just ponderin'

… on soccer dreams, and watershed moments

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This pic cracks me up. It looks like he is trying to ride the opposing player (who is actually a friend of his) like a magic carpet :))

Whew. A busy few days, somewhat sad too. So welcome to a silly little post on the light and air-y topic of life’s watershed moments.

Which are defined, by the way, as ‘a point in time that marks an important, often historical change’.

Because that totally sounds ‘light and air-y’ right?

Well a friend of mine just started a project she’d always wanted to start, asking people to share their watershed moments.  Which should be easy right? Knowing those points in time that are so meaningful that life would never be the same?

Nor for me.

I froze.

And I got so wrapped around my own axle that I had to go back to my friend, who has read many of my posts, and ask if she remembered any that stood out as watershed moments.

Yes. I was underwhelmed with myself.

And she said all breezily that, yes, she loved the story of when a sneaky little bunny changed my life. 

And so I shared that on her site and I was all happy and figured that bought me some time to try to figure out if I had any more watershed moments.

Mostly because everyone else sharing there seemed to have a lot of watershed moments, and I was feeling very competitive (and also somewhat worried that I had a degenerative memory disease because I could not think of any of mine).

So I was scouring the memory banks of my childhood (somewhat dim) and my mom (not usually fun) and my father (ugh) and on and on and I did not come up with anything, I was pretty depressed by that time, and popping chocolate chips into my mouth from a half-full bag of Nestle’s Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Morsels.

Totally true.

But then I realized that not all watershed moments had to be about bleeding on the page, and that some were really funny.

And right then, right then, JoHn called.

He and Gabe are down in the Carolinas looking at schools which, because Gabe wants to pay soccer in college. It was a lovely conversation about how awesome southern schools can be.

And when I hung up I was all smiley and thinking of how cool it was that Gabe might play soccer in college because it was his dream and….

Oh my Gawd.

I can write about Gabe’s watershed moment!

Because I am not above co-opting my kid’s story, that’s why.

So here you go.

Gabe’s watershed moment.

Step into my Wayback Machine.

Let’s head back to about 2005.

Gabe is 7.

Second grade.

He has been playing soccer since we signed him up for Kids Kick soccer, with his best friend MitchellWheeler (all one word back then), when he was about 4.

So he is now seven, and still playing soccer (and still with MitchellWheeler).

And his big sister, Mac, is now headed into her first year of high school and we are in the kitchen and someone asks Mac if she knows what she wants to go to college for.

And she is all, ‘maybe biology’ and ‘maybe be a veterinarian’, and ‘possibly a toy maker’. And Gabe is listening to all of this and looking interested and so Mac asks him what he wants to go to college for.

“Soccer!” says 7-year-old Gabe.

“Oh, you’re going to play soccer in college?” I ask.

“Yep.” states Gabe.

And then he starts to talk. And he is talking about all the classes that he can’t wait to take.

Keeper class

Striker class

Corner kick class

Huh.

So we are stifling laughs and he is so proud and I explain that, when you play soccer in college, you still have to go to regular classes like math class and science class and I pump it up by saying that sometimes you get to take really cool classes on very cool stuff you’re interested in.

And I watch him practically sink into himself.

When you go to school and play soccer, you don’t go to school for soccer.

Dream = crushed.

Life changing moment.

Like…. watershed.

So then he says that maybe he will not go to college at all, and maybe he will play professional soccer instead!

And that’s when big sister Mac steps in and tells him that this is an okay plan but maybe he wants a backup plan too. Because very few people become professional soccer players and, even if they do, they can only play for so many years. A back up would be good.

Mac. 

First-born girl.

Pragmatic.

Life is about the rules, baby.

Gabe doesn’t sink at all this time.

He nods and heads into the other room and gets right on the computer and I assume he is playing a game.

And the conversation in the kitchen goes on and food is made and is soon on the table.

And Gabe comes in and he is proud is happy.

And he digs into his beef stroganoff and, when he finishes chewing (almost) he announces with pride that he has found his back up.

He has done research on the computer.

He will be a professional soccer player until he was 28 years old.  Then he will go to his backup, which he found out from googling it that he could do until he was way older.

And he pauses.

And Mac, impatient, asks, “Well what is it? What’s the backup?”

And Gabe takes another bite, and with no fanfare at all, says…

“Football.”

Thanks for readin’.

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Elena Peters

midlife blogger & pinterest master

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