It’s a sunny Saturday in September.
When I awakened this morning, the temperature had changed dramatically. The week’s hot spell of weather in the low 90’s had been rapidly shoved out of our area by a cooling burst of wind that brought a rain storm tagging along with it.
So this morning, it was sunny but brisk. Dew still glistened on the grass, and a distinct chill permeated the air. It felt like a typical autumn day in my neck of the woods. Even the air smelled differently, a reminder that fall is on its way.
Sunny Saturdays in September make me think of soccer matches. Yes, I will readily disclose it….I am a soccer mom. Wait…amend that….I was a soccer mom.
This morning’s reminiscence of fall soccer weather also compels me to take note that for the first time in 16 years, hubby and I have no soccer matches to attend on a crisp, sunny fall day. Our refrigerator is devoid of the annual soccer schedules fastened by magnets to its side, and it looks a little forlorn, but definitely cleaner.
Our son first donned soccer cleats and shin guards when he was six years old, and he’s avidly played this sport ever since. He’s a natural athlete, loves the action of most sports, and participated in soccer, baseball, and basketball all the way through high school, when he also discovered he excelled at the 800 meter and 1600 meter races in track. But soccer always prevailed and ranked first with him.
When we first started watching him play as a youngster, middle daughter decided soccer looked enticing too so she started kicking the soccer ball around and also joined a team, where she quickly caught up with her more experienced teammates. Soccer became her favorite sport as well, especially when she discovered she had a natural knack for being goalkeeper.
Fall has always been a busy sports season for our family. Oldest daughter’s sport was running – she competed in both cross country and track in high school. She’s still a runner and now runs in 5Ks and other races.
Middle daughter and son played on recreational soccer teams, moved up to traveling and select teams, which required even more further travel for tournaments. So I kept my car’s gas tank full in those days as many a fall day elapsed while watching oldest daughter run a cross country race or middle daughter or son engage in soccer matches.
The fall bustle of activity continued even as our kids transitioned to college. Middle daughter played on her college women’s team until she suffered a concussion serious enough to derail her from the action. She then switched to running cross country her last two years in college, still a fall sport.
Son played all four years on his college men’s soccer team. For a couple years, both middle daughter and son were in college at the same time, so that meant Saturday traveling hither and yon to see them both compete.
Fall sports became such a major part of their lives and ours, that we feel a void now this season of our life is over. [sigh] Just another sign of the empty nest. Son was just sharing with me yesterday how as the mornings have become cooler, he feels like he should be trotting off to soccer practices instead of getting ready for work. He misses it enough evidently that he has found an adult soccer league in which to play at his place of employment.
So son will satisfy his soccer fix, but alas, this soccer mom won’t. He lives too far away to attend any of those games. Besides, can you imagine a grown man having his “soccer mom” show up at his games to cheer him on? I don’t think so!
“When something is missing in your life, it usually turns out to be someone.” ~Robert Brault