Soccer has been a part of our family since Hayden was four.
The only break we took from soccer was when Anna was born and that was a unanimous decision so that we could focus on our squishy. It was hard to say no to that activity, as we knew how much the boys loved it and what good exercise it was for them… not to mention it’s pretty much the only socialization our homeschool kids get. (Sarcasm, there.) But we were all at peace with the decision and enjoyed the calm that came into our lives, not having multiple practices a week and Saturdays filled with games.
Each time the opportunity arose for the kids to play soccer after Anna was born we offered it to them and each time they said, “Not yet.” Hayden had aged out of the CYS soccer offered at Fort Hood and Texas schools don’t allow homeschoolers to play on their school teams, so he really didn’t have much choice, other than travel soccer and we are not quite that committed to the sport. (Financially or with our time.)
We knew the time we were taking off was good for our family as we are very deliberate in what goes onto our plates.
Even before we left Texas I made connections with a few soccer leagues in Stuttgart in order to make good decisions about what teams our kids would participate in. DoDs schools in Europe do allow homeschoolers to try out for their sports teams so that was one option. There are a few other options that we considered and for the season, here’s what we went with:
Hayden tried out for and made the JV Soccer team at Stuttgart High School. (We’re very proud of him as it’s quite competitive.) His practices are M-F, games on Saturdays. It’s a big time commitment for him as he rides the duty bus. As for family commitment, we just have Saturday games. It fits in well with our lives.
The other three we signed up for CYS and we were happy Carson and Bailey were placed on the same team. That means they could ride the duty bus to practices and we only have to pick them up, as their practices end after the duty bus stops running for the day. Parker’s practices are located within walking distance of our house and his practices are on Saturdays. Easy enough.
On March 19th as I was cooking dinner I got a phone call from a strange number. I answered because we’re new enough here that almost all numbers are strange. I remember someone asking if I was Bailey’s mom and I said yes. I figured it was his coach calling to tell me about upcoming soccer practices or something but that’s not at all what he said… I vaguely remember him saying, “Bailey was skateboarding near AFRICOM and had a pretty bad fall. I think he may have broken his arm.”
In my mind Bailey was lying on the ground and this guy was standing over him, calling me to ask me to come to him. I was a bit dazed and I asked him if he’d stay with him until I got there. He sounded confused and then said, “I think they’re probably at your door by now.”
Sure enough, two men, a stranger and a neighbor (who happened to come across the scene of the accident and is a flight medic), walked Bailey in the door. The neighbor stayed 20 minutes or so and helped get Bailey’s arm braced and secured with a sling. The stranger left pretty quickly and the guy on the phone? No clue! Bailey never told him his name, our phone number, and Bailey has no idea how the guy knew to call me. We still don’t know where that guy came from or where he went.
Bailey and I went to Olga Hospital where we spent five hours. I was asked to leave the room when they had to re-break his arm to set it… I cried. Bailey was a trooper through the whole thing.
The way he broke his arm requires that they position it in this awkward position. I will admit I’ve made fun of him a time or two… eating yogurt is quite difficult!
We found out that he wouldn’t be allowed to play any soccer until he had a soft cast, which wouldn’t be until the last couple weeks of soccer. I was sad for him, but he took the news well. Bailey has made some friends at youth, Club Beyond, and on the duty bus (take after me, much?).
In the meantime we went to a couple of Hayden’s games and we looked forward to the start of Carson’s and Parker’s seasons. We’ve missed watching our kids play! (See if you can spot some of our family in the picture below… Hint: none of them are on the pitch.)
Carson was really getting excited for the start of his season. I don’t think he realized how much he has missed playing until we started going to Hayden’s games. He even talked about trying out for the high school team next year with Hayden. (I pray that he will…)
On the night of Carson’s first practice I remember sending him off… I was so excited for him but tried to play it cool. I told him to be safe and I remember when he arrived at the kaserne where practices are being held, he called, double-checking that he was in the right place. He was, but he was there 30 minutes early because that’s the way the busses run… you get there 30 minutes early or 30 minutes late.
That night I had planned to go pick him up because Matt had just gotten home from work and I didn’t want him to have to go back out: Matt had a pinched sciatic nerve that was wreaking havoc on his back. I was on the phone with Stephanie catching up (phone calls with friends in the states are rare treats!) and so Matt told me he’d go get Carson. There was to be a brief parent meeting after practice so that worked out fine and Matt’s pain level wasn’t too bad at the moment.
And then, this:
I’ll continue the story tomorrow…