Monday, October 25, 2004


I have planned a series of posts this week in honor of Halloween, one of my family's favorite holidays. I'll get around to that, but before I do I want to tell you about REAL fear coupled with a near miss.

The Little One was diagnosed with pneumonia when she was about 8 months old. It was BAD, and we almost lost her. She spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the hospital in an oxygen tent, with an IV in her little bald head. The day the doctor told me, "we've done all we can do. All we can do now is wait and pray" I thought was the worst of my life. Long story short, of course you know she made it. She's fine. But that's not the point of my story. Tonight she made it again. I am saying prayers of thanks.

Once a week the entire club that she plays for (the under 13s anyway) gets together for a practice. It's just intensive skills drilling, and it really is amazing what they learn. The progress they have made is very apparent each and every week. They hold the "academy" at the local university because one of the club directors is the coach of the university team. The field is immaculate, as you can imagine a college soccer field is. Huge bleachers on both sides, and a concession stand facility that's made of brick - it's a stadium. Unfortunately, the backside of the far stands (where the concession stands and the bathrooms are located) is not lighted. Well, not when the club practices anyway. Also, please keep in mind that the university is located in a rather large city and the surrounding neighborhood is not one of the most desirable.

As I was standing at the fence watching and talking with another parent on The Little One's team (too damned chilly to sit on metal bleachers), I noticed said Little One and one of her best buddies on the team headed back to the bathrooms together. I realized in that split second that it was probably not a good idea. This was because 10 year old girls tend to do stupid stuff like play in the bathrooms when an adult isn't standing over them. Less than two minutes later I saw The Little One and her friend come tearing back onto the field like their hair was on fire. I knew that they had not been back there long enough to go to the bathroom, so I figured they were just screwing around. I decided to have a talk with her about playing around at academy.

Not long after, this really creepy gangbanger looking guy came up to me and the other parent (a rather large man...I wouldn't mess with him) and asked what was going on. I say creepy mostly because he seemed like he was on something. His pupils were HUGE and he didn't make a heck of a lot of sense. He otherwise looked like a normal person. We told him that it was soccer practice. He asked how old the kids were and we said 13 and under. Then he launched into one of the longest run-on sentences I have ever heard (worse than me):

"I just came up here because I saw the lights and thought my buddies were playing football but I guess they're not here so I can't wait for Halloween because we're going to scare the shit out of kids all over this neighborhood and I just scared the shit out of two little girls I said you come here but they screamed and ran away but we're going to get them good on halloween." It was then that I realized he was talking about OUR girls. Normally any perceived threat gets a Mama Bear reaction out of me, but for once in my life I used discretion, lest this high moron had a gun or something. We turned our backs and said basically, "no football here" and he went away.

The Little One finished up her practice, because that's how she is. She LOVES this game and didn't want to quit. Afterwards she was still pretty shaken. The other girl's Mom and I talked to them, praising them for doing the right thing, mildy "scolding" them for leaving practice for the bathroom without a parent and basically commiserating with eachother.

I am still a bit rocked right now. Wine helps. Lots of wine. And Tylenol PM. I will regret this in the morning. I don't care.

After I came home, I made a report with campus police, which quite honestly are much better than most rent-a-cops. I wanted to be sure they were aware of non-students, quite possibly cracked out of their minds, trolling around campus. A couple of parents and myself have rehashed this incident this evening. One theory is that the crack-head pedophile (and I am not convinced he was on crack, but it sounds good) came up to tell someone about trying to "scare" the children because he was afraid they would report the incident. Who knows? I just thank the Lord that my kid and her friend were smart enough to know what to do. They screamed "NO" and ran to the nearest trusted adult.

My friends, unless you are a parent I don't think you can possibly know what kind of terror mixed with homicidal rage I felt this evening. I can only thank God that things turned out as positively wonderful as they did. I considered being PC and apologizing for mentioning the "G" word and faith, lest some of you might be turned off. But screw it. These are my beliefs, this is my blog and it's my kid. I believe He watched over her tonight. I'm good with that.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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