed octopus, and we both whined at each other.  While I was stomping around the house whining, I discovered that the frozen pizza I’d asked him to put in the freezer outside had ended up in the refrigerator side of the appliance.

*flails*  WHY? JUST TELL ME?  WHY???

The whole block could hear me yelling about frozen pizza.  Actually pretty comic, but not my finest moment as an adult, uhm, no.

Anyway, we got to the field, and I realized my son was wearing white socks with his uniform.

Yeah– some of you are thinking “So, wasn’t he wearing a uniform?”

(Zoomboy’s first day of school)

Let me clarify.

My son was literally born into this soccer league.  This means he was born, his father had enough time to say, “It’s a boy!  Well done, hon, you pushed a boy outta yer cooter! Get some rest!” and then he was taking Chicken to her soccer game.

This soccer league has used– has always used– BLACK SOCKS.

There are long black soccer socks in this house, complete with stickers, that are WAY THE HELL OLDER than Zoomboy. His father handed him a brand new uniform in a package complete with black socks when Zoomboy woke up this morning.

I mean… *flails*  BLACK SOCKS.

And  Zoomboy was wearing white socks.

I had no words.  I was like, “Pizza… freezer… socks… black… how could… why wouldn’t…. why would you… I DON’T UNDERSTAND…

(Squish’s first day of school)

Mate bought a new pair  of black socks after the parade, but in the meantime, all of his team were ambling across the field during the parade in black socks, and Zoomboy was moonwalking across it in white socks.

Because he is my son.

So, some other uncomfortable moments on the soccer field…

Well, there was the recognition of how irrational my hatred ran of those women who show up to soccer games/dance recitals/gymnastics competitions etc. looking ready for their photo op.  I mean, I don’t mind looking good, right?  I wasn’t dressed in a crappy T-shirt, and my capris weren’t ripped in the crotch.  But full make-up, perfect hair, a snappy little hat, and a tube top and white cut-offs– or some variation on the theme, along with a nice leather bag to drag around the soccer field while you are thrusting your chest ahead of your offspring…

Okay.  I’m generalizing here, but the deal is, it is not your big day.  Even if you’re a coach, it is not your big day.  It is the kids’ big day.  There is something about that peerless coiffure that implies you are more important than your child in this endeavor.  Now, that doesn’t mean your days of looking hot and sexy are over.  (God, I hope not.  I’m thinking Mate looks pretty hot and sexy as he’s running his ass ragged being a board member, a soccer coach and an asst. soccer coach.)  It just means to wait until the baby sitter shows up and then go burn up the disco.

But not on the 100 degree, dusty, occasionally dog-dropped crappy patch of grass where your kid is playing his or her heart out.  It just seems sort of disrespectful, that’s all.  I know, I know– I’m whining–but see above.  It was my day for it.

And then…

There’s that uncomfortable moment when you realize that the guy you flipped off when he was an anti-abortionist picketing the local planned parenthood is actually your husband’s favorite soccer board member and your daughter’s new friend.


So, the interesting thing was, I tweeted this, and my twitter stream and my FB feed was all about how i was a hero and he was the bad guy.  But I think this needs some clarification.

He is a good guy.  Last year, when one of the soccer board members realized he’d accidentally embezzled about 10 grand, (which he is paying back) this was the guy who talked him out of the crazy tree.  When U8 players are running around the soccer field like skittles on a greased skillet, this is the guy who coaches them, gently, so that they emerge from every one of his games with more skill than they went in.  He has no children of his own (his are grown) but he is an involved youth pastor, and he’s involved in the soccer board because he believes in the healing nature of good competition.  He is everything that is kind– he would help the mothers who have the babies, if he at all could, and he wouldn’t want the children sent back to Honduras.  I’ve met him in person before, but in that moment as I drove past the demonstration, I didn’t see him.  

I saw the opposition.

So I’m not sure I’m comforted by how hostile people are toward the gy– even though I was the person with the extended middle finger.

I think this idea of “Us, good, them, bad” is 90% of what’s wrong with all the things right now.  It’s what happened in Ferguson.  Did you all see that?  The thing that de-escalated that situation was someone from a law enforcement agency marching with the protesters with the idea that we all want peace.  Every small war growing larger and more heinous is erupting because one group can’t back down and then the other group can’t back down and the whole world has become posturing cocks screaming I AM BIGGER!

I am not bigger than this sweet man who has literally given his life in service to his community.  (Well, I am, but that’s because he runs his ass off with everything he does.  Seriously, this is one fit seventy year old.)

So, uhm, no.  Not good for me.  I allowed my hatred to overcome my reason.  And today I got hit in the face with that thing I should always remember:  There are human beings on the other side of the fence.  Even if I think they’re on the wrong side.

So, well, sermon over.

And now for some fun!  (Okay– I skipped the part where we got home, left to go eat, and came back and PASSED OUT.  Because sitting down thinking, “Oh, yay, Aladdin!” and waking up to, “Wait, Phineas and Ferb?” is so embarrassing.)

So, I shall post my blog tour schedule– take note of it when it goes up, because you’ll get a chance to win swag!  And some of the swag is pretty cool!  See?  We’ve got Outbreak Monkey T-shirts and Beneath the Stain magnets, and we’re going to laminate some Beneath the Stain post cards and there’s gonna be more!

So stay tuned for the blog tour, and there will be a rafflecopter with the blog stops.

And you can win very cool T-shirts!


And I ran a contest on the RARM post– Jen CW and Laura, both of you were the lucky names drawn out of the hat!  E-mail me (you can find my e-mail on my website, and I’ll get you a free copy of the book of your choice from my Dreamspinner Backlist! Thanks everyone who read the RARM post, and everyone who comments on a regular basis.  I really do love reading your responses!

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