Friday, April 8, 2011

Win, Lose or Draw

Hannah and I went to the Whitecaps game on Wednesday night. My friend Scott gave me two tickets, and I thought it would be a good way to bond with my ten year old daughter. In the car on the way, I tell her that too. “I am excited about having some Hannah-Mommy time,” I say.

“Mom, can you just say ‘mother-daughter’ time, instead? It sounds better.”

“Yes, of course, sweets-- my bad,” I say.

“No one says ‘my bad’ anymore, Mom.”

Oh god. “Okay. Sorry. Do people still say that?”


This is not a very auspicious beginning.

After a while, I ask, “Are you excited about seeing the game, Han?”

“I think I’ll reserve judgement for now,” she says. She actually says this.

“Are you at least excited that we’re going to A&W?” I ask. We’re going there for dinner on the way. We don’t often go to those kinds of places.

“Yeah!” she says enthusiastically. Well, at least that’s something.

At A&W, we both get teen burgers, her because even though she’s only 10, she’s acting like a teenager, and me because I figure eating one will give me the body of a teenager. (That’s how this A&W thing works, right? It doesn’t? Aww, screw you, confusing Burger Family!)

We walk into the stadium just as the crowd inside starts singing O Canada, and we and all the other people around us, all of us late, sing loudly along. We get to our seats just one and a half minutes into the game. The sun is setting and it is still warm and beautiful. Even in the first minute, I can tell the new Whitecaps are an exciting team. This is going to be good. I take this picture of us:

Less than three minutes later, Hannah tells me she feels sick.

“What?” I say, craning my neck around, only half paying attention to her and trying to watch the game.

“I feel barfy.”

Now she has my attention. “Are you sure, Han?” I don’t want to ask everyone who just stood up to let us in to stand up again.

Her face looks grey and she is kind of shivering.

I ask everyone to stand up again so we can get out and go to the washrooms. Well, porta pottys. We get there and Hannah goes in, but then comes out again, like 20 seconds later. I should point out that she can be kind of an anxious kid and that she hates public washrooms.

“And?” I say.


“Are you okay?” She would not like it if I asked her personal questions about what happened in there, so I look at her. I can’t read her face. She just looks back at me. I’m desperate to go back in and watch the soccer game. “Can we go back in?” I ask.


We go back to our seats. Everyone nicely stands up again. One, maybe two minutes pass. The Whitecaps are glorious. There is still no score, but they have all the possession.

“Mom, I feel sick again.”

Now, I might not have reacted in the best possible way to this news. “Are you insane?” is what I believe I said. “You are not sick. And besides I’m not asking those people to move again.” I rummage around in my purse and find a plastic bag and give it to her. “Here, puke in this.” And then I turn back and watched the game.

Super soccer mom, right? See, this is why at the top of my blog is says “Stories from a Different Kind of Soccer Mom.” It’s because I suck. A proper soccer mom would probably not have let her sick kid almost hyperventilate in a plastic bag so she could watch a match. (It was truly an awesome match, by the way. They finished the first half nil nil.) A truly proper soccer mom would definitely not take a picture of her sick kid holding a puke bag up to her mouth and post it on her blog, for all to see. Like this:

What can I say?

Half time comes and we go out and try the bathrooms again, and it's pretty crowded out there now. Hannah says she might be feeling slightly better. “Can we go back in and watch the second half?” I suggest hopefully. It’s not really a question, but I want her to think I am giving her a choice.


As we head back in, I find $20 on the ground. I ask, but no one around me will claim it.

“Can I have the money, Mom?”

“Nice try.”

The second half is crazy. A Whitecap gets sent off with a red card. Then, we get a penalty shot—and score, leading one- nil. The player who scores is so excited, in a frenzy he whips off his jersey and throws it into the enthusiastic crowd, and then he promptly gets a red card too. So we are up by one goal, but down two players. The game will need to change after this.

Hannah, I notice, is changing too-- her puke bag is balled up in her fist at her side, and not draped over her nose and mouth as she previously had it. She is also cheering now instead of rocking back and forth and moaning. She probably can’t help it—someone in the audience has brought a drum and the crowd is so into it, stomping and clapping. The Whitecaps defenders and goalie are stupendous, foiling chance after chance. It’s like a thirty minute, two man advantage power play in hockey, and the Whitecaps are rocking it. No one is getting past them. At one point, I look over at Hannah, and she is actually paying attention to the game and smiling.

The ninety minutes are up. They add four minutes of injury time.

And then the other team scores.

As we make our way out, the crowd is still crazy excited, even though it ended in a tie. I overhear a young guy say “Whoa, that was more exciting than watching the Canucks!” and I can’t help smiling, because I agree. Hannah and I drive all the way home, car dancing and singing at the top of our lungs to the White Stripes songs she picks out on my iphone.

And nobody puked. I'm going to count this as a win.


  1. you are hilarious...and i love that you are a "different kind of soccer mom"... helps keep life funny and interesting and REAL!! LOL. Proud to call you my friend. (xoxo Tiger)

  2. Naming this piece after an Allman Brothers Band album was a stroke of genius. Funny as always. How are you going to spend the $20?

  3. Cathy you are a nutter a complete and utter nutter!!

  4. I hope you took away a valuable lesson from this Cathy. KFC always trumps A&W and this way you won't botulize your child (it's a word now just go with it)

    - Man of lessons lurneded....ed