Dark clouds are threatening the finals when we arrive.
Waving to the trio of heads huddled behind clipboards, I reach into my bag, fumbling for the badges.
Cheaply produced, Volunteer coach in bold print, these buttons might just work, I think, pinning them on each of the coaches’ chests.
I look back to the stands. The dashed dream contingent are restless, jeers at the ready. They won’t stay quiet long.
On the field, the team begins their warm up.
A whistle blows, signaling the theatre to begin.
I spot my kid. She hurls herself at the field and lifts off, pony tail bobbing.
Cupping my hands around my mouth, I holler “GO!” The sound wobbles, then hits a gust, soaring over the players. Play is on.
Back and forth, they race, our heads following the trail. The tallest one stumbles, her teammate pulls her up, faces glistening,
The chirping begins from one parent, chest thrust forward. Her kid has missed most of the practices but surely she should play as much as the others?
Behind her, a couple stare, shoulders tense. A meeting earlier went badly, I hear, they wanted their kid on first shift. They don’t care about the new kids getting a turn. Their kid has paid his dues.
Chirp. Whine. Chirp. What are you doing? Get over there! Run, for gods sake!
A foul is called and disputed, a brawl held back. Over at centre field, the coaches keep the players distracted. Let the parents fight it out, we’re here to play.
When the game is over, trophies handed out, only two families come over to speak to the coaches. A few of the players hug my husband.
Thanks so much, Coach!
The cars leave the lot one by one and we pick up the garbage strewn over the sidelines.
Thunder in the distance rumbles away-the rain never came.
Next year, I’ll make the badges bigger.