Change can be good. And it can be tough. It depends on who wants the change. How welcome it is.

And always, with time it gets easier.

This summer brought a change for us. One I didn’t see coming. And one I had a little harder time adjusting to than Middle Son who made the change.

Since he was 3 years old, this guy has had a soccer ball at his feet. Always.

I can’t begin to count how many games I have watched this boy play. 8 games a season, two seasons a year, 3 seasons of Futsol, maybe 6 seasons of indoor, throw in 4-6 tournaments a year and one season of high school soccer. I think it totals a huge part of our lives.

I’ve learned all about throw ins, goal kicks, penalty kicks, yellow cards, red cards and I can even explain off sides to you. I have washed hundreds of loads of soccer uniforms, bought dozens of cleats and shin guards, and filled thousands of water bottles.

And I truly loved watching him play. He had a passion for the game from the time he was 4 or 5 {before that he just loved to run:)}. He understood that soccer is a mental game. That it is about knowing where you are on the field and where your teammates are. He got it.

And he had an unbelievable boot. He could bend a corner kick into the goal. He was a joy to watch.

I missed a few games along the way, probably less than a dozen. Most Saturdays and Sundays I could be found on the sidelines sitting in my chair {or standing behind it if the game was too close} cheering him on. And on the way home he talked about the game. What he did well, what frustrated him, what he should have done better.

As you can see, it wasn’t just a game he played. It became a way of life for me as well. And I enjoyed it…most of the time.

And this summer, he decided he’s not going to play anymore. Things have changed. He has changed.

It’s time to move on. Time for something new. I guess if I was completely honest, maybe I did see it coming.

Its a delicate balance as a parent. I feel its my job to be my sons’ cheerleader. The one who will encourage them through everything. It’s also my job to be honest with them and create a relationship where they feel they can be honest with me. I believe that as a parent I need to allow them to draw conclusions, think things through and make decisions they are comfortable with. That can be really hard. I would much rather tell them what to do:). I would love to give them the benefit of my experience. To tell them how it will probably play out. But that wouldn’t be good for either of us.

So I serve as a sounding board. I listen. If they ask, I offer my perspective. I throw out some scenarios and point out perspectives they may not have thought about. And then I listen some more. And after they have made their decisions I check back in to see how it feels. It’s a dialogue. And I continue to be proud of the way they make decisions.

I’m excited for Middle Son! New things are on the horizon and I know they will be good things.

I’ve told younger moms I know to be careful about the teams their kids join. Those sports and the other parents cheering in the crowd will become a big part of their lives. So this is a change for me. I wasn’t ready for it. But its not about me now is it? I will stay in touch with many of the moms I’ve cheered beside. And I will move on too. Just humor me this little walk down memory lane on my way out. I took lots of pictures of what turned out to be Middle Son’s last soccer games – hadn’t taken pictures in months. God has a way of preparing us for change.


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Parenting, Sports

One response to “Change

  1. Letha Markwardt

    Beautifully written. I just want to cry for a lost dream, but cheer him on in a new horizon.

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