Sunday, October 7, 2012

Changes

It's raining again on Sunday night, the leaves clogging up the ditches in the runoff. Got back from dinner at friends we haven't seen in ages. Kids are getting older. So are we. Had dinner, wine and stories, catching up with the changes. We've shared the struggle through the years of raising our kids together in our town and keeping heads above water in many more ways than one.
On Saturday coached my daughter's soccer team in a game against a neighboring town. She had a couple of good runs. She's getting stronger, attacking the ball with more confidence as the season progresses. But the coolest thing was at halftime, when I was trying to convince one of the girls she could play defense even though she "hates playing defense" and doesn't "know how to play defense", my daughter grabbed my hand and held it. I wasn't sure whether it was to give me support or to get support herself. Then later in the second half, this same girl asked to be put back in, this time on defense.
I thought you didn't know how to play defense.
It's fun.
Then I went and watched my son play in his game and get three assists. Final score was 6-5. Coach praised the team for their character at the end of the game.  I could hear from my spot against the fence lined up with the motley assortment of parents. It was true. They never gave up against a superior opponent.
This morning I drove down to Dracut Massachusetts to pick up a bicycle for Eve's birthday this week. She was born exactly a month after 9/11. On the way down I picked up two hitchhikers, a brother and sister traveling back home to Connecticut. The sister told me a story about hitchhiking to California as a teenager to visit her other brother stationed in the navy in San Diego. One boy she knew, Christopher Parker, went with her even though she didn't like him much. At one point she got poison oak and covered herself in calamine lotion. She said she was standing out there hitching a ride covered in the calamine lotion, looking like a ghost. She laughed remembering it. Her brother had a tattoo on his face and asked her to be quiet; he wanted to enjoy the silence. She kept asking him if he was nervous. Said she was going with him to keep him out of trouble. They had two coolers and duffel bags and had no idea how they were going to get to Groton, near the sub base. I left them at a Shell station at the intersection of 101 West and 3 South, near Hudson on the Mass border, they could either go west through the Monadnock region and across to 91 south or go south to the Mass Pike. I hope they made it.
Definitely a stop and smell the roses kind of weekend.
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