Yesterday, my son’s soccer team lost two games in the last summer tournament this year, which effectively took them out of the running for first and second place. Mentally, emotionally, and physically (sore hip) drained from three weekend games, my son merely wanted to go home to rest for the rest of this week (done).
I took a detour home, stopping at a Del Taco first. Unfortunately my little pit stop took us through the worst of the road construction projects, Revive I-5, where three lanes were closed for repaving.
Somehow, I went around the worst of the closures on I-5 off a Kent exit. The exit took me through fields and sparse residential neighborhoods I’d never seen before, despite driving the main roads here many times before on previous tournaments.
During this detour, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love come over me and my son — who helped me navigate. It bonded us somehow. I can’t explain it, other than to say the five-minute detour — a blip on the radar — meant more to us than three games of exciting, strenuous back-to-back play in a stadium filled with people.
I noticed that these little detours in life tend to bring me the most satisfaction, whether it’s an exit off yet another aggravating traffic jam, or stumbling into a Japanese restaurant without a sign for the most delicious bowl of cold zaru soba noodles this side of Japan.
The problem is, I can’t control the detours. I just have to be open and ready for them when they take over what I’ve got planned down to a science — a nearly monumental feat for an anal-retentive, by-the-book OC-D like me.
Like, when I opened the photo card and found a treasure trove of shots from this weekend’s tournament, featuring my son and his teammates in action. They lost by the most goals in the last game yesterday. But I scored the best photos of my son and this one goal that slipped through, in a split second. it was a moment of pure bliss.
For me anyway, ha ha.
I remember the moment well. After a bee scared me away from the game (I have a history), I found myself mindlessly sitting down in the shade of one of the stairwells closer to the field on the other side. By halftime, the score was 4-0, the game already over for our team, so I sat back, enjoyed a rare breeze, and watched the sheer athleticism from both teams as if I were watching a professional FIFA tournament on TV.
With the pressure of winning gone, I really enjoyed myself. No expectations. No anxiety. Pure bliss on the happiness train.
And, that’s when it happened. My son suddenly took possession and began running toward the other team’s goal. I picked up my camera, focused only on him, and watched through my lens, snapping instinctively as he came closer toward my line of sight.
I think even he looked slightly surprised my lens-eye was on him the entire time when he looked up to pass a through ball.
Usually, I’m so intent on catching other players during a game, I hardly have any shots of my own child! I don’t care, because a good photo’s a good photo, and I grow to love every player on my son’s team.
These recent photos of my son are a gift from sitting back and simply enjoying the moment.
I need to try and grab onto those moments more when they happen, and let go of my expectations of how a day should proceed. I think we all do.
I hope you all had a weekend full of moments in the happiness kitchen.