Whew! It was one of those weekends. We rolled right from back-to-back soccer games Thursday and Friday into a social scene whose pace resembled the Debutante Season in the Hamptons. Erin's local buddy, Abby, had their out-of-town buddy, Ayesha, in for the weekend, and (I'm not really sure how this happened) they all had a sleepover at my house Friday night after cheering Davis's team on to a 4-0 win.
Luckily, Erin's Saturday mornings match was rained out, leaving just enough time for Abby and Ayesha to slip off to Jackson's basketball game, while Erin dropped by a couple of parties (Mrs. Helen's 90th birthday party and baby Aster's, welcome-to-the family party) before meeting back up with the gang (plus Tinka) at the movies to see the new Pink Panther show. Jackson caught up with them all later at Abby's where they succesfully drove Abby's big sister crazy until the party broke up about 8:30.
Sunday morning we were reminded that the sun can and will shine in late February! Erin, Nico, Adam and the rest of the children's choir sang the prelude at the beginning of the service, and their lovely sopranos filled the fellowship hall. After church we continued our search for a replacement for Gina's. We are honing in on Taqueria Arandas, where we have enjoyed several tasty lunches, but it's not too late to sway us to some other choice if you have a favorite. We all pitched in after that to get the house straight for Walter, who was meeting with his Executive Committee at our house in secret deliberations first thing on Monday. Then, lest we be tempted to spoil the pristine look of the house, Erin and I headed to the park for pickup soccer.
Last night the Hammerheads played one of the best games of their career. . .fifty minutes of intensity that never boiled over nor cooled off. I can hardly believe how much progress these kids have made in the six seasons Davis and I have coached them. It also left me feeling wistful in many ways. For one, I realized that Davis has grown into a beautiful young man. He prowled the sidelines, dropping just the right word of encouragement, making adjustments, gently correcting the players--coaching in every sense of the word. Still, we have only two more games to coach together. The season will end. He'll start working soon, then leave for college in August. Our shared coaching moments--deciding line-ups, chewing over what to do to eke more progress out of our team, celebrating the big and small wins--are numbered. He will move on, as it should be.
The other wistful feelings came from watching Erin play. Everyone else saw one tough girl, taking on any and all opponents coming at her with the ball. She challenged and stripped the ball away, repeatedly. She played every minute and saved numerous goals. She was with her friends. She depended on them. They on her. They needed each other to play like they played. But I looked on and saw something else. I saw a girl with cancer, who might not always feel as well as she felt last night. In fact, with scans coming up next Monday, the old paranoia started creeping in and clouding my view. Erin has had an achy back for a couple of days. It doesn't matter that it hasn't slowed her down (re-read everything up to here, if you have doubts). It doesn't matter that I also have an achy back, and that both Walter and my mother have had flu-like illnesses in the past week. I looked at her and thought the worst: what if the oral chemo isn't working? What if her tumor is progressing? What if this is her last game? Wistful doesn't mean depressed. It doesn't even really mean sad. Mostly, it meant just a great mixture of emotions. . .great pride, great love, great anger that I had thoughts that would taint the moment, AND great hope that I am wrong. . . That I get to see many more triumphant "Erin" moments, on the field and off.