She kicks and misses. The girl next to her also takes a swing. She has a bit better aim and the ball moves about 2 inches. The other girls swarm around the ball like a hive of bees, for some reason never really moving any closer to the ball, just orbiting it like they were put there by NASA. My daughter is one of these satellites.
The soccer ball is now the great philosophical question that haunts her and her other teammates. The soccer ball exists because it must. It is there, moving perhaps a foot at a time. She circles it, they circle it, the world circles it. They know that they must kick it, that is it's purpose, that is her purpose. She kicks therefore she is. But when most of them go to kick, they discover the duality of the soccer ball and it's being. It does not exists, they do not kick it, they always come close but for some reason the universe pulls it an inch to the left, an inch to the right and there is nothingness where once there was mass. They hover around the soccer ball, running in a tight circle, defining it's very universe.
I am there as well, both my presence and my spirit. I have discovered a great truth, a truth that has somehow eluded me for years. 5 year old soccer games are the greatest sporting event on the face of the Earth. I am shocked that this knowledge has come to me but once that it has, the obviousness of it does not allow one to deny it. I am on the edge of my seat. My hands hurt from clapping, a clapping that cannot be heard because the soccer ball holds all attention. It is the black hole of the soccer field, nothing escapes it.
My voice is horse for cheering for the Butterflies but the Butterflies are consumed by the ball, the ball that blinks from one space/time dimension to the other. I cheer, they kick, the world evolves. I once thought soccer to be a silly sport, a sport for those that couldn't pick up a football. I was arrogant, naive and failed to consider the ultimate question of soccer: Can your child kick it? Once that question was known the search for the answer has now become all consuming. I watch, I cheer, I question the soccer balls existence.
Hossmom is there as well. Her voice is not horse, that is not her role to play in this cosmic game. Her role is to shout out "good job baby!" Her voice merges with the other mother's saying the same things so that it appears that a choir of angels heralds the game of soccer. This is what they were meant to do, to care about those things, to foster a serene environment where concentration and meditation can drive a being forward toward the soccer ball.
My son is there, he is almost impish as he runs from one lawn chair to another. The existence of the soccer game and the soccer ball elude him. It's just an inch outside his consciousness. He knows that something is here, after all we brought him to this special place, but he is not sure what. But to be honest, as it is my son, unless it has bright flashing lights on it he is not going to notice it. Another truth that has been revealed on the soccer field. He asks for water, I squirt some in his general direction hoping that his mouth is somewhere near there. I cannot take my eyes off the orbiting girls, circling.
They are picking up speed now, something is happening. Faster they go. One way, then another as if they have been transformed into a school of tuna. I cannot see through 6 sets of tiny shin guard wearing legs. I do not know what is happening but something is happening. My daughter separates from the pack, it leaves her, she is not fast enough to keep up. I think that tragedy is about to unfold, that soccer has shown her our family short comings. We Hoss's are not fast, we are not built for speed. We are built to take punishment and doll give out vengeance. It's a slow methadical existence that has been handed down for generations. I feel that soccer is going to expose us for what we are, our weaknesses to be on display.
But soccer and it's cosmic plan has eluded me like it has for eons. Soccer shows our weaknesses but it also exposes our strengths.
The ball pops out of the back, almost on it's own. It rolls as if it is taking a nice Sunday drive to nowhere. It ends up at my daughter's feet.
I do not know anything about soccer or the skills involved. But I know my daughter as I know myself. I gave her two rules of soccer to begin with. Number 1, always do your best and a try hard. There is no shame in effort. Number 2, if you don't know what to do, kick the shit out of the ball.
I will her to remember my words, I will her to kick it, to prove the existence of the ball, to validate my parental abilities. She looks down at the ball, almost if she is considering what to do with it. It's there. She's there. She is alone in her world, the orbiting girls no longer exist, I don't exist. Only the soccer ball and perhaps, just maybe, my words of advice to my little girl.
She smiles. She pulls back her leg. She makes contact.
The ball rolls towards the goal like it's life finally has purpose, like it finally has meaning.
I am out of my chair. I am complete.
And somewhere behind me, an impish boy takes a break from throwing dirt. He looks towards the field. He sees a soccer ball rolling toward a net and two poles. A simple soccer ball and all of a sudden he understands that perhaps it isn't so simple after all.