Catching Up

We’ve been…IMG_4637

…enjoying downtime before heading off to new adventures.

Rooting for our teams in the World Cup. Korea knocked out Germany! (Sorry, German friends). Belgium is still in! And England, oh England! (We’re watching the game right now).

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Eating peach ice cream at Chiles Peach Orchard…

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And tending to our garden.

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World Cup

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program (i.e. The Grand Tour du Nord) to bring you this World Cup update.

The World Cup has profoundly changed my life in so many ways…

When my oldest child was just a toddler, I signed him up for recreational soccer. He loved every second of it. As the ball dribbled past his legs, he would crouch low with keen focus to inspect the ants crawling around on the blades of grass. As the ball sailed past him, he would gaze up at the sky and find dragons in the clouds above him.

We gave up on soccer for a few years. In 2010 we went to England to visit my husband’s family in Manchester. Our stay happened to coincide with the World Cup. Our kids watched the games on their grandparents’ tiny television, mesmerized. Since that fateful summer, all three of them have been obsessed with soccer.

That fall my father-in-law made all of their dreams come true, by sending them these Manchester United jerseys:

They like DC United too:

My daughter wrote about her impressions of her first pro game for a school assignment:

This past year our son’s team got to greet the DC United players as they came onto the pitch for their first game of the season:

My husband and I, both unathletic couch jockeys, have even managed to be conscripted as assistant coaches at one time or another:

Every fall and spring, my weekends are spent driving from field to field, not only within our own hometown, but as far afield as Maryland and West Virginia.

Even our recent vacation schedule revolved around soccer and was dictated by what time we would need to get back to the hotel to watch the World Cup games:

For all of my grousing, soccer has taught my children some valuable lessons and skills. They have learned the importance of teamwork, dedication, and of course: sportsmanship.

Yesterday, I came home to this reenactment of the Italy vs. Uruguay game:

It really is a “beautiful game.”

Tomorrow: Back to our regularly scheduled programming and: Buffalo. Yes, Buffalo.