I coach my daughter's soccer team. They are doing well. Very well, in fact. This Saturday my daughter stunned the opposing coach with her play. Stunned him so greatly he was talking about it four minutes later as he came off the field.
The pack was scrambling around the ball, my girl on the outside near the side boundary line across from me. One of the girls on the other team got a piece of the ball and tried to send it up the line past Isabelle.
Isabelle trapped the ball with her right foot, her left shoulder pointing towards the girl that had kicked it. The player on the other team continued to charge forward intending to get a foot in. In one fluid motion, Isabelle rolled the ball under her foot, tapped it with her heel to send it behind her and rolled out at a full run, dribbling the ball smoothly. The entire field was caught flat-footed by the move which she turned into a beautiful goal.
This had all happened not two yards in front of the opposing coach, whose mouth I watched drop open. I heard him say, "Did you see that? Where'd she learn that?"
A few minutes later, at the half, he was walking across the field and talking to the ref (that his team had supplied), "Did you see that #9's play? I wonder whose kid she is."
Ear-hustling on their conversation, I smiled and hooked a thumb at my chest, "That's my girl."
"Wow. That was pretty neat."
My heart about exploded from pride, "Sure was."
Sunday was Mother's Day, and I was bent on cooking a nice breakfast. In order to make that happen, I got up at about 0600 hours. I was in the midst of doing the dishes from the night before when I heard the pad of little feet. I turned around and there is Isabelle asking, "What can I do to help, Daddy?"
She had made sure to wake up early, knowing we were going to be cooking for Mommy. We worked our buns off, and made a very nice breakfast. When everything was just about done, she said, "Thank you very much for helping me cook and make a very special day for Mother's Day, Daddy," and hugged me.
My heart almost exploded again. I managed not to snivel, but I did have to wipe a tear away when she hugged me.