September means different things to different people. September marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, closing up cottages and back-to-school, trees changing colour and leaves crunching underfoot and hot, hazy afternoons cooling quickly for cozy evening campfires.
For our family, September also means the end of summer soccer and the beginning of tryout season - a solid month of high-pressure tryouts, training sessions and evaluations for every competitive club in every town around.
It's a scheduling nightmare for us - four or five tryouts for each of four or five clubs for each of our two rep players crammed into the space of only a few weeks, often overlapping or back-to-back with multiple tryouts for multiple teams on different fields in different towns on the same day.
It's hard work for the boys: having to be in peak form, at their fastest and strongest over and over again at every single tryout - speed, agility, footwork, being the best they can be and proving that they are the best without the benefit of the coaches knowing how they usually play - it's physically demanding and exhausting and a lot of pressure for our little athletes.
And it's stressful - for all of us.
Whether we'll be returning to the club we've played with for years of starting over with a new team remains to be seen. In the meantime, we still have almost two weeks to go: two more weeks for our soccer starts to stay strong and tough; two more weeks of gnawing anxiety for Mom; two more weeks before tryout season is over and we're left with a major decision to make before carrying on with our lives.