There’s a moment every parent must come upon, face, and move past. It’s the very second when you realize that your kid is better at something than you will ever be.
It’s a soccer field, and frankly, she plays like a 6-year-old. Which means not that great.
But as she elbowed her way in front of another first grader to play defense to the “blue team’s” throw in, I saw a spark of what she could be. On a soccer field, she has far more of her father than of me.
When I was 6, I wasn’t playing defense. I was lying in the grass watching the clouds or sitting, picking the heads off of dandelions with a childhood friend. I was “into” soccer until you expected me to actually play. Then I was terrified. And a bit bored.
But my husband is “into” soccer in the sense that he actually blogs for a professional soccer team. Stuffed in his Christmas stocking was a note instructing him to turn on the TV to find his newly purchased access to a channel that shares all the games England can offer up. Soccer is a religion to him, the way college football is to much of the South.
And my memories of soccer may lack the actual ball, but they weren’t . . . horrible. They just are.
And so we’ve put her into soccer not once, not twice, but three times over, with my husband as coach.
For two of those years, that meant watching her run around the field chewing her cuticles, staring longingly at the bench or running pell mell across the field with her eyes on the sidelines so she could wave at the crowd. Ask her where the ball was, and she’d go blank.
She was, is, a normal kid.
As I said, she plays like a 6-year-old.
But I’m a writer. I was meant to sit in front of a computer and pound the keys. I was never meant to run after a little round ball.
And so I’m still in the “staring at the bench” stage.
I’ve faced it. My kid is better at soccer than I’ll ever be.
Thank goodness for that.