My daughter Celine is never nervous before her soccer matches. Saturday was a different story.
She played her old team Waza East during an indoor game in Wixom. She could have stayed but wanted to play for her high school team as a freshman. Waza wanted her to commit to the full year. Her goal is to play varsity soccer at West Bloomfield High School. The Force gave her a chance to play a half year of club soccer and then join the high school team.
A lot went through her head. She was facing friends that she had sleep overs with and ran through hotel lobbies with on road trips. She wanted to play well, which she did. She wanted to hug some of the old girls, which she did. The ice was broken when her old friend Hanna placed her in a bear hug and picked her up in the air.
“Come back Celine,” she said. “We miss you.”
She talked about her pals Big Sami who is actually little Sami. And big Sami who is actually little Sami. She did not want to hurt big Sami and felt awkward playing against little Sami who she has known for six years. She wanted to score against Maggie the goalie but wanted Maggie to have a good game.
There were conflicts going through her head.
I explained to her that athletics often comes down to friend against friend or brother against brother. In this case it was a sister, sister act. I told her none of them were going to let up against her, just like she never lets up against her brother B in backyard games. How many times have you faced a good friend in football or basketball?
It is business during the game and hugs afterwards.
The moment of truth came during a scrum in the middle of the field with Little Sami. They fought and battled and got nasty in a clean kind of way. No one let up. Afterwards Celine said she didn’t even realize it was Sami.
“All the faces are a blur when I play,” she said.
Any way I have to keep quiet. Little Sami and Celine are fast asleep after a sleep over that included pizza and milk shakes. The game is over. The friendships resume.