Waiting for the 11th grade basketball game to finish so I can cheer on my son's 7th grade team. Sitting next to a mom I don't know.
Mom I Don't Know: Do you know who's winning?
Me: I am sorry, I don't. I just walked in. Who are you cheering for?
Mom I Don't Know: The home team.
Me: Oh, me too! My son plays in the same league for the 7th grade team.
Lively banter follows about where the boys go to high school and the newest guilty pleasure by Julian Fellowes.
Whistle blows. A Mom on Other Team Starts Screaming. Gets kicked out of game. Second Mom on Other Team Takes Up Where She Left Off.
Mom I Don't Know: Ugh. We played a game recently where they had to hire a police officer to stand next to one mom during a game, and she still got thrown out. She is an actress on some reality show and she is always getting escorted out of games. The other parents loved her.
Me: I just don't understand why people think it is ok to behave like that.
3rd Quarter. Our 11th grade team is winning handily, but tensions are high. Without warning, a player from the opposing team throws a punch at one of our players.
The stands clear.
Boys, adults, strangers are all tangled up in an explosion of violence. Everyone is screaming.
I see Second Mom. She is in the middle of the melee. She grabs one of our players, throws him to the ground, and is on top of him, cussing him out, hands all over him.
This next part gets a little blurry. Here's what I can remember.
I get up out of my seat. I run over to some players who are trying to get in the fight.
Me: Son, sit down! Don't do it!
Player: Don't touch me!
Me to Second Mom: Ma'am, please stop! Sit down! Sit down!
Second Mom: YOU sit down!
Coach holding Second Mom back: SHUT UP!
Me: Act like an adult! (Remind me to work on my comebacks.)
I then return to my seat, realizing my mission was futile.
Suddenly, I am surrounded with fingers in my face.
Second Mom, Her Friend, and Her Son: You better watch yourself you better watch how you to speak to my mom you better shut the hell up unless you want to get tore up you need to leave it to the kids you sitting there acting all nice ...
Somehow, my son's assistant coach gets between them and me and saves me from injury. They go away. I am shaking.
The police come, and I give my statement. They don't ask me for my name, and they don't seem that concerned about what has happened. However, I am later told by the head of the league that charges will be filed.
Anger. Hate. Pain. Fear. I saw it all manifested on that basketball court. And in trying to digest it all, the only thing I have learned is how much I don't understand about the world, and about people. There is no tidy wrap-up for this one - just a feeling of sadness for all those involved, and the hope that next time, things turn out differently.
Until next time, keep crowin' and growin' and lovin' through hate.