I love my rain boots. They are comfortable, stylish and naturally, a leopard print. They make me look forward to the rain. I love to slosh through puddles and not worry about my shoes. I feel a little invincible like I can tread through anything. I am more playful; the idea of jumping through puddles makes me smile.
1983. Winter sports at Stevenson School include Boys Soccer, Boys Lacrosse and Girls Field Hockey. Field Hockey has the worst field; on rainy days it is more like a swamp. We play in knee-high mud. We practice rain or shine — or we would never have practice during El El Niño. I love Field Hockey. All the stresses, troubles, and academic pressures of the day melt away with the mud. Mud flies everywhere. Sticks and balls and mud do battle. I stand in my cleats. Mud swishes through my socks between my toes and my toes wiggle in the mud. I am not the most skilled player, but I love this sport. Actually, I love the uniform. The kilt hits me just right and Field Hockey girls – we – give off a, ‘ready for anything’, tough-girl vibe, which I can’t muster off the field/so unlike the real me. I am covered in mud, my perfectly coiffed bob is destroyed. I feel liberated from the controlled and striving for perfection self I am off the field.
My father picks me up from practice. The front seat of his Audi is covered in towels. I strip down in the laundry room off of the garage lest I drag the field into the the perfectly clean main part of the house and dump my clothes into the washer. After a hot shower, I devour a whole box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and ask for more. I have earned this, I am a serious athlete and I am starving. It is time to buckle down for 4-5 hours of homework. As I write essays, solve geometry proofs and conjugate verbs in French, I stop and smile as I remember the feeling of freedom in the mud. Tomorrow is another practice, I hope it rains.