My daughter has played soccer for 3 or so years now. I’ve gone to the games, cheered, done the things that moms do.
She has always enjoyed playing and has looked forward to the season, but for me, the games have blended into one another – just a lot of kicking, running, and snacks.
But today, at her first game of the season, I found myself sitting up straight and staring. She was playing, but it was a different person.
Her body was moving fluidly, she kept her eye on the ball, she was assertive with her kicking – she had changed.
The game was typical – she had some assists, some awesome defense – I found myself yelling “good job” a lot. She didn’t have any goals or glory moments, but she didn’t need any. She just looked like an athlete – a real member of the team.
But I felt like I could cry the majority of the game because I could see her. She moves with grace, she has confidence, she knows more about this sport than I will ever know - she is truly competing in this game.
And I don’t know if this is just for today, or for the season, or for many more years to come, but it doesn’t really matter.
Because today, I noticed.