As I’ve gotten older, being efficient has become a priority for me. While the priority of doing things in a logical order without wasting time is great on paper, having children makes it extremely difficult. Have you ever “helped” your children prepare for the beginning of the school year in August? How many times did you go to the same stores because they “forgot” that they needed pencils, a new backpack, folders, binders, pens, paper or some other material? I thought the week before school was the worst. Then came the football season. The football store now welcomes me personally when I enter.

Gavin decided to make soccer his first sport at the young age of seven. I grew up in other sports, but there seemed to be less violence in soccer than soccer, and keeping a giant metal bat away from kids wasn’t a bad idea either, so the prospect of Saturday mornings in the local course looked pretty good. at first.

When we enrolled him in our local league at the community center, they gave us a list of things to buy at the soccer store. A t-shirt, some pads, some clothes that would help you if you wanted to practice on your own, a mouth guard, all the things you would expect.

It started on our way to his first practice, “Dad, I forgot my tacos.” No problem, quick stop at home, pick them up and let’s go practice. When we get to our house, there are no tacos to find them. To the soccer store, a couple of cleats, please.

On the way home from the first practice we talked about what it was like. I was looking for fun, a challenge, maybe if I was very lucky to tire myself out. Gavin’s assessment, “Timmy had really cool sweatbands.” We went to the soccer store to become proud owners of neon green with black stripes.

At this point you know where the story is going. Every practice, game and tournament that followed required a stop for something. Who knew soccer jerseys came in so many different “cool” colors?

I never had a problem with any of the teams that protected or helped teach the sport. I even enjoyed buying things like whistles and rule books for the time when Gavin thought refereeing might be fun.

In many ways, we joined that soccer store. As it grew, the sizes increased. We went from one part of the store to the next. I wish I had taken a photo of my son and I in the mirror the first time we walked into the store. We could have told the story of our lives through that one business.

It was never efficient, whether it was when we “had” to go, or what we “had” to buy, but it was a great place to come together and grow. I have no idea how much money I spent over all these years, but it was worth every penny for the time I spent with my son and seeing the smile on his face.

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