Or while the league president spoke and the coach and I remained almost completely silent. The death rays I have wished since I was six to be able to shoot from my eyes again failed me lo these many decades later.
"A lot of harsh things were said," the president said. "For the good of Youngest, we're going to set that aside and stay focused on the kids. You're both adults. I'm not going to make you apologize for things that were said. Do either of you have anything you'd like to add?"
"Nope," I said.
"No. It was just a misunderstanding," the coach said.
"Patty and I are going to keep talking. You can leave," the president said in such a dismissive tone to the coach.
The motherf$%er walked away.
* * *How did we get to this point from the seemingly irreparable fracture of just a day before? By dealing with a league president who has worked at a frenetic pace, talking with many people involved or in charge, to make sure that things were set right. He has slammed the coach for his behavior on and off the field with the boys and on the phone with Pete and I. The coach? He has denied that he said he was moving Youngest. He claims it was all a misunderstanding.
My claim? Nice try buddy, but I recorded the conversation you motherf$%er. [Illegal, true. Unethical, true. Totally necessary when dealing with this motherf$%er, true.]
That league president has repeatedly told me to remove myself from the equation, to remove the coach from the equation, and just project out what is best for Youngest. He offered up several options for Pete and me to consider. Sadly, none include the outright firing of the coach.
- He can stay on the A team. He'll get the minimum play time. He'll be with the teammates he's been playing with for months. He'll still have that motherf$%er coach. And we'll still have to deal with the man and the fellow parents in the most petty clique I've seen since junior high.
- He can move to the B team. He'll play a lot more. He'll be with the teammates he's been practicing with for months. He'll still have that motherf$%er coach. And we'll still have to deal with the man.
- He can move up a year and play on the Under-11 B team. He'll get the minimum play time. He'll be the youngest and smallest kid on the field for the rest of his youth competitive soccer career. He will have a different coach who has, by all accounts, a far different style and demeanor. He will know only a few of the kids on the squad. And we will never have that motherf$%er coach to deal with as either a coach or a parent.
The third option seems the best to Pete and me. The lad? He wants to stay with his friends. We have shielded some of the most heinous information from him. In short, we are letting him believe in Santa Claus. And I don't know if that fantastical belief should be allowed to continue, for his sake, in light of the real detriment we see the coach's behavior and treatment of the kids could have on him.