I am not sure how I became a referee. I have no professional training, no skills, or even an aptitude toward determining winners vs. losers. I am not adept at breaking up the ensuing battle when the determined loser makes a final plea to state his or her case. With my small, even petite, frame, I do not have the physical stature required of most referees. My soft voice, with its former honeyed tones, and bright smile that regularly adorned my face have been replaced by a raspy yell and snarling grimace with lips permanently persed in a thin line. To adapt to my newly appointed position, my demeanor has also evolved. No longer fun-loving and carefree, Referees are always “on-guard” I have learned – listening, watching, and waiting for the next play. The Players on my game field scream “Mom” when they are unable to call the shot. I never knew until now that the title I answer to mostly is also synonymous with “Warden” or “Meanie”. In my memory of being mothered, “Mom” meant Friend and represented a caretaker wielding unconditional love and never-ending hugs. I am not sure when “Mom” came to mean something else entirely. Occasionally, I see glimmers of the positive side to this epithet. For now, I am an unwitting, struggling Referee to two of the best players in the game.