Despite our turbulent beginning, the rest of our Dubai trip was wonderful.
After our nasty all-nighter flight, we had a 20 minute nap, showered and were off to our first outing. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to Dubai at this particular time was because of a rugby match I wanted us to watch. Here’s why….meet my friend Aine (pronounced Ahnia…for those who aren’t Irish).
Aine is one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. The picture you see above is exactly her. Light radiates from deep within her and illuminates everyone and everything around her. She is a sweet, gentle (not to be mistaken for not-strict), kindergarten teacher at our school. No matter how stressed she might be, she always asks about you and how you’re doing. She is a deeply spiritual yogi. She is kind and thoughtful and I frequently have little notes or gifts left on my desk at work from her that brighten my day.
But Aine, light radiating, gentle, kind, Aine has another side. This delights me to no end for some reason (read to the end because in writing this I figured out why). Aine is a fierce rugby player. When I first heard this I thought, oh cool, she’s a great athlete; I’d like to watch her play. But, you see, I’d never seen a rugby match before.
I HAD NO IDEA!
This girl, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, will take you down if you are her opponent in rugby. If you’re on the other team and you have the ball…take heed! Her whole demeanor changes, for brief, focused periods of time. I suspect that after she’s tackled you to the ground, she helps you up and apologizes profusely. That’s just a guess.
As interesting as this all is, and as much as I enjoyed the first game I watched and my introduction to rugby, why did I want to go to Dubai to watch her play? Because much of what I see in her I see blossoming in my youngest daughter, Honour. I kept trying to get her to come and watch one of Aine’s games but so far, she hadn’t been able to pry herself away from her friends. In Dubai there were no distractions.
A little side note – I’ve recently become aware of an intense joy I have when I see my girls doing certain things. I’ve decided this is important. I wish I would have taken note of this earlier but it’s never too late. I’ve decided that these are directions that I could encourage them in. We are still connected after all and I think my joy comes from seeing their joy. Sometimes they accomplish things and I’m so very proud of them, but this is different. This seems to be to be like when they sink into something or somewhere that they’re meant to be, doing things they are meant to do, feeling fulfillment that they are entitled to and meant for. It’s the sweet spot. This is how I feel when I watch Honour play sports. She’s a wonderful actress…I love to watch that too…and a lovely singer…but when she plays sports it makes me so very happy. (To my other girls, I’d be happy to tell you what you do that makes me feel that same joy. I’m not sure you want me to tell the world, but I can certainly do that too.)
So we carried our travel weary bodies to the rugby pitch (Canadians…do you like my new lingo? Rugby match, rugby pitch? Are you with me?).
Just as I hoped, Honour was completely wrapped in the intensity and startling brutality of the game and in the emergence of the athletic, competitive personality of Aine-on-the-field.
As we left I was told I was never to go to a game of Aine’s without Honour again. Aine also told Honour she should play rugby. She told her there was a ‘touch’ game (less intense) that she might like to try. Honour said, with a giggle, “I’m kind of into the tackle thing.”
Here’s what I love about this, here’s why I think this is so flippin’ fantastic for girls like Aine and Honour; sometimes the sweet girls get walked on in life. Sometimes those who are bent toward the wellbeing of others, forget to take care of themselves. They forget to take life by storm…their life. Sometimes conquering things feels too aggressive. Sometimes winning, for yourself, is shadowed by who didn’t win. Sometimes it can take a whole lifetime to realize that in your love and kindness toward others you’ve let yourself be passed by and in fact, you don’t even know what you want to fight for much less how to fight for it. Sweet girls, who are bent toward the wellbeing of others need somewhere to safely exercise this muscle, to let the warrior come out, to feel the victory and to know it’s good.
I’m so grateful for examples of love and light and goodness, and focus and power and strength that women like Aine can bring to my growing young goddess-of-goodness.
To all the sweet, gentle women out there, don’t forget to go after what you want, unapologetically, with power and focus and strength.
For this reason alone, Dubai was a success.
Enjoy some pictures of Aine-on-the-field (number 12).
Even a couple of videos at the bottom.
A couple of short clips…Aine-on-the-field in action.