It was an otherwise beautiful and sunny day as I sat on the golf cart … then I spotted her. I prayed to myself, “Please God, don’t let that be HER. Don’t let that be the mother of the kid who’s on my daughter’s soccer team. The one who is never late, always looks put together in her Burberry sunglasses and just washed Land Rover, cheering on her perfectly pig-tailed daughter.”
While I, on the other hand, come speeding up to the field at the last game in a cloud of dust—some of which has settled on the windshield of my KIA Spectra, with my Starbucks mega jolt of caffeine in one hand and four seconds left to the start of the game. Screeching to a halt, I step out into the cloud. I throw my daughter’s hair into a haphazard ponytail and scream in her face … RUN! I look up just in time to catch the eye of the Burberry clad mother whose daughter—no kidding—won “Best Hairdo” award on the team last year. She quickly turns away without a smile or a nod. I always wonder if she’s thinking—what a mess! Maybe, maybe not—but I feel like one.
So there I was on the country club golf cart, working my second job on weekends to try to make ends meet as a single mom by handing out drinks to “members of the club” of which she belongs—and I quite obliviously do not. I realize that it is her. It is her with the ultra preppy looking foursome coming off the twelfth green and approaching my big red beverage cart. It is her wearing a perfectly pleated white golf skirt and those damn shades. I frantically try to wipe the dirt that I had all over the front of my blue and tan uniform, when I suddenly heard someone scream “FORRRRE!!!”
I slammed to “GO” petal and with lightning two miles an hour speed, managed to swerve my cart around and down an unauthorized path. Unfortunately, smashing into the trees somewhere off the side of the course. But fortunately, out of the way of the flying golf ball and the soccer mom. I wedged myself out of the driver’s seat and sat on top the dented hood to breath and noticed how pretty the greenery looked. I laughed out loud and reminded myself how lucky I am, and not just because I dodged the golf ball and the soccer mom.
Lucky because I have a beautiful daughter who is healthy enough to not only play soccer, but to score a goal at every game—no matter how late we are. Lucky to be able to live in an area that allows her to go to a top rated school in which she is at the top of her class. Lucky enough to have found myself in this solitary moment, removed from the crazy day-to-day, where I can stop and laugh at my own feelings of not being good enough. And maybe try to look at the soccer mom in another way. Maybe, just maybe the reason she turned away had nothing to do with me. Maybe she is dealing with her own inner struggles as she tries to do her best as a mother. Maybe her daughter is feeling upset because the coach doesn’t play her that much, or maybe her daughter is having a problem at school. Maybe she has trials and tribulations of her own trying to deal with the sometimes gut-wrenching emotions that come with motherhood, the ones that make us all a little too hard on ourselves. Maybe hers are just different than mine.
Sitting there I realized how lucky I am that it was only a minor golf cart accident that made me stop in my tracks and look at myself and another mother in a gentler way, giving us both a little more of the credit we deserve.