Soccer! Why is it something that can shape character as an adult?
It was seven o’clock in the morning on a Sunday afternoon. The sun was already peeking through my window. I could feel the warmth of the sun as it was shining on my face. Lying there, I listened to the sounds that only someone who was up at that time of the morning on a Sunday, could hear. I listened as my neighbors cut their grass. I heard birds chirping, as if they were speaking to me. “Teresa, get up! Today is the big day”. It wasn’t normal for me as a teenager, to wake up on my own. My mom was my alarm clock and I was used to her coming in and telling me several times “Teresa, honey, it’s time to wake up”. This was a routine that was repeated every day during school. So why was I up so early? I had another forty-five minutes that I could sleep, and believe me, sleeping was something I was very good at. Was it nervousness that had me up? Was it anticipation of the day that was ahead of me? Or was it both of these things? Before I could even attempt to come up with an answer to these questions, the sound I was so eager to finally hear came through my door. “Teresa, honey, it’s time to get up. We have to leave for your soccer game soon”.
As we were driving to the soccer fields, it was quiet in the car except for the radio playing. I found myself staring out the window, watching the world as we drove by it. I watched people as they drove in their cars. Where was it that they were going, I thought? I also saw people running on the sidewalks and riding their bicycles. I remember thinking, why are all these people up and out so early? Surely, it can’t be because they also have a soccer game to attend. Why else then would anyone want to be up at this time of the morning if not for that reason? That was something I couldn’t comprehend; however, I would be able to understand it later in life.
After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the fields. I quickly grabbed my equipment from the trunk of the car, and ran to my teammates who were already on the field warming up. As fast as I could, I put on my cleats, and my goalie uniform and took to the field to join the rest of my team. Looking back, I remember this moment as if it were yesterday. It seemed as if all my senses were heightened. I can still remember the smell of the fresh cut grass, the freshly chalked lines, the feel of the sun beating down on my exposed skin and the sounds of all the younger kids playing in the back ground. More importantly though, I remember the way I felt when I first saw my teammates. I felt a great sense of happiness. Additionally, I felt warm inside, a sense of excitement, loved, needed, and wanted. Even though I had my biological family, I also had a second family in them. This was my Sunday family.
That game, that day, was one of our biggest games! Not only was it against our biggest rival but the winner went on to play in the state championship. The team we were playing had...