Kyle showed up just as I sat down to help Mom complete the last few details of the mass booklet for my Uncle's memorial mass. Kyle is Curly's friend's brother. He is on Curly's soccer team, and his sister, who doesn't play soccer, cheers from the sidelines. Coach is - you guessed it - their soccer coach.
Kyle gets dropped off at our house on practice days by his grandpa because his mom works. Coach drives him to practice with Curly. The kid is supposedly very active and a bit mischievous. His mother has described him as a handful. She laughed out loud when I revealed his timid and quiet demeanor when he gets dropped off at our place for his ride to soccer.
I told Mini to wave him inside. He entered the house and stood in my front hall. He looked frightened despite the hip sunglasses he wore. He's 8 years old. I swear none of us have threatened to do him bodily harm or tried to bite him, but he is clearly uncomfortable and tense in our constant-motion home.
Mom greeted him from her position at my elbow at the computer. I half wondered if he thought the sunglasses served as an invisibility cloak, because he didn't respond. I assured him Mr. Coach would arrive shortly, but then I became slightly panicked that this wasn't the case at all.
I texted Coach. 'Do you remember soccer practice today? Kyle is here and Curly is getting ready.'
I turned my attention back to Mom but occasionally called out into the great abyss, 'Curly are you getting ready for soccer? Bring a sweatshirt. Grab a water bottle.' Mom was pointing to her official copy of the prayer booklet. She managed to tape a dozen pieces of paper together and write in little chicken scratch all over it, so she must sit and interpret the mass booklet for me instead of leaving it with me to decipher.
If I struggled to cut and paste something into a spot just the way I wanted it, Mom would hear me groan. Then she would look from the screen to my face and ask, 'It's saved though, right? I mean it's in there and you can still print it out, right?'
Oh, how I wished I had gotten my nap!
'OK, Aunt Nora wants us to use the song: 'Here I am Lord.' It's right here.' Then Mom began to read it to me, so I could type it into the book. This reading evolved into singing. I think she thought her choir imitation was helping me type. It wasn't. Kyle was still standing about 5 feet from us wearing shades and most likely begging the good Lord to make him invisible as Mom broke into: 'Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night . . . '
|Ah, that awkward moment when a kid gets dropped off for soccer practice, your husband forgets about running soccer practice, and your mom starts belting out church hymns!|
After typing one stanza, I realized that Coach never texted me back. Not unusual as he is typically with patients. I called the main number. When the office manager answered, I simply said several times, 'Please, tell me Coach already left. Did he leave? He's not still there, right?' I flashed Kyle a grin from my spot by the computer to assure him that Coach was definitely coming. There was no way I could coach a soccer practice.
The call was transferred to wherever Coach was in the office. 'What? Soccer practice?! For who? Shit! Can you drive them to the field. Bring me a sweatshirt. I'm leaving now.'
'I'll be right back', I called to my hymn-singing Mom as I directed Curly and Kyle to hop in the car.