A simple place to capture the moments of my crazy life

Lets rejoice in the beautiful game

on November 22, 2010

For any of you that follow me on Facebook, or know me in real life, lol, you know those of you that aren’t my imaginary online friends!! HA!! I love my online imaginary friends heheehe!!! Anyways, most of you know what the game of soccer (football), means to my family. This sport is not just a past-time for us, it’s simply a way of life.

To some, it’s hard to understand, but it’s what we DO. For some, it’s “just” a game, something to keep the kids busy with for a couple of hours a week during the summer, which for people like that, honestly, it works. But for us, that’s not enough, we have always wanted more than what was being offered here for us. We don’t play hockey, we don’t play basketball, we don’t play volleyball, we are simply a one sport family. We have NOTHING against other’s that choose to play them all, we enjoy watching many sports, been to many arenas as a family, watching hockey games of friends. We are NOT anti-anything-but-soccer, nope, not in the least, we are just a soccer family.

Peter, for example, still plays, he coaches, he is a referee, watches it every possible chance he gets. His passion in life, aside from his ladies, is, and always will be the game of soccer. It was his passion before I met him, and it will be his passion long after, I’m gone. Sure, he’s a Leaf’s fan, a Raptors fan, he possesses more useless statistical information about a variety of sports, than anyone I know or likely will ever know, but when it comes to soccer, it’s a passion.

Let’s look at the definition of Passion for a minute…

1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
2. Ardent love. 

The object of such love or desire.
3.Boundless enthusiasm 

The object of such enthusiasm

As a wife, some days I feel a little “widowed” to the game of soccer, but I have to be honest, I love it too, until I met Peter, I don’t believe I ever watched a full game in my life. Today, almost 10 years later, I don’t know that I would feel “right” if I didn’t see something about soccer in the course of a 24 hour period. I could be extremely “bitter” about the game, if I opted to lean that way, OR I could find the passion for the game and join in, which is exactly what I have done.  If ya can’t beat them, might as well join them is my thinking!!

In the past 10 years I have watched more soccer, than your average wife I would think, ha 🙂 Between, Peter’s indoor games, when we first started dating, outdoor games, tournaments, and then add in the first years that we had only 2 girls playing, I never missed a game, add in a couple of years later having 3 girls playing, along with supporting the local men’s team and ladies team when time allows, or watching friends kids play, Peter ref, and 2 World Cups, it’s ALOT of soccer. Not to mention practices, soccer school, try-outs, clinics, most of which I don’t miss much of either, it’s a way of life. It’s not simply a “game” for us.

Even bigger than the game of soccer, is the love of family. It’s simply why I exist today, because of the love I have for my girls and my husband. I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like today without each of them. LOL, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days that I wish for a little “peace” and “quiet”, which typically doesn’t happen in our world until about 9:30pm every night when they are all asleep. I could also do without all of the worry about my oldest baby, who is  “living – the dream” of being 17 years old right now, doing it all “her” way. I could do without the “bullshit” that comes with school days, I would trade that in – in a New York minute that’s for sure. But part of the love of soccer also translates into the love of family and vice versa.

I would NOT trade the hours we get to spend together, with no TV, no Computer, No cell phones, just as a family. Whether it’s playing a game of soccer, watching a game, traveling to games, practices, what have you, we are TOGETHER!!!  These things are what memories are made of. Each of the girls has a story about a game, a practice, a memory of flying a kit – while someone else is at practice, the theme here?? WE ARE TOGETHER!! The hours spent in the van travelling to and from games, laughing, singing together, I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. The places they get to see, experience, the stories they hear from Dad, none of these would happen in the same way if it wasn’t for our family love to each other and simply the game of soccer. Because of these times, we also enjoy, the little things alot more too, the trips to the beach, late nights at the drive-in, a visit to the local video store for movie night. We do more together as a family, than a lot of families I know.

