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Soccer Mom Turns Ref

With her 11-year old son only wait-listed for the team, Mom was given a choice: they needed referees, volunteers who would go out there in the wind and the chill, weathering not only nature but a ball glancing off the head, a kick in the shin, a trampled foot — inevitable in a field of scampering boys on the cusp of victory — let alone the shriek of hysterical parents howling on the sidelines. By volunteering for this sacrificial duty, her son would be in. Perhaps five minutes of thought was given to this invitation — or one.

She was provided a study manual. Conscientious as the young mother was and a fast learner, she studied hard and quick, arrived in sweats and sneaks early in the morning on time, took the test and aced it but for one question, confusingly posed: what would you do after a team player got injured? several a.b.c. choices after getting the bloody kid off the field, including stopping the game, injecting a substitute player but if not possible, playing with one side short. Playing short turned out to be it. She viewed this as psychiatric injury adding to the physical to leave his teammates short-changed, but figured she had time down the road to change things.

So she ran around the gym for four hours learning the moves and the lingo and went home exhausted carrying a uniform, a name tag and a couple of colored flags. She opted out of the afternoon session to be a Big Kids Ref. This was enough. Her son was IN and she had a shiny whistle and the title “Referee” to add to her resume. Smart Starts in the Arts