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No Ordinary People

I just got home from a wedding.

The bride…a young lady I’ve had the honor of knowing for about twelve years.  I am not a numbers gal, so let’s go with twelve, give or take a year.

She and Chicky formed an instant friendship when we moved to Podunk, USA way back when Chicky was beginning the seventh grade.

“J” and Chicky attended school and church together, and they were also on the same school and travel soccer teams.  Her parents, the Mr., and I quickly formed a strong bond (those of you who know me personally will get the pun).  🙂

I’m proud to say that it was my family who took J to her first Auburn football game, taught her the fight song on the way up, and nurtured that love…one she carried through her college career when she later attended and graduated from Auburn.

War Eagle, y’all!

J married her “buddy” a few hours ago, and the wedding was Christ-centered and full of fun.

I had known, when I received my Save the Date flyer, that it would be a wonderful evening.

Now that it’s come and gone, I can honestly say that my expectations were more than met.

My heart is full, and I almost want to cry now that it’s ended.

As I saw people arrive for the wedding, I couldn’t wait to hug their necks.  I couldn’t quite yet because the ceremony was about to start, so I eagerly awaited the reception.

You see, these were no ordinary “people.”

They were my fellow soccer parents.

Over the years, we had traveled far and wide together (all over the United States, in fact), rejoiced in victories, and dried tears after losses.

We had agonized over teenage/parent frustrations while cheering our girls from the sidelines.

We’d shared countless adventures together.

Holler if you remember getting lost on back roads in Virginia.

Ahem.

If you’re a sports parent, you know the unique bond that forms in such circumstances.

We had broken bread together at all hours of the day more times than I can remember and at more restaurants that I probably want to recall.  Hello, hotel oatmeal.  heehee

It’s a very good thing that social media wasn’t a thing back in those days.  😀

As the girls got older, we attended their college signings and cheered them on when we heard their names on the news or read about them in the paper or online.

And now…

They are getting older.  Many are either finished with college, almost finished, or in the case of K, the youngest of a LARGE crew, about to embark on a college career.

And then today, there was J’s wedding…

The most recent event to bring us together.

I cried a little when I saw her groom’s eyes fill with tears as he saw her.  It was absolutely precious to behold.

I saw J take a deep breath as she held her father’s arm and passed my aisle…on her way to her groom waiting for her.

She was drop-dead gorgeous, her dress conservative but so feminine with its lace and train.

The ceremony was so sweet – especially because they incorporated promises to forever cheer on Auburn in the vows they wrote for each other.

War Eagle!

After the ceremony, I greeted the other soccer moms with the hugs I’d been holding back.  We talked non-stop as we walked to the reception room.

Chicky, the Mr., and I were seated at the table with our soccer peeps.  Whoever made the seating arrangements, thank you!!

What fun we had describing past times.

Watching J and her guy dance their first dance…well, my goodness…I think we soccer moms all shed a few tears.

And then the dance floor was opened up to everyone.

I am not going to lie.  I danced.

A lot.

I pulled one of my friends, L, to the floor with me, and honey, that girl had moves!

Song after song played, and we parents had as much fun as the kids.  Seriously.

At one point, J’s mom got in the middle of the moms and totally cut loose.  My friend, L, looked at me and said, “I have goosebumps right now.”

You see, after our girls, in their senior year of high school, won the regional playoff game that sent them to the state playoffs, we had stood in the school’s parking lot, and J’s mom had gotten in the middle and danced in celebration.

It felt like deja vu.

We boogied our behinds off and did dances I didn’t know how to do.  I just followed the lead of S, one of the soccer dads, who had, apparently, been taught by his five kids.  🙂

We did the Wobble, which I had learned how to do on the cruise.

I learned that to dance like the young folks, all you have to do is point at someone or something every now and then.

heehee

The night went by too quickly, and before I knew it, the Mr. pried me off of the floor.  He and Chicky were ready to leave.  I could have partied all night.

#teachersonsummervacation

As I hugged L, she said, “I don’t want tonight to end.  I’ll probably be depressed tomorrow.”

I told her to focus on the positive memories, but now, I see what she meant.

We, despite having grown children, have gotten busier (who would have thunk it).

We aren’t required to meet up every few days for practices or tournaments.

Simply put, our lives don’t intersect very often any more.

Because we are family, this makes letting go of each other when we are together even more difficult.

You see, when you’re a soccer [insert your sport of choice] parent, you automatically adopt every player on the team.  You walk away from the experience having parented more children than you originally intended when you signed up for the sport.

Your heart gets bigger at the same rate that your “family” grows.

I’ll forever be grateful to J for including us on her special day.  Not only did we get to watch her marry the man God had planned as her soul mate, we got to do it together…like we always did…from the sidelines but with as much enthusiasm as ever.

I’ll carry these memories in my heart for a very long time and will look forward to the next celebration that reunites us once again.

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