As a family, we have made a major decision, to leave soccer in Stratford, to leave the familiarity of playing with team-mates, leaving the head coaching position of a team, leaving the ease of traveling 5 minutes to the pitch. To play soccer in Waterloo, (48 minute drive door-to-door), for the upcoming season. It started with registering Danielle and Olivia with Waterloo Minor Soccer for the 2010-2011, indoor season, which has also allowed Peter to start coaching both of the girls again, which he missed doing last year terribly, due to politics here in Stratford. Olivia’s excitement from having her Dad as her coach was awesome, she’s never had him as her coach, so she was really excited about it. And well, Daddy, is pretty proud of his little super – star too 🙂 Out of the 3 games she has had so far, she’s scored 5 goals, yup, she has a younger Peter’s speed and drive for the net that’s for sure. Danielle has also started to “shine” again with this decision, last season, with new coaches, although was an “OK” season, definitely saw more changes for her than she would have liked. Between losing her Dad as her coach (the ONLY coach she’s ever had), she also lost, her favorite assistant coach, Ken, along with his daughter Leah, again due to “politics”.

We tried, to convince her before the start of the 2009-2010 season started, to consider playing somewhere else. She entertained us, and did try out for a team in London, made the team, but at the last minute decided that she would take her chances with a new coaching staff, to stay and play with her team-mates. We respected this decision, knowing that it was HER CALL! As soon as the season started, she realized, that things were going to be ALOT different from what she was used too, and then as the season progressed, well she started to talk a little about playing somewhere else again.

What we as parents were seeing happen, was the “love” of the game was fading from her. How does this happen?? Why?? It was heart-breaking to watch, because she loves the game. We watched team-mates of hers quit before the season ended. Things just weren’t the same. So, again, at the end of the season, we gently suggested playing somewhere else. She really didn’t want to talk about it, which for us was truly heart-breaking, to watch her passion dying. Peter and I discussed, him trying to re-apply for her team back, for the 2010-2011 season, which for him, was along the lines of swallowing poison, but he did, to try to help return the love of the game into his oldest child that was still playing.

The problem was neither Peter or I really wanted to be “apart” of the club here any longer. There is just too much hurt, too much drama, too many ill-feelings, and bigger than any of these things, NO direction, no goal to improve, no plan of action in place to further develop the players as individuals. For Peter, this was and has been the biggest issue with the soccer community here in Stratford, it’s not about the best for the kids, its’ not about developing better soccer players, it’s about well …. no one “really” knows. We all have theories, but that’s all they are is theories. We know what we as a family have been through with the Club. For me, I was tired of watching my husband weep over things that “couldn’t” / “wouldn’t” be. Watching someone you love more than life, suffer, because of his passion, was more than I could handle. Watching my girls, play the most beautiful game in the world, under someone else’s guidance, was bad, but watching them lose their passion, was intolerable.  I just could bare the thought of facing another season of accepting, because “It’s the way” it’s always been attitude. I know that this for some people is OK, but for us, it just wasn’t. We wanted more, more for our kids, more for us as a family.

Peter applied, and I fretted, and we talked and talked and TALKED to Danielle, about the game, the passion, and the possibility of what she may have to accept playing in Stratford again. So, we simply asked her if she would “consider” trying out for the Waterloo team, and she reluctantly said, yes, she would, but she wouldn’t promise to accept a position if she earned it. We accepted that, really there was nothing else we could ask from her. The “A” team tryouts started in September, 4 practices, over 2 weekends, she was cut, after the first 3 practices, which was tough for her, but something changed in her. She felt a sense of passion returning, we could see it, she could feel it, she decided immediately, to continue the tryout process, with Waterloo, and to try out for the “B” team. Still with the same condition as before, that she wouldn’t commit 100%, to the spot for sure. Again, we were ok with this.

