My oldest son is playing baseball again this summer for the first time in a couple of years. We've been so focussed on soccer for so long that I'd forgotten what it's like to involved in another sport, to be involved in a team we don't have to be so - involved in.
What a difference not to be a volunteer, constantly having to bring my binder and briefcase to fields, collecting this payment and organizing that fundraiser and coordinating with sponsors and filling out paperwork and registering for games and tournaments and booking fields and updating schedules and chasing coaches for quals and rosters and creating game sheets and keeping track of ref fees and fielding five thousand emails per day from parents of players.
What a difference not to have to stress out about politics and drama and favouritism and the incestuous infighting that comes when a group of people are thrown together too closely for too long.
What a difference for my boy, when every step he makes doesn't have to mean anything - what line he gets put on next game, what team he gets placed on next year, what club he plays with going forward.
What a difference for him, to just show up and - play.
What a difference for me, to just show up and - watch.
No pressure. No drama. No work.
What a difference.
My boys love playing rep soccer and we love being a rep soccer family. None of us would leave that world for the world. But what a refreshing change it is for all of us to play on a house league team - and just play.