Today was the second week of soccer – and I am embarrassed to say we did almost no practice beforehand. Yes I made the time for homework and sight words and reading (and even finished my own book for book club though I didn’t attend), but I never got around to kicking or blocking or running with the ball. The girls did well anyway today – and had a lot of fun doing it. Though this morning got off to a rough start as Saturdays that start at 5:00 a.m. sometimes do. Side note: Why? WHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY?!?! five o’clock in the morning?!?!?!
There was something familiar and comforting about being on the field though, with all the other parents and supporters, watching these little buddies play their hearts out. (And on occasion stare off into outer space for fun midfield). Yes, we were all up and out of the house on an early weekend morning. Yes, we all somehow navigated the parking lot. Yes, we were there for a child we cared about. I tend to be sort of a loner when it comes to sports – I can run in a group as long as it has a maximum of two people. But I think it is important to work and think like a team at times too. Right now, in the US there is a political upheaval with so many people on staunchly opposing sides. I can’t help but think that a little field time would benefit us all.
Three hours in the full Florida sun was a pretty great equalizer – no matter if you were rooting for “the Animals” or “the Young Jedis” when at first you strolled in, we were all firmly team “ice cold water” and “the kids need naps today” when we left. This meant, overwhelmingly, that we were in this together. It can be scary to know that things might not turn out the way you had hoped, or the way all the polls indicated, but that doesn’t mean the future is bleak and desolate from here on out. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you get knocked down and dirty and hurt, but you have to stand up and keep going.
I will end with a parallel to kale. Yes, Kale. Kale yeah. In the 80s kale was everywhere – from Ruby Tuesday to Pizza Hut salad bars – you couldn’t miss its floppy curly edges. No one actually wanted to eat the kale, but we all saw it and gave it the old “Yeah, Kale, we see you. Yes, of course you are a big deal, we know, you have told us”. But some way, somehow kale stuck around. And eventually, though it seemed bitter and unacceptable and maybe even unpalatable for all kinds of reasons, we had kale on our hands. Then some bright people decided to sautéed it, or make a kale caesar salad or blend it into a smoothie with a banana and almond milk – or toast it in the oven with some salt. The point is they found a way to make the best of something so that it worked for them. This is kind of like finding a place on the team to achieve a goal, if you want to go full circle here with me.
There is work to be done and it’s going to take listening and teamwork to do it. But I can tell you from experience that winning right of the gate it fun and all, but nothing can compare to coming from behind and turning it around. Which means, again, that overwhelmingly, we are in this together.