so after nearly 13 years of watching a boy kick around a ball, chapters of youth soccer, club soccer and high school come to an end. the final high school season saw his team “do better than they’ve ever done” only to end with a thud in a game they should have won and extended their season a bit more. it hurt, games hurt, even the good ones, the wins, they even leave marks.
accolades for a job done well. all-state second team, all-city first team, 4th in balloting for player of the year in lexington and i couldn’t be prouder. but i know he disappointed, plagued by more “grown-up” injuries, a low-back issues, pulled groin, sore hamstring, etc. at times just made it a win to be on the field. he’ll never understand how without him out there the team couldn’t have had the success they shared.
for a pop, there’s a dull pain, countless hours on the road, in shitty hotel rooms off the interstates in ohio, north carolina, tennessee, missouri, indiana, illinois, west virginia, virginia and kentucky. eating what vegetarian fare we could find in the middle of nowhere, laughing at youtube videos, giggling at funny walking locals and smiles, tears, cuss words and more than anything, so much love. i love the game, i love watching him play the game, i love how he was able to see that he was good at something, so therefore he might be able to be good at many things.
soccer leaves wounds and scars, the best kind.
with the change of the seasons, the ball begins it’s roll towards goals. off feet, between legs, through the air–not always sure and true but never forgetful of the points that lie in wait.
happy birthday to this guy. sixteen he is, sixteen, oh no, it can’t be. has it been that long? i think he was seven in this picture, maybe six, but definitely not eight yet. doesn’t matter. i’m old, these boys are getting old, boyhood has escaped all of us involved. what happened to youth…mine anyway?
so yes, what a boy this boy has become. a young man indeed. so proud of what he does daily, the discipline, the insight to life, the empathy. i’m biased but he is one helluva kid. seriously, he has his own way of carrying himself that denotes a maturity that i’m not even sure i have. so, yeah, proud. pop.
so happy birthday, my boy #2. i hope i am around for about fifty more of these. my love to you always.
at some point i became old. i didn’t just discover that fact. it’s been a lingering notion. there’s wasn’t any sort of epiphany, more a black spot of mold that occurred on the bottom of my soul’s shower curtain and slowly, methodically crept unnoticed until it caught my gaze. i fight this mentally with the act of discovery, new music, old music i haven’t heard and images. new and old that continue to spark interest. i just know if i stop this act of discovery then the mold will only grow faster, there’s no outrunning it sure, but there has to be way to slow the dampening. nothing profound, just continuing to have to energy for the unknown things that the senses can still distinguish.
another year of youth soccer wrapped this past weekend. around 2,200 miles logged through a half dozen states or so. long drives, cheap hotels, craft beers, KindTM bars, grapes, oranges, vegan pizzas, ugly socks and moments. moments of joyful play, painful losses, car naps, good songs and words. sometimes many, sometimes few. boys and pops. i know i am on a count down when it comes to these moments. they grow…UP. boy #1 is job searching, living out of town for stretches, talking about his next life and wants…#2 has school, girl, guitars and a slinging hash at the pool. changes (turn and face the strange). here’s to one less season of soccer, still a few more but i’m remembering to savor all the moments on the ball even if there is another one through.
it’s easy to mouth off in defiance, “ain’t nothing or no one gonna stop me from living my dreams…” but in reality just about everything is set-up in this life to do just that…stop you from living your dreams. but that is where you come in, have the determination to be your own person, set your own sights, and follow through on “you.” it’s gotten a little cliche’ but “you do you” isn’t such a bad message. do you, and push through, you can get there…where ever there is for you.