The Medicine Game...
Native North Americans used to call it Baggataway, and the Mohawk's called it Teewaarathon. It was the little brother of war, and a healing game. The sport was medicine. It's always felt that way.
Tonight Zo had her first lacrosse practice ever. There were a lot of boys, in fact, I saw only one other girl, but Zo made up for the gender imbalance by running circles around kids, and scoring in her first scrimmage. She was all legs and confidence, and Daddy didn't stop smiling the entire hour. Mummy was watching intently and laughed about the smile on my face. Apparently I was a pretty proud guy, at least the look on my face said as much.
She was good, and had gobs of fun, heaping piles of it, and it always feels good to fill kids with stoke, and help them find themselves in a game. Zo listened, and tried hard. I caught her giggling on a few occasions, and she ran, ran, ran. Boy, did that little kid run. It seems that long legs will carry you great distances, quickly.
When she decided it was more prudent to run than just chill in one spot she turned on the jets. She ran out ahead of the pack on offense, and she ran back ahead of the group on defense, and she often ran in circles, and away from the ball, and hooting and hollering in random directions, but mostly she just ran and ran and ran, and it was impressive. I'd have been proud no matter how she responded to this brand new thing she was taking a bold crack at, but since she took to the game like it was running through her veins, and was as good as four year olds can be, I was extra proud. Oh, and it just happened to be the most ridiculous kind of cute ever. All the kids. Every single one...even the crying little confused babies. Zo was impossibly unaffected, and supremely confident.
While other kids cried, and quit, and still more wailed when they were knocked down, this kid did not...this kid ran like a goddamned gazelle and when she stopped, even for just a moment, she talked to kids, helped them join the play, and comforted them. She was like a dangerously quick little Mom...a constantly grinning little Mom who bulge the twine of the net on her first shot.
It was weird to see her in a Pacers shirt, but that's what she is now...a Sarnia Pacer. I hated the Sarnia Pacers when I was a kid. Now I'm helping nurture little ones to become big ones who will inevitably hate my hometown...probably punch my friend's kids in the faces, and always, always, look down their nose at little old Wallaceburg down river. Now Zed's a Pacer. Wow, life works funny. Just like how Zoey left her fancy little La Senza shopping bag and stuffed animals in the car so that she could go inside and drop a goal or two, and run teammates and opponents alike into the ground. Her legs are long, gangly menaces....dangerous, but she's still a kid that likes pretty things.
I can tell you, whatever was ailing me, if there was anything at all, was quickly erased tonight. The evening was pure medicine...powerful medicine. I haven't smiled that much in months.