It's a rare day when I post even the hint of a picture of my kids on my blog. I always want to respect their privacy and don't feel that sharing images of them is necessary; friends can see them on Facebook. But this picture makes me so happy that I had to share it with the world.
The goalie in the green pinny is my daughter, Petunia. You can tell from the picture what happened: she's cradling the ball because she just made a terrific save. The girl from the opposing team looks crestfallen, and Petunia's teammate is cheering for her.
I'm so grateful that another team parent preserved this moment for eternity, as this picture also speaks volumes of Petunia's story. She has played socccer since she was 4, and she always loved it, especially being in goal. But her skills needed work, and, over the last year, she's really worked hard to become a better all-around player and a better goalie. It used to be hard for us to be in the stands watching all of the team, Petunia included, make countless errors. We supported her playing her favorite game, never expecting that we'd be raising the next Hope Solo, and never caring -- as long as she was having fun, getting good exercise, and enjoying being part of a team. But now we're experiencing something new: other parents cheering for her. Her teammates running out to hug her as she comes off of the field at the half. Lots of high-fives, big smiles, and save after save after save. She's playing the game really well all of the sudden, and we're not the only ones noticing. So this picture, it marks a season in which the team is still winless, but the scores are a lot lower because Petunia is doing an awful lot of ball-stopping. Her hard work is yielding great results, and, in her story, I find my own motivation to try a little harder, to stretch a bit beyond my limit. And above all, I've remembered that believing in oneself is the greatest motivator of all.
Petunia: way to go! I'm so proud of you. Love, Mama xo