a lacrosse banquet
We went to Maggie's lacrosse banquet the other night. I am such a stranger in a strange land at these things. We rolled ass-over-elbow into Francis Howell territory and Francis Howell High School two years ago and it still feels like a surprise to me.
Maggie's friend Bryce, who plays lacrosse himself and attends another public school in the area, was teasing her the other night about her school's general affluence.
"It's basically a private school..." he says, and they laugh at the truth of it over the same carton of ice cream.
"All the blondes"--that's what Mags and I said when we arrived her freshman year for orientation. All the blondes.
It was like when I switched schools years ago and landed at Assumption. I couldn't tell any of the white girls apart. They all looked the same to me. All the blondes.
"Is that Maggie's friend Ava?" Dan leans over and asks when a player is introduced at the banquet.
"No. Different Ava."
"A different tall, skinny Ava?"
And beautiful. Yes, a different one.
There is a funny story from earlier this year. Maggie was playing with the Junior Varsity team and before the season started they were having their first scrimmage--JV vs. Varsity.
And. Obviously. Varsity would win. But that's good--gives the girls something to fight for. And yet...
At the halfway mark of this scrimmage, Varsity was NOT winning--JV was. Mags told me about it when she got home.
"Mom," she said. "I could hear the Varsity coach saying to them: "I GET IT! Maggie is REALLY GOOD--but she is only ONE PERSON! And we are about to start a season where entire teams will be made up of Maggie Mudds!!"
And it...it's not a story I told to too many people. It was really cool, and Maggie was so very flattered and proud. But there's no way to say it without...I don't know... sounding bragg-ey, or something.
But tonight at the banquet, her coach took the time to say a little something about each player, and of Mags she said:
"Maggie started out on JV, but I knew after out very first scrimmage--when she clobbered my team--that I was going to go ahead and pull her up to Varsity..."
We all laughed. Mags was sweet and humble, but she also laughed. And I could see that she does not have the outside looking in feeling I have most of the time.
Here. This place. This sport, these girls. Her athletic ability, which is baffling to me, is hers to own and hers to hone.
"Sometimes I have these flashes of awareness," she tells me from time to time, "...where, what if I never left North? What if I would have always had to be trying so hard to fit where I didn't? What if this wasn't my life?"
"It makes my heart race," she says. "And then all over again, I am so thankful. Just so grateful that it is."
And I couldn't be happier for her. And I couldn't be prouder of this bold, bright child of mine. What a joy she is to me.