Sometimes a picture is just special. The one above was shot by an OSAA employee with her camera phone. The quality is not great. I can’t blow it up for you to see the detail better. But the content tells a story I will treasure for years.
When I look at this photo I see my son embracing me after winning the state soccer championships. This day will forever be a treasured memory for him and for me. It will stand as one of those moments where joy overflowed and hard work paid off.
I can see my husband running toward us, his arm a blur as he rushes to share in the excitement.
Along one edge of the scene, two other soccer moms stand with their arms around each other watching the final moments of years of soccer. It’s bitter-sweet. We’ve stood in the rain, cold and wind for years to cheer on our sons in a sport they dearly love. On the night this picture was taken, we knew, win or lose, this was the final game. Twelve of these boys are seniors. Next year they will scatter to colleges all over the map. They’ll spend their fall adjusting to a new world. There will be no daily doubles, or season openers, or state rankings. But something new and wonderful awaits them.
In this picture I see the coach who has inspired and loved my son for four years. He’s a special man with the ability to not only coach a team with a very short bench on to the title of champions, but also the gift of being able to connect with these boys and bring out the best in them.
Somewhere in that mob I’m sure the coach’s wife is hugging someone. She’s been a dear part of our lives since she taught our second son’s preschool class. Even to this day we refer to her as Teacher Jen. She is a huge support to her husband, a constant cheerleader for the team and a great companion in the stands. Thanks, Jen!
And in this picture I see a group of boys who genuinely care about each other. When I prayed that Ryan would find a good group of friends, I never dreamed this big! What a blessing each of these guys has been.
So, amongst the professional shots and high quality photos, this one will always be a favorite, because it tells a story.
I’ll leave you with a few other pictures from the season.