This could be long.
I'll try my best to stick with the facts and only the facts.
Tonight #2's soccer team had a special session planned with a professional soccer coach. We had received an email last week that it started at 4pm today. We showed up to the field at 4pm only to find out that the coach had told the girls, (#2 did not hear this, she is usually the first to leave), after their game yesterday that anyone who wanted to come early to practice could come at 3:30pm . So, when we arrived at 4pm everyone was already there sitting and talking in a huddle. The assistant coach came over and told #2 to "take a lap around the field because she was late". I then asked what time practice was and he said they changed it to 3:30 pm and "we probably should have sent an email".
Do you think?
Well, I told him that she was not late and he explained the lap around the field was not punishment, but he wanted her to warm up before the session started.
I then stayed in my van and chatted for a few minutes with the only other mom on the team who talks to me (my former neighbor) and we were both a little ticked at the change not being communicated to us. The assistant coach came back over about 5 minutes later and asked if I had seen #2.
Uh. No. She's supposed to be with YOU. I started to panic, I looked at the porta potty, but she wasn't there. Then it dawned on me.
She dribbled her ball ALL THE WAY AROUND THE 1 MILE TRACK BACK NEAR THE WOODS BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS BEING PUNISHED FOR BEING LATE and we couldn't even see her anymore.
That's when the shaking started. The coach looked near panic and I raced in my van, gravel flying as fast as I could drive, praying she was safe the whole time. Finally I saw her.
Then, I really started to shake.
She was dribbling her ball all alone, sobbing. Can I be honest with you all for one moment? I nearly lost my mind. Literally, I felt myself shutting down and every ounce of self-control drain from my body. I tried to speak gently to her and comfort her and she was so upset my heart was breaking while my blood was boiling. Every motherly instinct inside of me was on full alert and I was good and prepared to go back to that soccer field and make a scene. May I add that this was just the straw that broke the camel's back? The head coach's daughter, who thinks she is the next Olympic hopeful, has been mean to #2 all season. After this episode she told one of the girls that #2 is "so uncool" and poor #2 was standing right there. #2 doesn't want to tell the coach because she thinks she'll get in trouble. It has been misery for most of the season, which is precisely what I ranted to the assistant coach (Coach M) when I drove back over to the field to tell him we were leaving.
Yes, I pulled the psycho soccer mom routine. It wasn't real pretty, folks.
I also told him that 8 year olds aren't supposed to be so stressed out and that the pressure they feel is ridiculous at this level of play. I said I couldn't wait to go back to intramural where the kids can just play soccer and have fun. I told him that being on this team has been a nightmare and I have to beg her to come to practice because she thinks she isn't a good soccer player. He said the entire "lap" incident was his fault and he could understand why I was upset. He apologized and I must say, was surprisingly agreeable and calm.
I, however, was anything but calm. #2 decided she would dry her eyes and stay for practice after Coach M said she was a very important part of the team and he is glad she is on the team. I had to leave for a bit, just to get away. I drove over to K-Mart with #3 and vaguely remember looking at shoes and then rushing back to the field to be sure nothing else happened to her.
I shook the entire time. My hands trembled when I called and relayed what had happened to The Husband. He was shocked that they had not kept an eye on her and let her get so far away. The "what if's" were too tragic to even consider....
My former neighbor emailed me tonight and said I should probably let the head coach know what happened on my end to be sure that the story didn't change. I had already emailed him and referenced the issue of our daughters. I am praying for wisdom and a "gentle answer to turn away wrath....."
In the meantime, I can't seem to stop thinking about it and feeling guilty that I should have been watching her run her lap instead of talking. I've just gotten accustomed to dropping her off and leaving and I never thought she wouldn't stay with her team and her coaches. I am sick when I think about it. I do thank God I didn't leave the field because at least I was able to drive quickly and find her because who knows how long it would've taken the coach to locate her? And, I would not have been there to comfort her. I thank God for that, too.
I have so much anger over this entire ordeal I don't even know where to go with it besides whimpering to God to help me calm down. There has been problem after problem with this team and the coaches. I do not want #2 to think that this is what playing a team sport is all about. Or, is it? Perhaps, I need to lower my standards. Except, that just sounds so wrong to me.
I just don't know.....I do know I want to stop shaking. It's been hours.