Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Dear Spike:

For three weeks you sat patiently on the sidelines. Watching. Waiting.

It wasn't fair. But, then, life isn't fair is it? Four years old and you already knew that — even before you broke you toe.

When it was finally time to step back onto the field, you did so tentatively. And tentative, of course, doesn't win soccer games.

And when you did engage the ball in our scrimmage, someone stepped on your foot. I think it scared you, more than it hurt you, and you came to me and asked if you could go sit out again.

I obliged.

But then, perhaps five minutes later, I looked over to the side of the field and saw you sprinting, somersaulting, bouncing up and doing it again. Clearly you were fine.

"Spike!" I yelled. "Get back on the field! If your foot is feeling good enough to fool around over there, it's feeling good enough to come back and practice."

And then something happened.

You rushed into crowd of players. You punched the ball out of the melee. You dribbled to the goal. You shot. You scored.

And then you did it again.

And then you did it again.


It's been two weeks, now, and I have not seen that level of play from you again. You've been tentative again. Cautious. Defensive.

Maybe it was just the result of pent-up desire to be on the field. Maybe, once you realized you were OK, something inside of you just opened up. And maybe it closed down, a bit, again after.

That's fine. We'll move at your pace. And I'll just keep raising the bar, little by little by little.

But it's so neat to know it's in you, somewhere.