Girl Power: Part ll

lououI’m not sure when it happened or how it happened, but we have become a soccer family. We started out doing the sweet recreational soccer teams at the parks with Saint James when he was four, one thing led to another, the boy fell hard for the game, and we followed him over the abyss like a family of lemmings. Until now, it’s been all about Saint James. Supergirl also went through the parks’ soccer programs and we tried our best never to let on that her games were in any way less important or fun to watch as Saint James’, when truth be told, they were. As the Minneapolis United boys’ legs grew long and strong, as their feet got as quick and nimble as fingers, their games have gotten to be really really cool to watch – nail biting, heart wrenching, and beautiful. Her games were cute and itty bitty in contrast. We scarcely noticed how good she was.

Supergirl came out of the gate knowing what to do. Where Saint James’ first couple seasons had Dash and I shrugging our shoulders and painfully joking to each other that maybe sports weren’t going to be his thing, what with all the break dancing and donkey kicks he was doing out on the field, Supergirl was focused, aggressive and coordinated. Sure she had spent countless hours on the sidelines, arguably picking up the rules of the game, the point of the game, but she never appeared to be paying attention. She was always in a tree or running around with other younger dragged-along siblings.

This year we asked her if she wanted to try out for Minneapolis United. She would be playing up by a year, but since Saint James did it, we figured she should have the chance. She thought about it for days and days. Playing MU, assuming she made a team, would mean saying goodbye to playing with her guy friends on the park team. It would mean more practices, winter training – just more soccer. I got the sense that she was hesitant to try-out because she didn’t want to commit to all it entailed. There was also a little bit of fear – fear that she wouldn’t make it at all.

Consistent with her ability to surprise us at every turn, she made the top team and her fate was sealed. She was proud. And she was playing MU. I watched her first game on Sunday, and I don’t know if it was the fact that I was alone (Dash and Devil Baby were at Saint James’ game across town), the fact that it was a spectacularly gorgeous day, or the fact that I was feeling a wee bit fuzzy around the brainy bits after a late night, but I felt about ready to weep at the sight of these girls going at it as hard as they were. We played Plymouth, who were all giant blonds with matching head bands and backpacks perfectly lined up along the sidelines like menacing black tombstones. We got creamed. But our girls played with so much heart and sweetness and toughness that I could scarcely contain myself.

Girls bring such a different energy to their sports. They hesitate just a titch too long if someone takes a tumble. They say sorry after collisions. They talk to their parents on the sidelines if the play brings them close. But make no mistake, they are no less intense. No less fierce, no less swift, graceful and powerful. It’s just different and as much as I adore watching Saint James’ team play, I am beside myself about these girls. Go girls! Go!!!

This is my kind, my ken, my kin.

And I cannot wait – I simply cannot wait – to see where this goes for my Supergirl.

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