I had a 1/2 co-worker, 1/2 friend - you know, that in between stage when you realize you wouldn't mind spending time with your co-worker outside of work - anyhow 1/2 friend, suggested that I was funny (ha!) and could toootaally write funny things... if only I would. Except not everything is funny, but, I did think she had a point. I'm not good at funny, buuuuttt...
She got me to thinking, she's right, because I think, but don't write, because when I write, I self-edit. Writers should never self-edit the first draft. It's the hazard of being trained to write to deadline. They do matter, but when you get to the point that you're automatically gauging word count and messaging, in a story about fairies and trolls, well, that can work against you.
So I'm going to begin writing with wild abandon. Just wildly writing.
There's no real topic, just the things that occur that I can comment on without my self-editor making it nice.
Today, we're going to write with wild abandon about the moment you realize the kid on the playing field, the one on the soccer field, the one running halfway across the field into the menacing faces of the other team to kick the ball away and down the line, that kid, he's not yours.
Nor is the goalie who takes a ball in the face for the team.
The kid who's running, always running to the ball, chasing it but never quite catching it, you have to admire the passion - one day, he'll get that ball. He could be good, once his skill matches his heart, and one day he will....
He's not yours, either.
No, yours is playing midfield. That position on the field for kids who aren't aggressive enough to be forwards, plowing the ball through the other team. It's not for fierce defenders ready to be stampeded by an onslaught of opposing team members as they form a wave headed right for your goal. And he'll never be the goalie. Dreamers don't do well as goalies.
He's a midfielder.
It's his favorite position.
And it's okay, if the ball is across the field. The other midfielder can get it. I mean, he's one of two midfielders. He knows this. He's busy, and his teammates look like they've got it under control. No need to go exerting yourself, charging across the field when the sun's already beating down on you, if you don't need to.
He's patient, and eventually, the ball will get to him. Then, he can kick it, maybe, if someone doesn't run across the field and kick it first.
That's your kid.
And it's totally fine. Your boy is only 8 and he's having fun. You don't need to tell him to attack the ball - that's the cry of today's coaches -- attack, attack the ball, attack it... He knows that attacking the ball is the ideal. Attack...atttaaaaackkk... aaah.
You don't need to yell at him to run when he's walking to the ball. The coach is already telling him to hustle, hustle... (Good job, coach, letting him get some play time!) Hustle! Hustle! It's okay. You just need to let him join the team, and learn... whatever it is he can learn. And it totally counts if he stops the ball because he happens to be standing in the place the ball lands.
Maybe he's learning he loves soccer and he'll always play midfielder because while he loves the game, he's just not in love with the game.
Maybe, it's that he doesn't love soccer, and he's bored, and he only likes soccer as a friend.
On any given day it'll change. But, he's got every Saturday through November to decide.
Last week, it was the best game ever.
This week, soccer's stupid.
And that is just how I was about every thing I ever tried, liked, tried, hated, tried and tried and well, while I never succeeded spectacularly at any one sport, I did get to play Field Hockey, Track, (Shot Put, of all things), Cheerleading (okay, I was 5, but it still counts!), gymnastics, Roller skating (for real, I got to Silver Star, thank you very much!) softball (ugh) etc etc.
And so, now I know, that boy, that kid, he's totally my kid.