When he turned one, his birthday cake had a small soccer ball on it and he carried it with him wherever he went for months after that.
When he was in the toddler class at Lake Country, he would walk into the classroom, pick up two plastic balls and spend the rest of the class walking around holding them tightly in his fat little hands. The other kids would cut bananas or play instruments but he didn't do anything because of those damn balls. One day I asked the teacher, "What's wrong with him?! The only thing he wants to do is walk around carrying those balls?!" She leaned in close to me and said, "Well, Vikki, I imagine that he just really likes balls."
When he was in kindergarten, he asked us every day if he could take his own ball to school and every day we told him that he could if he could provide a note from his teacher saying that it was okay. If you've read this blog for a long time, you'll remember that he did bring home that note - he forged it himself.
This past Sunday, I went to Miguel's soccer tournament. He played goalie in the first half and I watched as he danced around in the goal and directed the defense and caught and kicked the ball. He's grown and changed so much yet he is still the baby and toddler and young child who wanted nothing more than to play ball.
I have never been an athlete. Sure, I played rugby in college but I was more competitive in the drinking games that came after the matches. So, I watch in awe when he plays because he can do things on the soccer field that I have never done nor could ever imagine doing but even more because he is so much himself while doing it.
When I watch him play, I am fully present in the moment. I don't worry that he should be doing something else with his time. I remember toddler class. I remember that he held those plastic balls in his fists every day yet still managed to learn how to cut a banana.
When I watch him play - I fall in love with him all over again.