Berto, soccer star and writer

I have felt sad now for a while and for many different reasons, some profound and some illusory.

Yes, I know that's a brilliant beginning.

At any rate last week was a rough week and so I didn't write one bit. A successful writer once said that a writer can't help but write - especially when depressed. But I find that is not so with me. I avoid it, in a slump. Perhaps the fact that I didn't have a play date with words made me sadder than I had to be, though. I think it very probable.

The definite highlight of that week was an evening spent with my son Berto, watching his school soccer game during which he scored his first goal of the season with an assist from his friend Danny. Danny was taking a penalty shot, and Berto saw an opportunity and begged, whispering and gesturing, for Danny to pass it back to him. Being a good friend and teammate, Danny did, and Berto made a beautiful shot high in the goal over the wall of opposing players.

We went out to dinner afterwards, just my son and I. Of course, it was semi-fast food, but what a treat for us to spend an evening together.

Then I had the honor of taking him to an awards ceremony for narrative, poetry and essay writing in his school district. Berto won first prize for essay in 7th grade. I was so thrilled to see his name on the first line in the program that I kept grinning and embracing him until he whispered, "Mom, I have friends here."

When he was called up to receive his ribbon, certificate, and the commemorative anthology of featured writing, I could have kicked myself for forgetting to bring a camera. (Only for the thousandth time in my life, such is my technology handicap and prejudice that I cannot even recall it's there for my use!) I hadn't even thought to ask for his Dad's smartphone, so like an un-evolved ape, I held up my son's simple phone but couldn't figure out how to snap a shot, and so had to nod my head stupidly to imply I captured the moment when in fact I caught it with nothing but my poor faulty eyes and brain. Only later did Berto explain that his basic phone was not a touchscreen.

We were going to sneak out after the essay portion since it was a school night, but I decided against it and explained to Berto that I thought we should stay to support and applaud all the writers. It gave me a thrill to see these young writers walk across the stage, to see the expression of their different personalities - some in heels with coiffed hair, some in bow ties and dress slacks, some still supporting the grunge scene, it seemed - and to hear their different writing voices.

The parents were asked to stand up at the end, so that their support and nurturing of these young creative people could be recognized. I shook my fists in the air like a prize fighter until Berto knocked them down. But, hey, even in his Mother's Day card he recognized me as his editor.


  1. Me? I am proud. Of both you and Berto.

  2. So much to be proud of here! Berto is a very well rounded young man having success in both sports and writing. I also detect from what you write of him that he is humble and has a wonderful sense of humor, all admirable traits!


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