This morning we headed to Hasselt for a soccer tournament. It was a long day watching games, but something I always enjoy. It was the last soccer I will share with my seven-year-old. Tomorrow, August 30, he turns eight. Eight already. Where does the time go?

I watched my lil bug tear around the field, doing his darndest to keep a win in sight. Playing as a stand-in for another team is hard work. What is their offence? How do they play defence? Where do I fit into the team? He did a good job, playing with a team a step or two below the level of his own. He scored, he passed, he stopped balls from becoming goals. He managed to run the entire field trying to keep the team in the lead. And in the three games they played, the team won two of the three. Quite an achievement at the Coca-Cola Cup.

Throughout the years Jari has been a part of my life, soccer has been a part of more than half. He thrives being on the field, shooting penalties at home, joining kids during play while on vacation. He never complains about having to go to practice, instead asking when he gets to go again. His favorite clothing is covered with soccer clubs or soccer balls, his shoes always a pair that can easiest kick a ball. His bedroom is a shrine to his collection of medals and trophies housed in decorations from his beloved Ajax. You will never see him leave the house to go to school without a ball at his feet, and his pump (or the 5 we have purchased since his arrival) is one of his best friends. He waits for games to be broadcast on tv, asks for scores when he awakens in the morning, and can name the majority of the big players, their home country, and for which team they play. He can also name all of the flags of those countries. And, lately, he can tell you how much they make playing his favorite game in the world.
With this newest information, Jari frequently tells us what his plans are for all the money he'll be making one day when he hits the big time. His villa and his cars, the house he'll buy mama and papa so we can watch his games. He has big plans, that little boy of mine.

My little bug, at nearly eight, your dreams are big. Tomorrow, when the sun brightens the earth, you will awaken and be part of this great big world as an eight-year-old. Your dreams, tomorrow, will still be bigger than you, but knowing how stubborn you are, how much you love the game, and how much talent you already show, these dreams have every possibility of becoming a reality. Stay with your dreams, my little boy. Make them as big as you dare, and work hard to bring them to life. If your dreams remain in soccer, mama will be there to cheer you on. If they take another turn in life, mama will be there to cheer you on. Your dream is my dream, my sparkly little son. I love being here to share it all with you, watching you grow, mature, evolve as a little tot into the eight year old I know today.
Thank you for giving mama a reason to stand in the crowd and cheer, my voice loud and excited, calling your name from the sidelines as I see you look my way and smile at the big thumbs up I send your way. I will always be by your side, guiding you to be your very best. Today, winning the games at the Coca-Cola Cup was just one little trickle of who I know you will become. Eight years old. Happy Birthday from your very biggest fan!


tlawwife said...

Happy Birthday Jari!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Hope all of you have a wonderful time celebrating Jari's birthday!