Saturday, September 8, 2012

If They Only Knew

This morning I was just another runner in a race on a typical Minnesota fall day.

I was just another mom watching her kid play soccer.

In both, I felt a little like the secret weirdo.

I mean I was the only person who didn't blink an eye when I saw that the three stalls in the women's bathroom didn't have doors. I was probably the only one who was breathing a lot easier during that 5K, or noticed that people were cheering in English.

During the game, I have to say I was pretty proud of Megan, who despite her only experience in soccer being bi-lingual coaching from a Swiss German with dredlocks alongside a gang of Chinese boys, seems to be one of the most skilled on her team. If not, then at least the fiercest and most determined. I didn't feel like explaining all that to any of the other moms.

Let them all think this is as normal for me as it is for them. They don't need to know how many times I've used bathrooms in the full presence of strangers, how I'm used to people staring at me like I'm insane when I run. They don't know that we've never seen this many American kids playing soccer in the same place before, or that Megan's not used to her teammates calling her name.

If they only knew.


  1. oh i know that feeling. the day my kids could NOT stop drinking out of the church water fountain and we had to give everyone about six turns slurping water.

    I wanted a little sign that said "forgive us for taking so long, it's their first time!"

    I also always dream of having t shirts made for the flights home.... so when we are having massive breakdown on the "small plane" to Fargo our seatmates can read the "I started my day in China" tshirt and understand our tears and screams (the kids' tears and screams, that is. i usually manage to keep mine to myself!)

  2. I know - I feel like I need a shirt that says something like, "I'm new here" or "Out of Practice American."

  3. I have felt that same way in our short journeys home. I had a huge list in my journal one time of all of the things that we (including the kids) had to figure out "for the first time" and yet were trying to look like we had done them the million or so times as our / their peers and i had a list of things I wished our family and friends understood about us before we came home. It was helpful, started some really healthy conversations. :) Laura - drinking fountains were on our list too. :)