I had a really profound moment with my older daughter tonight. It is a moment that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. As I have mentioned before, I coach a competitive girls soccer team and I really love doing it! All my girls are amazing! My daughter Taylor is one of my players and I’ve coached her since she was four. As her mother, I walk a fine line of expecting too much and pushing too hard because she is my child. Tonight we had our last game of the season. We were down three players leaving us with two subs and high winds in the second half when we would really be fatigued. Taylor had to play the entire game as center midfielder which is a position that requires a lot of running! Arguably the most running of any other player. Taylor had never played an entire game especially an entire game at that position. I may be biased, but my daughter has a great deal of talent. She has a mind for the game and she is fast and highly coordinated. She understands where she needs to be and she has really good feet. She is a true utility player that can play any position on the field when I need it. Needless to say, I needed her skill tonight and I pushed it with her all game. We scored twice in the first half and were ahead 2 – 0 going into the second half.
When the referee blew the whistle for halftime, the girls trudged off the field, exhausted and I knew we had to really hold on the second half. After my halftime talk with the team, I pulled Taylor aside and asked her if she could hang in there for the entire second half as well. She hesitated for a moment, and my heart fell in my chest. I realized that it was possible I asking too much of her as an eight-year-old just because she was my daughter. I thought she was going to tell me that she couldn’t do it or that she didn’t want to. But she hesitated and looked me dead in the eye and said, “Mom, I’m in this game until it’s over. I am not coming off that field.” In that moment, there was a fire in her eyes I had never seen before. I had to look away to keep from bursting into tears with pride.
We won the game 2 – 1. It was a hard fought victory but the win didn’t matter. Taylor finished the game giving everything she had in her and she had nothing left to give. When she came off the field she was spent, but there was a light around her. We met eyes again and we didn’t need to speak everything passed between us in that moment. My daughter grew about 10 feet taller and 10 years older in my mind tonight. We got home and she sat next to me on the couch and put her head on my shoulder. She took a deep breath and sighed and said, “I’m tired mom. But I feel good.” She paused again, and then said, “Is that how it feels for you when you run? Do you feel tired but really good?”
“I do, Tay.” I said. “It’s the only way to do it.”
She got up, walked towards the stairs and headed up. When she got to the top of the stairs, she turned around and smiled as big a smile as I have ever seen her smile, “That was pretty cool, huh mom?”
Yeah, Tay, that was pretty cool.