by Bella Rum

FrustrationIt was the eighties. I worked from home. My days were divided between work and dropping my son off at practices: swim practice, soccer practice, etc. Soccer was his favorite. Mine too. He had a very young and cute coach. He didn’t have kids of his own. I don’t even think he was married, but he had played soccer in college. This qualified him, in his boss’s view, to be a coach. His boss’s kid was on the team. So the young coach was pretty much coerced into spending his spare time with this incorrigible group of twelve-year-olds. And it is true that he was a good coach, but his soccer skills did not prepare him to control a rowdy group of preadolescent boys.

Most of those games have faded into the mist of my overtaxed memory, but I clearly remember one particular incident. An argument flared between one of our kids and a kid on the other team. Our kid threw out a few curse words loud enough for all to hear. The ref ejected him from the game. The exchange between the boy and the coach went something like this.

“What happened out there?”

“I dunno, Coach. I didn’t say it. I swear, I didn’t say it.”

“Okay, okay. I believe you. Just don’t say it again.”

After the game, I stood with a clutch of other moms. We looked on as our little angels waited in line. Why they were waiting in line I’ve long forgotten, but I remember well how they behaved. They nudged each other, picked at the fellow’s shirt who stood in front or behind them, made farting noises by cupping their hands under their armpits and working their arms up and down, and tried to pants (or depants) their fellow teammate or give him a wedgie.

You will not find a more uncouth being on Earth than a twelve-year-old boy. Dad would have called the whole lot of them little heathens. If you accept the definition as uncultured and uncivilized, I guess he would be right, however, the young coach had no problem with their behavior. With blithe indifference, he ignored or didn’t even notice the entire zoo-like scene. The coach was a real guy. He empathized with his boys, something some of the mothers could not do. The mother standing next to me said, “They need a mom over there. They really do.”

And all this to express how I feel about congress. There’s been enough pantsing and picking and nudging and wedgie-giving… and enough flatulence to blow an entire septic system. They need a mom over there. They really do.