The best part of the day happened around 4:45, after I had somehow managed to be in two different places at the same time. I actually sat in one place and watched Zach's tennis match. Outside. In a chair. And thanks to the dumb shit weatherman and his inability to do his job, I froze my ass off.
Well, technically, I didn't completely freeze my ass off, since it was a really close match and I kept tensing up all of my muscles every time he went for a passing shot. When the match went to a third set, I considered waiting in the car and saving myself a lot of stress, but I decided to be a supportive parent, sit in the wind, stick it out and holler an occasional phrase like "Come on Zach!" or "Nice shot!" Even when Zoe told me, when the set score was 5-3 and Zach was up 30-15, that she had to go pee, I introduced her to the fine art of peeing in the grass so that I didn't miss the final point. I wanted to make sure that when Zach said "Hey, thanks for coming to my match. Did you see that last point?" that I'd be able to say yes, yes I did see the last point. Even though your brother is at home by himself waiting for dinner and your sister just pissed in the grass, I saw the last point.
Turns out, he didn't ask me if I saw it, he didn't thank me for coming and actually, he kind of wishes that I wouldn't have shown up. Turns out I didn't have to find someone else to drive Charlie to his dinner-less home after his orchestra practice, because I could have just picked him up myself. Turns out that I could have avoided having to make Zoe pee in the grass, strategically blocking the sight of her naked ass from traffic using collapsible chairs, and could have wandered over to the outhouse instead. Turns out I probably should have just plunged my head into the shit-filled tank while I was in there.
When Zach got in the car and we were headed home to enjoy a ten minute dinner before we had to head back out for piano lessons, he said "I don't know if I like having you at my matches, so if you can't make it to some of them, that's okay."
Um, gee, well, let's review, shall we? I drive you to your lessons, get your rackets restrung, regrip your rackets, make sure you have decent court shoes, schedule your lessons, make sure your uniform is clean, reassure you when you think your backhand sucks, pack coolers with protein-rich food and force you to go to bed at a decent hour the night before big matches. But should I mind that you don't want me sitting and watching a match, from 30-feet away, with a windscreen between us? Was this the same kid that, just two weeks ago, said to me "I wish you had seen the match I played at practice. It was so much fun and I played really well."
Somehow I managed to not get mad, or even act like I was taking his desire to remove my presence from his matches personally. Instead, I calmly said "No. It's not okay. I'll be there watching, because it's my job to be there. But from now on I'll make sure I'm there, but not there."
He said thanks.
So now all I need to do is add "become invisible on demand" to my list of mom duties, and from now on when Zoe says she needs to go pee I won't feel bad when I take the time to walk with her to the outhouse. Unless she chooses to pee in the grass instead which, in that case, I'll just strategically arrange the chairs.