[This is a shot from an exhibition match Em's team played at a local community college a few weeks ago. The guy to the left in the foreground is Baroy. The player in blue farthest to the right on the field is Em.]
The soccer thing got even more complicated after my last post. Way more complicated. Almost too complicated to explain, but I need to. So I can also explain my pride.
On Monday, Baroy got an email from the scout I wrote about. It was addressed to four or five different parents, and it was an invitation for our girls to play in an 'elite' soccer tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. Whether or not this was a prelude to being invited to play on the sectionals all-star team, we didn't know. But it was exciting. Em was positively beaming.
Baroy made sure to reply quickly, saying Em would be thrilled to be part of the team. A few hours later, he received another note, saying, "Great! Your daughter is the tall, dark-haired one on the team, right? #345?"
Uh, no. Em is short and blonde. And her number is 346. (Actual numbers changed to protect the innocent, of course.)
Em overhead Baroy tell me about this, and oh. I know life is disappointment, and blahblahblahblahblah, but if any one of you could watch your child's face fall and her upper lip quiver, even if she manages to stiffen it within seconds, without your heart shattering...well, you're not me.
"Does that mean he was never there to scout me at all?" she asked.
"I don't know, hon," I replied.
Meanwhile, Baroy is sitting in his chair at his computer, and you can literally see the steam rising off of him. He's easily annoyed by incompetence or sloppiness under normal circumstances. Do something like this? Make a mistake AND disappoint his kid? As my friend A (one of the girlfriends I was IMing with while this went on) said, "You almost have to pity the guy."
(My other girlfriend, S, said, "No way. He should get the full Baroy." The full Baroy. Hee!)
Despite being furious, he managed to calm down enough to send a terse but emotionless email that told the guy what number Em was, then added: "Are you looking for not-Em, #345? I need to know immediately, because I already told Em she was invited to the tournament."
He then sat and simmered in anger and resentment for quite a while, while I put a very-subdued Em to bed.
This morning, however, the coachscoutguy replied to Baroy's email, saying, "I'll take her to the tournament, and I'll go see her team again this weekend." (We presume he meant in order to look at the other girl, who really is a great player.)
Baroy and I discussed our options, but decided to ask Em what she wanted to do at this juncture. Her answer? "I don't want to be on the team if I'm not who he wanted. He doesn't need to do that just to make me feel better."
I don't need to actually say, do I, how proud that made me? How mature that was? Seriously, I'm kvelling here.
The upshot of the story, by the way, is that Baroy responded and told the coachscoutguy what Em said, adding, "She's a good player, and one of the team's best, but doesn't want to be in a tournament because of a mistake. So here's what might be fair: Come to the game on Saturday, and watch her and not-Em play again. If you like what you see, take her. If not, she'll understand." He then offered to introduce coachscoutguy to not-Em's parents if coachscoutguy wanted.
Coachscoutguy's immediate reply was that that sounded good to him, and that he'd let Baroy know after the game Saturday. And there it stands for now.
You know what? On second thought, I'm proud of both of them. Because I know this wasn't any easier on Baroy than it was on Em. But they did me proud. Both of them.