“Would it be too gay if I brought my sewing?”
I’m not sure if my husband was joking or not, but I laughed mildly and said yes.
Today began the soccer season. Our son could barely sleep last night, his anticipation was so great, and this morning he was beside himself donning his puffy shin guards, sleek black shorts, and official town soccer jersey. Our daughter had a practice earlier this week, so the excitement for her first game today wasn’t quite as great as her younger brother, who would be practicing with his team for the thirty minutes prior to the big game.
We live only a few blocks away from the soccer field, so we walked to the field, our son toting his cleats and water bottle in a tiny backpack that he complained was too heavy, my husband lugging a set of double-wide camping chairs, and my daughter and I carrying only our morning beverage, as we are both clearly the royalty in the family and can’t be bothered to break a sweat with anything even mildly burdensome.
We got to the field, laced up our son’s cleats, and off he went. Several of his Kindergarten classmates are on his team, including one of his best friends, so he felt right at home. Our daughter found an older sibling to play with, and my husband and I set up shop. We found a prime piece of real estate near the end of the field, unfolded our chairs, and sunk in.
As I sat there so early in the morning, bright green J. Crew polo providing my children an easy beacon of sight, hair perfectly coiffed with gel, legs daintily crossed, sipping my homemade chai latte from a stylish black travel mug, I looked around at the other dads. They were all wearing sweat pants and baseball caps, in faded t-shirts that read things like “Stinky Lobster,” and while none of us had shaved that morning, my stubbly face certainly looked like a choice of beauty regimen rather than a lack of effort. I looked at my husband as we sat, two grown men, so snugly close in our double-seated folding chair and told him, “We look really gay.”
“Good for us,” he said, smiling.
My husband is usually the one telling me we should tone it down, and this momentary role reversal was comforting for me. The other parents were perfectly nice to us, some we know from other activities, and I’d venture to say we might even be on the road to a real friendship with a few of them, so learning to embrace the differences that my family can’t avoid is a step in the right direction for all of us. Because seriously, I am never setting foot outside the house in sweat pants and a baseball cap.