In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Confessions of a Lacrosse Mom

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

I'm a Lacrosse Mom.

Before my son started playing lacrosse, I knew nothing about it.

After the first season of lacrosse, I still knew nothing about it. Oh, I understood there were sticks with little bird's nest baskets on the end of them. Shoes with cleats, hard rubber balls that have to land in the little bird's nest baskets, monster gloves, shoulder pads, an oversized helmet and a mouth guard. However, all of this scary-looking equipment pales in comparison to the most important piece of lacrosse equipment.

The cup.

"I need a cup," my son declared one day.

"Okay. You have a water bottle, what do you need a cup for?"

"Mom, a cup."

"I know. If you get thirsty just take a sip from your water bottle."

"A cup to protect my private parts!"

"Oh, a cup. Is that the same thing as a jock strap?"

"What is a jock strap?"

"I don't know, something boys wore when I went to high school. Call your father."

For those of you who have never seen a cup, it's actually shaped like the letter 'C' and when inserted into underwear designed to hold it in place, the hard plastic shell offers complete protection for a young man's delicate private region. His father took him shopping for the all-important cup and we survived: "Lacrosse: The First Year."

Phew!

After a long winter, it is now time for: "Lacrosse: The Second Year."

"Man up!" my son yelled to his friends before he headed onto the field. Man up? Man up! When did all of this testosterone arrive? Last year he did not scream, "Man up!" At least I understood the battle cry. I watched a practice that involved lots of running, guarding, pushing and catching the hard rubber ball in the bird's nest basket.

"It's like hockey," a friend tried helpfully. "They're two on two."

I pretended to understand what he meant, but the only sport I really understand is baseball, which unfortunately, my son doesn't play.

Soon after the season began, my son announced, "I need new lacrosse gloves. These aren't steesy."

I thought for a minute and figured it was safe to assume gloves didn't have anything to do with his private parts.

"Ah, steesy? Can you translate?"

"Steesy! It's a combination of style and ease. These gloves aren't steesy."

After much, um, ah, discussion (read: arguing) and a trip to look at new, steesyier lacrosse gloves, he finally decided he could play with the ones he had.

Phew!

And so we enjoyed a few days of peace until we stopped at a friend's house the other day: "Come in and see my Nutt Hutt!" he cried. With great trepidation I entered to see his fellow lacrosse player swinging a pair of underwear over his head. In case you think I make this stuff up, let me assure you, the Nutt Hutt is available locally and according to the packaging, the Nutt Hutt is the "perfect home for your most prized possessions."

The representation of the "prized possession" on the package is a tiny peanut in a shell. To protect this peanut, people are supposed to shell out (couldn't resist the pun) $40 for hi-tech underwear that promises extra ventilation, a reinforced waistband, superior range of motion and an installment loan plan for parents (OK, that part I made up). This cup looked large enough to protect the entire team and so indestructible a Humvee could run over it without altering its shape.

What boy wouldn't want to strut his stuff in the Nutt Hutt?

Nevertheless, my son has not started to lobby me for the Nutt Hutt.

Yet.

I hope he waits until, "Lacrosse: The Third Year."

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