Today the humidity hovered at around ninety percent. It sat, unrelenting like an older sibling who was suffocating you until you cried uncle, atop the high eighty degree temperatures. Steam hissed unmercifully up through divots the size of soccer cleats from just about everywhere we shifted. The grass was too long and had already grown seeds, or flowers or something resembling them both on the heavy tips of the blades that brushed our ankles and scratched at our shins. Our water jugs and cups perspired in protest around the lips of their lids and the fold out chairs sagged in objection to the surrounding stagnant air.
There wasn’t a parent or child who looked genuinely happy to be there and even less that seemed up to the challenge of rallying the crowd to pretend as if we were. Little Sister didn’t want to play, though she turned it around at the back half of her game. Still, it struck her by surprise that the opposing team managed two additional goals, wiping out the unbroken streak of wins for her team.
After the parents built a human tunnel and the little legs of five and six year olds broke into a near jog under our laced fingers, our little family moved two fields over: we still had almost two hours to get through. Big Sister’s team hadn’t had a win this season. Some losses were more palatable than others, but the last two were losses by six or more points. She was defeated. The team was losing hope and turn out for today’s game (which came on the heels of almost 24 straight hours of rain) boasted barely enough players to participate.
But Big Sister is a girl who tries her best. Despite the setbacks, she came to play today. By halftime, her team was winning 2-1 (a score they had yet to acquire by halftime) and in the end, had earned their first win – a victory of three to one, with one blocked goal and one kicked in by Big Sister. She left the field triumphant and tired – a scene that I had yet to witness in the past 10 or 12 weeks of sideline viewing.
They needed a win. We all do. Sometimes, we need to see that it works out. We need to have some memory to hold close, proving that hard work and persistence has paid off for us before and as such just might be possible to replicate. Today, she added a W to her memory bank and somewhere in the deep, muddied recesses of parenting remembrances, so did I.