Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Battle

Jordan never really wanted to be goalie, but neither did anyone else. His shoulders would slump a little standing between the posts, but someone had to do it. He's a good kid and wants to help out, so he didn't say no when Coach asked.

Practices came and practices went. He learned how to dive on the ball, how to punch it away if he couldn't get both hands out to stop it, how to kick high and far. He started talking to his teammates, directing them where to go, who to cover. He learned when to come out, when to stay back, where to stand for a corner kick.

The first three games of the season no one scored on him. He was relentless in going after that ball, his confidence growing in his attack. His confidence grew off the field, too. Talking more, standing up a little taller, having his say in a conversation that usually included three other voices.

This was about more than soccer.

This past Saturday I watched a ball go past my Jordan into the goal. I watched his shoulders fall in defeat, his lips tighten so as to not let the quivering show. But his eyes were determined. I watched my Jordan get lost amidst a pile of soccer jerseys with flailing bodies. I watched his arm get stepped on, his head get kicked, and witnessed him not. give. up. Save after save after save... and yet two more balls flew past him and into the net. It was so difficult to watch. I saw the disappointment, but it was mixed with determination. I saw the pain, but it was mixed with persistence.

Jordan's team lost.

Wiping sweat from his brow and dirt from his cheeks, my son walk off that field more of a man than when he walked on. "Are you still okay with being goalie?" My heart ached.

"Yeah." There was that big, toothy grin. "It was hard. It was good."

In a sea of concrete and bending morals, boys have got to learn to fight somewhere. I want to be the mother that equips my son to do battle, and to do it well. I don't want to be the mother who pulls my son out of the battle so he never learns how to fight...

because this is about more than soccer.
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7 Comments:

MomOfDudes said...

You are so right my friend... It is Totally about more than Soccer. Good job Jordan!!!

Anonymous said...

Jordan is a total Rock Star!!! How many other goalies in the world can whistle Vivaldi?????
~One Proud Grandma

MooBeeMa said...

Oh! I hear you sister!

Tammy said...

Well said my friend!

Thany said...

I think this is what we all want for our kids. To see them both succeed and fail but do it all with pride and humility at the same time.

Jordan is so cute-that smile says it all.

*emmy said...

Wow, I felt like I was on the side lines with you watching all of that action! Good job playing hard Jordan and EXCELENT job mom parenting = ) !

We all need to learn somewhere.

The Adventure said...

I love this post!!