Monday, September 6, 2010

Free Beer for Moms

"Hey're a mom!  You should go over there and get your free beer."

I glanced up at the spray-painted sheet hanging from the porch of the self-declared party house, and pretended  I would actually take them up on it.

"That's true!  Do you think they meant me?"  I asked with an exaggerated tone as I took a few steps in the direction of the ad.

I stopped, of course. 

What kind of coach do you think I am?  More than that...what kind of mom do you think I am? I'm a respectable mother, wife and coach who holds herself to the highest standards of professionalism.  I don't think I'd ever be the mom who walked away from my kid as he/she unpacked his/her college things for a first year away at school just so I could have a few bevvies with a young good-looking college kid.  I'd have to be completely desperate, right?! There were moms who stopped, and I was so curious about why they did.  Were they single cougars looking for a young victim?  Were they frazzled, emotional wrecks who hoped that a free beer might calm the overwhelming emotions of saying goodbye?  I don't know. 

I also don't know the intentions of the young men who decided to wave the invitation in the first place.  Were they looking for single cougars who could dig in their claws?  Were they hoping to meet the "party" moms of daughters being delivered to school so they would have first dibs on a girl with good genes?  I can only guess why they invited the moms, but I grappled with what it feels like from a mom's perspective.

On one shoulder I heard the logical professional side of me: "Keep moving those and welcome all the students and their families...make them feel everything you do with joy and treat them the way a good coach and mom should."  On the other shoulder I heard:  "Do it. Just walk over there.  Screw it all.  Would it kill you to lighten up a little? Those boys are sure creative if nothing else, and it would be fun."

Professional shoulder always wins out with me.  I probably always want it to, but there are days when I just wish I could go back to irresponsible, unprofessional me.  Oh wait... I never was one of those!  I told someone the other day how I wish I could just go back to college for one year.  A year when I wasn't worried about playing on a team...a year when I wasn't frantic about my GPA...a year when I could fully invest in getting to know the kinds of boys who dangle interesting messages on bed sheets.  Is this what mid-life crises feel like?  I would venture to guess that if the intensity with which I have felt these emotions the last couple of weeks increases steadily until my kids are heading off to college, the obnoxious, irresponsible shoulder may move my legs to actually cross the street to claim my free beer.