The Badass Inside

“Take him out, Coach!” — I yell across the gym.

It was more of a wail than a directive, “him” being my son and “Coach” being my husband. Reed is playing basketball and has just taken a spill. He is all right, but my heart is pounding, as he is playing injured tonight. Earlier in the day he’d had his chin sewn up, thanks to a fall off his bike. He’s been complaining of road rash elsewhere on his body, but not enough to sit out his game. He loves basketball more than just about anything.

I am so afraid Reed will bonk his chin on the court. The thought itself makes me wince.

My request sets off the 16 year-old girl sitting on the bleachers in front of me.  She leans over to her mom and says something I don’t catch. But my daughter hears her “Eff You, Bee” remark. Defending my honor, Tessa rises to the bait: “Don’t be rude!”

The girl’s mom, as if spring-loaded, lays into Tessa, “YOU’RE BEING RUDE! Shut your effing mouth!”

Never one to back down, Tessa matches the woman expletive-for-expletive. All while I’m trying to get my daughter to hear my more moderated voice directly in her ear, “It’s OK. Stand down. De-escalate. Stop. It’s all right, Sweetie.”

The inflamed woman is now inviting 13 year-oldTessa to take it outside. It’s taken only about 4 seconds to get from my “Take him out, Coach!” to the mom’s  “Ya wanna go at me!? Let’s go outside! Let’s go!” The woman is practically beating her chest at my daughter.

My own mom gets involved at this point, touching the woman on her sleeve and saying, “C’mon. You’re the adult here. Let’s calm things down.”

That douses the woman’s ire. She sits back down and we don’t hear from her or her daughter for the rest of the game.

My entire body is pulsing with adrenaline, and my brain races to to make sense of what’s just happened. The daughter must have thought that I was calling for the OTHER coach to take out HER brother, who was on the OPPOSing team. She knee-jerked based on a faulty assumption, and before anyone knew what was happening, she and her mom were ready to fight. Like really fight!

I feel my blood start to boil. I envision my formerly peaceful self doing all sort of uncharacteristic things. I’m sizing these two up, determining that, in fact, I CAN take them. At least the mom. All those turbo-kickboxing classes are about to pay off. Tessa can totally take the daughter. I even fantasize a scene in which I say, not even in my own voice, “I’ma cut you” (as if I even had a knife on me). I’m debating whether my first blow will be a jab or a roundhouse kick and just how much damage it will do on impact.

Damn, I’ve got a badass inside me!


Our team is winning, and Tessa and I gleefully cheer obnoxiously loud at each basket made by our boys. At the final buzzer we have won by 9 friggin points. Take that b*tches!


Have you ever had your dormant pugilist awakened?


This post is a part of #Microblog Mondays. What’s that? A post that is not too long. Head over to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

My Bloggy Valentines

Nearly 8 years ago, I found this and my world changed. As a result of a routine google search, I found Melissa, bloggers and blogging.

How appropriate, then, that yesterday, Melissa tagged me as one of her Bloggy Valentines. The tag is an invitation for me to write a brief Valentine’s ode to each of 5 other bloggers I follow.

In doing so, I’m hitting Publish on my 999th post.*

bloggy valentine5 random selections from Feedly.

In the absence of classrooms, desks, and shoeboxes, I now hand out my bloggy Valentines.

Eden of Edenland: one of my early blogging sisters (then as Topcat). It’s been such a pleasure to watch you come into your own, to settle into your voice, to remain authentic and grounded. I really enjoyed peeling back the veneer with you via your Dork Olympics and Gimme Shelter carnivals. And I’m thankful to you and your sister for the liquid courage sister that made this possible.

Noemi of Not a Wasted Word: Noemi has incredible stamina as a writer — she passed 1000 posts a long while back and is among the most prolific of bloggers. Also, I admire how willing Noemi is to look within, even when under attack and always with candor. She’s a courageous blogger.

Kathy of Bereaved and Blessed: Kathy and I bonded through book tours, Perfect Moment Mondays and Time Warp Tuesdays. She is a thoughtful, compassionate and connection-making writer whom I am fortunate to call my friend.

Welp, I can only do three, considering the time-sensitivity of this post. My son just fell off his bike and has a gash on his chin.  We’re headed to the doctor for a “wound assessment.” Reed is really hoping he doesn’t need more stitches.

**Update: 3 stitches.**

So Eden, Noemi, Kathy and the other 2 bloggers I was going to mention (one was definitely you) — consider yourself tagged. Here are the rules:

  • Choose 5 blogs at random (or 3).
  • Throw up a post with a sentence about what you love about each one.
  • Tell those people to consider themselves tagged.
  • Visit Stirrup Queens to put up a link to your post.  List closes 11:59 pm ET on the 14th.

* No clue what my 1000th post will be about. Any ideas or requests?

** For those of you counting along at home, that’s 1 stitch every 5 days this year.

Open adoption parenting & mindful living