a little of both: a repost

-repost from July 30, 2020


I think some people are born leaders. Some don't know it and get thrust into the role, some just helpy-selfy.

Yesterday we were walking down the hotel hallway and two children came tearing around the corner ahead of us. About 8 years old. They slow down. Dart a glance back at me, not a word spoken between them--and I would know if there was because, well. They're eight. Once they look back. Twice. One of them, then both of them. They skedaddle down the hall and out of sight.

"They know I'm a teacher," I say to Mags.
"Its the way you walk," she says. And I say, "And the energy around me. At any point I'm perfectly comfortable giving instructions and they know it."

Mags is a sophomore on her LAX team. She isn't a leader of any kind, really. She's one of 3 sophomores, I believe. The rest are juniors and rising seniors. She just plays the game and hangs out with the girls. That's all she wants. Nothing grand. As a sophomore mom, I have no connections to the team yet. No parent friends. No society around me.

After the game they are walking en masse in the direction of me, and only because I happen to be standing in their path. Purposefully. I want to ask Mags if she needs cash for the concessions.

"Hey, everybody, say hi to my mom," she calls from the middle of the crowd. They are all sweaty. Have that reflector black stuff smearing down their faces. Lacrosse sticks raised like warrior spears as they pass by. "Hi, mom!" They call to me, just because somebody said so.

There was a parent on the other team during the game. Talking to her husband (I assume that's who the male voice on the other side of the speaker belonged to). "This team came out like a varsity football team, and our girls are just taking it. I'm not sure why."

I sit, quietly. There are actually precious few moments in life it is necessary to draw attention to yourself. Stillness is way more valuable than noise.

"And there is one girl on their team. She is good. Like, GOOD, good. Number 15, I think. I don't know who she is, but we'll know her some day."

And I smile. Some people lead by boldness. Some people just lead by playing the game. Mags is a little of both.

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