I find moms intimidating. Especially in large numbers. Like when they are supporting their daughters’ sports teams.
All of these years I’ve been preaching to my students about not caving in to peer pressure during their teens, and it turns out that adolescence is merely a brief introduction to the angst you will experience as the mother of a female involved in athletics.
I sang in the choir when I was growing up. My mother’s only responsibility was picking me up on time after school from rehearsal or performances. And her success record in that department was only about 50%.
So, I thought I was doing pretty good when I started shuttling my daughter to and from her swim practices three times a week in a timely manner. Sometimes, I even go above and beyond and actually stay to watch the practice.
It is becoming more obvious each month that my participation would register about .01 on the Richter Scale of Supportive Moms.
On competition days, when all of the other moms wear the same blinged-out t-shirts, loudly proclaiming the name of the team, I shamefully wear a non-denominational blouse whose only writing can be found on a small tag in the lining that says, “Hand Wash Only.”
When all of the other moms wear 20 inch photo buttons on their chests of their daughters’ smiling faces, with ribbons trailing from the bottom, I forget my button at home, and hope that I will not have to admit to anyone that I am not even certain of its current location – which means that I could have used it as a coaster, the bulldog could have eaten it, or it might have been thrown into the box labelled “Miscellaneous Christmas Decorations that are not Ornaments, Candles or Nativity Sets or That We Left on the Shelf Until February Because We Forgot About Them and We Never Dust.”
When all of the other moms get together and plan yet another party to celebrate Winter or Groundhog Day or Surviving Two Whole Weeks Without a Party, I am the only one who meekly says, “Um, is this really necessary?”
When all of the other moms help their children find the miscellaneous pieces of clothing that they shed all over the natatorium throughout the day, I am the one who shrugs and says to my kid, “Well, you wore it here, so it has to be somewhere.”
When all of the other moms stand by with towels for their shivering daughters in between competitions, I am the one whose daughter walks up, turns to the person to my side, and says, “Daddy, can you hold my towel for me?”
Some day, the other moms are going to have one of those meetings that I never attend, and they are going to kick me out of the ‘hood. The Mother Hood.
I’m going to stand strong, though. You don’t have to join the Mothers with Unlimited Gem-stoned Shirts to prove your love to your kid.
Just get her an iPhone, and she’ll get the message.