Tonight I attended a meet and greet. Everything was going pretty well until I ran into the parents of one of Bobby’s childhood friends. Memories of Bobby as a 10 year old soccer All-Star flooded my heart and it took every bit of strength I could muster up to fight back the rush of emotions. Bobby was such a talented soccer player and he was self taught. (His dad was a baseball player.) When he was about four years old he’d kick that soccer ball against the couch, the wall, the house. Anywhere that would bounce it back to him. As he grew he learned more control and learned to do little trick moves with his feet. He made a make-shift goal between two trees in the front yard and practiced everyday. He and his friends lived soccer. He was chosen for the All-Star team the very first year he was eligible and every year after. He played on a Traveling Team called Flame. He loved playing goalie and forward. He was a scoring machine. I lost my voice cheering for him more times than I can remember. I was a proud soccer mom. One year for his birthday he asked for a green and black soccer ball, size 5. That’s all he wanted. I couldn’t find one anywhere, and I looked everywhere. I called every store within a 50 mile radius. I finally found a green and black soccer ball at a Walmart 30 miles away. I pleaded with them to hold it for me. My brother-in-law happened to teach in that town a picked up the ball for me on his way to the party! Yay!
I miss my little soccer player.