Ok, so I’m not a soccer mom. Our youngest loves to play and has been in the local league for three summers. Twice a week, I’ve taken her to the field. I pack snacks and water. I encourage and congratulate after each game. That is pretty much where my support for the whole endeavour ends.
I don’t know the rules and I never follow the score. Frankly, I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than watch a soccer game. Or hockey. Or baseball. You get the idea. I’m simply not interested in sports. She obviously gets her athleticism from her dad, who played every sport as a child. Growing up in Union Corner, PEI, there wasn’t much else to do. (With all due respect to that beautiful community)
I bring a book. So does our middle daughter, when she decides to come. Now that she is older and can stay home by herself, she often opts out of coming to games. Not a soccer sister.
Once we arrived for practise just as a business matter was demanding my attention, so I stomped across the field in heels while issuing directions on my iPhone. As I ended the call, I realized that all the other parents were looking at me like I was an alien being. My daughter was unfazed. She knows what her mother is. I’m just not a soccer mom.
Rather than trying to be something I’m not, I like that she is learning that people can love and accept each other despite of differences.
Today my oldest daughter will say goodbye to a friend she has known for 8 years. This sweet 15 year old boy became stuck in the despair of depression. He didn’t see a way out from the bullying at school, the challenges of life, the judgemental attitude and intolerance that still exists in our society. Suicide is such an ugly word.
I won’t be with her at the funeral mass today, but our whole family was there to support her yesterday at the wake. For two hours we waited to pay our respects to Jamie Hubley and his family. Allan Hubley was so gracious, and told our daughter that she had been a good friend to James. I am awed by his strength – he gave her a gift in the midst of his unfathomable grief.
As our family sat together among hundreds of others who were moved by Jamie’s life or his death, I reflected on many things. Like many people, I remembered the last time I saw Jamie and wondered if there was something, anything, I could have done for him. Like many parents, I hoped I would never have to say goodbye to my own children in this manner. Most of all, I took time to appreciate all that I have.
Appreciation is something I practise daily. Even on a bad day when things don’t go as planned, I am thankful for something. The health of myself and my family. Living in the safety and wealth of Canada. I am grateful each day that I’m not among the one billion people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. I sharply felt the importance of appreciating life when I was surrounded by such a deep and raw grief.
There is so much ugliness and pain in the world. There is so much that can go wrong. It is so easy to get caught up in the little things. Gratitude is a beautiful thing.