‘Aren’t they cute? Knee high to a grasshopper’. Sylus, the three-year old, waddle runs and reminds me of an oompa loompa. The children are like puppies, they bound around, falling over their feet chasing the ball. They crash into each other. Their mothers are alert and only three steps away when they have a boo boo and cry.
My eyes sting. I attempt to connect with the world around me.
A grandmother in a red shirt holds her camera and records every socceroo moment.
I blink and slowly comprehend that I need to move the basket on the bench beside me to make room for two grandpas.
I had two grandpa’s, once.
Blink. The elderly gentleman is talking to me about the children, his wife is pointing out which one they are here to watch play.
I was that little, once.
Blink. Yeah, I can be loud, sure. Enthusiasm plus, that’s me. I’ll come in and blow enthusiastically on a whistle for an hour every Saturday morning at 9am, why not. Coach Angela, with her own blue t-shirt. I’m a night person, and that won’t even buy me a slab of cocoa butter, but shit, I could do with some cuteness in my life. So much hope in dem lil shiny baby eyes.
My eyes are red-rimmed and I am conscious of it. In the bathroom I am surprised at how together I look.
Coffee Black and egg-white fucking fine.
I smile, nod and agree, and bounce enthusiastically at the correct times. I tick all the boxes. It comes easily.
He wants a commitment from me. I’m in, right? Gonna do this? I shrug, and smile, Why not? You’re gonna pick me up in the mornings, right?
And as easily as it comes, it goes.
I’m walking on a treadmill, a hamster wheel; I’m treading water, paddling circles in a lake. I have tried and failed more times in these last months than I have in my entire life. Another plan B bites the dust.
Luckily, coming home coincides with an overdue business meeting, rolls me into the lap of a man who thinks I can make something happen.
(Maybe if I find enough people who think I can make it happen, I will believe in what I have created).
I call my mother, and tell her I need to decide what to do, and she says, I can’t help you with that my dear.
And isn’t that the truth.