Knowing M these last few years, I never would have expected the request she made the other day:
“Mom, I really need to just go ahead and stock up on some tutus.”
The phrase was delivered with the grim resignation of a grizzled old Vermonter muttering over a weather forecast about getting rock salt.
Unexpected though it was, I understood immediately that tutus really feel like a necessity if you are a high school girls’ soccer player. Every time there’s a game, the girls decide on some sort of “spirit” dress code. It can be simple, like team jerseys and leggings, or complicated, like the night she came home tired, with a pile of homework,and grouching that she had 12 hours to come up with a way to dress like “the holidays.” Lucky for her, an injured teammate who couldn’t practice stepped up and spent all that extra saved energy on crafting holiday-themed headgear. M went to school wearing a pair of construction paper Thanksgiving turkey drumsticks like antennae. Man, that girl can even make faux meat look adorable.
The night M brought up the tutus, it was because she’d been negotiating with her assigned twin on how to match each other for “twins day.” Apparently most 9th grade girls just have a stockpile of tutus. M does not. Or did not. Because we went out and picked up two. They will no doubt prove useful over the next few years for “blue” day or “red” day or “patriotic” day or “twins” day. So now, in addition to shin guards and a million pairs of socks and jerseys with numbers that are far too delicate to go into the dryer, we’ve got a couple of tutus.
School ball is fun but exhausting: games and rituals and pasta parties and more games, some of them far away. M’s been gone about 8 hours for an away game today. It’s especially tough because she’s adjusting to all of her new classes and homework, but I think it will make school feel like a breeze in a few weeks when she gets all of that time to herself again. She’s definitely enjoying it, she’s loving the chance to play forward once in a while (she’s usually all defense), and she’s having fun with all of the girls. But I know that M will be excited to switch back to playing for Black Watch again. I remember that last year, she arrived home from her first Black Watch practice giddy with joy.
For myself, I think I’m looking forward to a little less spirit and a little more straight soccer.