In the meantime, Peter did get the Head Coaching position of Danielle’s Stratford team, this “should” have brought a sense of relief for us all, and the try-outs in Waterloo should have stopped. The relief, it didn’t come, instead, it was a feeling of “settling”, a feeling of tolerating, of accepting because we didn’t have another option. But we did have an option, Waterloo, and Danielle wanted to continue with try-outs. Peter, was torn, because he knew, that from researching, the Waterloo Club, that it was somewhere that he would like to be a part of. He also continued the process, and applied for Head Coach of the Girls U13 B team with Waterloo, because they were still looking for a coach. Danielle was enjoying the try-outs, and starting to notice some differences in the level of soccer, she was working harder than she ever had, to try to “Make” this team. We were also starting to notice that her passion and confidence was starting to return.

Then came the phone call, Peter didn’t get the position, but that they had recommended to the Head Coach, that he be added to the coaching staff of the team, as an Assistant Coach. Typically, this would have “crushed” Peter, but instead it empowered him, he was willing to Assist, to be a part of something “bigger”.  Danielle decided about a week before the phone call came, that she was definitely interested in playing with Waterloo, regardless of how it turned out with Peter. WOW!! This was a HUGE turn of events. She wanted to be a part of something bigger, to be challenged at playing a higher level of soccer than would ever really be possible here in Stratford, and she was starting to “fit” in with the girls, and really likes the coach. Peter approached the Head Coach of the team, to express his interest in being as Assistant coach, this is when he started to worry, because the coach, wasn’t really all that interested at first. He was going to select the team first, and then the coaching staff, he also was pretty set on only taking one Keeper, (Danielle’s position), and the team already had a Keeper.

This caused a lot of panic, but we were fully prepared to head back to Stratford, and continue with the team here. Danielle continued working harder and harder at practice, determined to “earn” her spot on the team. Then the next phone call came, the Head coach asking Peter to assist, even before the team was fully selected. WOW!! WOW!!! He was impressed with Danielle’s abilities, AND he had changed his mind on taking only one keeper. **Happy dancing started**, but Peter, wasn’t going to say a word until the team was selected in it’s entirety. ACK, more waiting. For those of you that know me well enough, know I don’t “wait” well.

I’m happy and thrilled to say that the resignation letter has been sent to Stratford from Peter, and that Danielle successfully earned her position on the team. This all happened last night (Sunday), and the changes in two of my favorite people in the entire world has been AMAZING. For Peter, it’s a little like watching a child on Christmas Eve, looking longingly at the tree, knowing that there is finally an end in sight, the gifts will SOON be unwrapped. For Danielle, it’s like watching that same child, riping open those presents on Christmas morning. The “lightness” in both of them today was truly a blessing, because it’s been a long time since I have seen or witnessed that in both of them.

This decision, although tough, will be an amazing step forward for our family, it also be a powerful “healing” tool for them as well. To finally be able to let go of the “bitterness”, the “hurt” of the past year for sure. It’s going to mean alot more time spent in the van with the girls, but I can honestly say that I am also looking forward to that as well. I love my family, more than anything else in this world, and would quite simply do ANYTHING to make and see them happy, full of passion, and free of pain.

Now I will leave you with a little song, a song about hope, and rejoicing in the beautiful game.

Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets our heads are lifting, as we lose our inhibition,
Celebration, it surround us, every nations, all around us

Singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun
Lets rejoice in the beautiful game,
And together at the end of the day.
We all say

When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag

Give you freedom, give you fire, give you reason, take you higher
See the champions, take the field now, unify us, make us feel proud
In the streets our heads are lifting, as we lose our inhibition,
Celebration, its around us, every nations, all around us

Singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun
Lets rejoice in the beautiful game,
And together at the end of the day.
We all say

When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag
Now wave your flag

We all say
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag
Now wave your flag

Oooooh woowoo ooh Wooo ooohh ooohoh
And everybody will be singing it
Oooooh woowoo ooh Wooo ooohh ooohoh
And we all will be singing it

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: