My wife wrote this a few weeks ago, and I thought I would share it with you all.
On the Sidelines
I stand on the sidelines of the soccer field-
fold-up chairs, water bottles, empty wrappers of snacks
and the energy of the game.
I have dreamed of these moments-
to stand in the league of typical parenthood
where boys just play soccer,
because that is what you do in the Fall.
Saturdays are spent at the field
watching and gossiping
while our boys run back and forth-
an amoeba of bodies chasing a ball.
There are so many untold stories
masked on the sidelines-
the dad who forgot the red jersey
because he doesn’t communicate with his ex-wife.
She sits across the field in the shade-
the unspoken energy ripples around us.
The mother, who after mindless chatter,
neglects to mention
she just recovered from lung cancer.
And then there is me,
the mom who holds her breath
every time her son touches the ball.
The mom who still is told to check the box of autism on medical forms
to ensure attention for her son.
She secretly praises his progress
but stays wary just in case.
Who is this boy
who joyfully bounds through the green grass
looking like all the other “normal” boys?
Something has shifted.
And who is this mom
who tucks away her story?
The years of therapy, medication and doctors-
stuffing it in her pocket
as she sits back, silent, in her folded chair
pretending this is where she should be.
By Jennie Chapman Linthorst