A few years ago I penned what I called my “apology letter” to the sport that has in retrospect, given me everything.
To be completely honest with you, I forgot I even wrote that and was only reminded of it this past weekend, when I was brought back to the very soccer field where it all began, for a very special reunion. 10 years ago, both my college soccer team, and my husband’s college soccer team won our conference championships. Truly something neither of us will ever forget. Because of that, the men’s team did a special recognition ceremony at half time of their game this weekend and a few of the guys from that championship team 10 years ago showed up and were honored.
We sat on the sideline and caught up with the other players and their families, some of which we hadn’t seen since we graduated- which was crazy! It was so special being there with everyone and seeing how everyone’s lives have progressed since then, everyone had wives and some had 1,2, 3 kids even! It was actually really nice and I absolutely got caught up in the emotions of it all. I was having complete deja vu sitting there in that stadium, I had this weird feeling that I was supposed to be warming up and on the field myself. But then when I heard a little voice say “mama,” I was quickly brought back to the realization that I was actually sitting there on the sidelines, with my husband and daughter, watching a college team that I knew nothing about other than the fact that they now represented the same school and sport that I did years ago.
There’s a quote from The Office that I think of frequently, I think it’s from the final season, where Andy says ” I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.” And while I won’t say those were necessarily my “good old days,” it did bring back a lot of good memories and brought me a lot of happiness being there now with my daughter.
Joey and I met because of this sport and this school, and from that, we now have this beautiful baby girl. I don’t really know how to explain it other than just by saying it’s such a strange and amazing feeling to have, looking back. As we were driving home that night, we couldn’t stop talking about how special it was to be there now with Avery and to just reflect on our how lives have changed over the past 10 years. Neither one of us had really been back to that field since we’d graduated ( I actually went back once for my best friend’s senior game- you’re welcome Cynthia).
But nonetheless, being there again brought back all of the nostalgia of those game days where you go home sore and exhausted, just yearning for the shower and your bed. It brought back all the anxiety of needing to perform at a high level and the high and excitement of what the game will bring as your name is called over the PA system for the starting line up. It brought up thoughts of secret handshakes and made me thankful for the close bonds I have now because we all shared these same feelings. It made me thankful for the lows and happy for the highs, because now, I couldn’t even tell you what my best game was or what my worst game was, even if I tried. It has all faded to nothing now, but you know what I can tell you?
I have the best of friends to this day because we laced up cleats together (cleats that may have been a size too small at the request of our coach, who said we’d “feel” the ball better if our shoes were smaller -___-), I have a husband whom I may have never met had we not both chose to play soccer for this school, and I have a daughter who will no doubt one day go through the same ebbs and flows with whatever sport/hobby/ extracurricular activity she chooses, and I’ll be better equipped to help her navigate it all because I’ve been there myself- and I happen to think I turned out okay 🙂
All in all, it was a very happy and very proud moment being able to bring our daughter to the very field where it all began for mommy and daddy.