I picked my daughter up from soccer this evening just like any other fall Thursday night. But tonight was different, she was in another world, listless, zoning, totally unaware I was there. I was concerned. She was staring at the sky, I was calling her name, she was turning in circles, I was screaming her name, she was walking towards me as if in a fog, I was rushing towards her to figure out what was wrong. She was fine...if you call uttering Welsh Poetry as fine.
Let me clarify. I asked her, "What's wrong? You're not yourself."
She simply whispered, "I'll tell you in the car" with a sigh of longing.
I was anxious enough that I shouted at her to shut the car door when she merely sat in the passenger seat and stared through the windshield with the door hanging open. She turned to me and said it was nerves. That she had played on the 6-7th grade boys team this evening in an open contest against the 6-7th grade girls (she's in 5th and decidedly used to playing on a U-11 team) They had placed her in the goal (her normal position) and she had been SCARED! Her nerves were unable to get under control. She says to me, "I even tried to center myself by uttering Welsh Poetry and that didn't work!"
I sat stunned. Welsh Poetry? Nerves were rattled and she uttered Welsh Poetry? And as I sat there pondering that I heard her start low and gravely, "I am the captain of the storm, I shall overcome the ranks of the many. I shall stir within me the ...." and I couldn't move, couldn't drive, couldn't figure out if she was 10 or if she was an ancient Welsh Warrior ready to do battle. So I looked at her and she sat staring out the window into the setting darkness, wistful continuing her poem (apparently Welsh...)
After she finished her soliloquy, I shattered her trance and asked her exactly what the heck had happened at practice--I figured there had to be some story of ball hitting her head-- and hard! in there somewhere. But there wasn't. She (my amazing goalie of a daughter) had made 2 saves on 2 shots against older players. And she had been nervous the whole time, even after her first save. And a Welsh Poem came to her mind and she uttered it to calm herself and somewhere deep in that poem she got stuck.
And now she is in our living room, age 10 again and buoyantly watching Jane Eyre and I am sitting here thinking of the Welsh country-side and longing for simpler times when I understood my child and wondering where the time has gone that she has had this chance to become so worldly. And even more, I am wondering if "time" is even a relevant reference in the lives of young ones.