"Your mouth guard is in a zip-lock on the patio next to your cleats," I told her.
I hung up and noticed that both of my colleagues had their mouths open. Over the years, they've suffered through all of my stable mom updates: trailer fees and vet bills, early Sunday morning events, ribbons won (or not and why). But, this was something new and different. I could almost hear them wondering, "Waitaminute, she only has the one kid, right?"
"Powder Puff Football," I explained, then gave them the Cliff Notes version of this time-honored tradition. "And, they take it seriously," I finished up, "Very seriously."
A handsome young man at the next table who had overheard my explanation concurred. "I'm from the rival town," he admitted sheepishly. We laughed and let him get back to his work. Suffice it to say, he was fortunate that it was me and not my daughter and her cohorts in that café. He's probably blissfully unaware that for the last three weeks, he and his fellow townspeople have become public enemies number one.
This will be my daughter's second Powder Puff; as a junior, she was a cheerleader. But, it's the first time (and will be the only time) that she's actually playing. And, getting ready for her moment of gridiron glory has been a lot more complicated than I would have expected.
First of all, there's the practice. 2-3 hours a night, Monday through Thursday. This is on top of riding lessons and training, homework and college applications. All of the girls in my daughter's class are feeling stressed, but that didn't stop 100 (of 140) of them from joining in.
Then, there's the gear. As parents of an equestrienne, my husband and I know from gear (and our bank account has the scars to show for it). But, this was virgin territory. "Can you pick up some cleats for me?" my daughter asked a couple of weeks ago, casually in passing.
Turns out, she needed the aforementioned cleats and mouthguard for practice and she needed them (What else is new?) "Um ... this afternoon." Okay, I'm comfortable in a bookstore, in a museum shop, an antiques store or boutique. But, I've rarely (if ever) been in a Sports Authority. "Where would I find a mouthguard?" I asked a helpful associate. She pointed the way, but didn't warn me that there were about fifty different options available. I chose one that was in the mid-price range and red (one of my daughter's school colors). As far as cleats were concerned, I snagged a pair on a sale table. Alas, they didn't fit. But, my husband exchanged them on his lunch break the next day. Ugly (some might even say, "Fugly") neon green, but he promised to spray them black before the big day.
We are now in the final countdown and the excitement is nearly overwhelming. My daughter was assigned "inside linebacker," at first. But last night, she practiced as "defensive end." Despite the best efforts of more than one ex-boyfriend in my past, I have no idea what any of that means.
Maybe I'll find out on Saturday. "Go team!"
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