As I have grown older being efficient has become a greater priority to me. While the priority that I do things in a logical order without wasting time is great on paper, having children makes it extremely difficult. Have you ever “helped” your kids get ready for the school year to start in August? How many times did you go to the same stores because they “forgot” they needed pencils, a new backpack, folders, binders, pens, paper, or some other supply. I thought the week leading up to school was the worst. Then came soccer season. The soccer store now welcome’s me personally when I walk in.
Gavin decided to make soccer his first sport at the ripe young age of seven. I grew up on other sports, but it seemed that there was less violence in soccer than football, and keeping a giant metal bat away from kids wasn’t an awful idea either, so the prospect of Saturday mornings at the local pitch seemed pretty good at the start.
When we registered him for our local league at the community center, we were given a list of things to buy at the soccer store. A jersey, some pads, a few items that would help if he wanted to practice on his own, a mouth guard, all of the things you might expect.
It started on our way to his first practice, “dad, I forgot my cleats.” No problem, quick stop back at home, pick them up, and off to practice we’d go. Upon arrival at our home, no cleats where to be found. Off to the soccer store, one pair of cleats please.
On the way home from the first practice we talked about how it went. I was looking for fun, challenging, maybe if I was really lucky tiring. Gavin’s assessment, “Timmy had really cool sweat bands.” Off to the soccer store we went to become proud owners of neon green sweatbands with black stripes
By this point you know where the story is going. Every practice, game, and tournament that followed required a stop for something. Who knew that soccer jersey’s came in so many different “cool” colors?
I never had a problem with any of the equipment that was protective or helped teach the sport. I even enjoyed buying things like whistles, and rulebooks for the time Gavin thought being a referee might be fun.
In a lot of ways, we bonded around that soccer store. As he grew up, sizes increased. We moved from one part of the store to the next. I wish I had taken a picture of my son and I in the mirror the first time we ever strolled into the store. We could have told the story of our lives through that one business.
It was never efficient, either when we “had” to go, or what we “had” to buy, but it was a great place to bond and grow. I have no idea how much money I spent throughout all of the years, but it was worth every penny for the time with my kid and seeing the smile on his face.