Saturday morning, Sean’s soccer team played against the German Nationals and it was no surprise that they were thoroughly trounced. Those German’s are good at soccer and not nearly as tall as you might think. The score was something like 782 to 0, but our guys took no notice thusly living out the principal that it’s not whether you win or lose, as long as there are snacks.
There’s no sorrow that a Moon Pie can’t sooth.
In spite of the loss, Saturday afternoon turned out to be fabulously beautiful, sunny and mild, so after the game Sean and AD took off on foot around the neighborhood looking for someone to come out and play. They rang four or five doorbells but everyone was busy or gone, so they returned home in the second defeat of the day.
Not wanting to miss the glory of the day, we drove to a nearby park that has a big playground and a trail that runs alongside a nature preserve and a creek. We walked the trail together, the three of us, pretending to be explorers. We hopped back and forth across the creek and in and out and through the brush, stopping occasionally to dig treasures out of the mud. In Sean’s world this kind of outing trumps Six Flags and Disney World all rolled into one.
As we walked back to the car in the glow of a fading sun, I watched Sean gallop ahead of us. He had a short rope that he had found that he was swinging over his head like a lariat. He was singing some church song off key in little boy falsetto. Yellow leaves rained down around us and the warm November air smelled sweet of damp earth and decaying leaves. And it seemed in that moment, that we were complete, that we lacked absolutely nothing.
As older parents of an only child, sometimes we are hyper-sensitive to the fact that Sean’s primary playmates are us, two middle-aged goofballs who adore him. And that seems a little sad. Sometimes we feel sort of sorry for him that he doesn’t have built-in playmates in siblings or that he can’t open his front door to find a mob of kids to play with as we did when we were growing up. These days, it seems that everyone is at lessons.
But the fact of the matter is, the sense of loss is felt only by us. For Sean, in this season of his life, he would rather be with us, such that we are, than with anyone else in the whole world. And there is nothing in that to count as loss.