Yesterday began like most every other day. Up early by nature, I was with my first client by 7:30, coffee in hand and questions queued up. Check. Next stop my dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning. All good. I arrived back home by 10:30 in time for a quick 3P, alone, in the palace. Second shower by 11 bells and Miss and I are in the MDX headed to Olentangy Liberty High School.
After a quick stop at Jersey Mikes followed by a lengthy one at the bank, we arrive a little late at the high school and Tay is ready and waiting. He hops in the car all smiles and joking with Miss. I smile as he gets in beside me with his familiar greeting of, “Oh, Chettterrs.” He and Miss have their phones out and when not looking I grab Miss’ and sit on it. Within seconds she discovers her favorite tool is m.i.a. and has a miny freak until I hold it up laughing amid her anxiety. She grabs it and we all laugh. We are underway. We’re headed to Indiana Wesleyan University. Taylor is signing with the soccer program today. FM, baby.
The drive over on a beautiful day is uneventful. We stop at the McDonalds in Celina for a bathroom break (kinda tradish) and before you blink (under 3 hours) we’re pulling onto the beautiful IWU campus. We’re early. We walk around and enjoy the sunshine while checking out Hodson dorm, his future home away from home. All this is happening while I’m slightly in a state of disassociation. I know he is signing today. I know he is reporting, if you will, on August 10th. And yet my brain is not registering that our little baby boy has become a young man! I am in some kinda state of denial…
We meet the other recruits and their families along with Coach Castro and head into their TV studio where the camera crew awaits. The Coach has prepared a script for each of the five players signing and Taylor is set to go fourth since he was the fourth one to sign. The IWU team is there and we meet a number of them. One in particular, Sam, comes up to Taylor and tells him he’s wearing his number 18. Sam has a full beard, broad chest, and a deep voice. He’s a senior, he tells us and he wanted to be number 17 for his senior year. I’m listening to him talk but my mind is fixated on his beard and his frame. This guy can’t be on Taylor’s team, he’s way too old…
Miss grabs a seat in the back and prepares for her camera work once Tay’s turn comes. Tay and I stand in he middle of the pack and he tells me he’s nervous. The lights are bright on the stage and dark where we are. He asks me what he should say to the second question. I ask him what he’s thinking about saying. He tells me he’s not sure but he sure is nervous – much more than normal. I told him whenever I’ve been filmed like this, I have a little trick I play with my mind to help me stay calm. He looks at me and his eyes say, do share. I imagine the audience all sitting on the toilet. He laughs and smiles really, really big. I laugh alongside and put my arm around him. “Just take 3 deep breathes when you go up there, I remind him. Three deep breathes calm the mind. You’ll do great.” He tells me what he’s thinking of saying and I remind him of a few things he has told me. He smiles. He’s got this.
Finally, his time arrives. He’s got his microphone on and takes his seat next to Coach. He looks like a man. He’s bigger than his coach and his chest is out and his shoulders are back. He looks a little bigger than I thought too. Must be true what they say about the camera, I’m thinking. The Coach introduces my son and his accomplishments. He tells a bit of a story about Tay’s deadly left foot and his knack for finding the net. I don’t remember much else but he seemed to say a lot in little time. I was fixated on my son. He looked so composed. He looked confident. He answered well the questions as they were posed. I was so happy for him yet swelling with conflicting emotions I had a hard time recognizing.
Time slowed. Tay returned to my side. Miss came alongside. We took pictures together and Tay took one solo with his new coach. Time stopped. My heart swelled. My son is becoming a man. My son is becoming a man. My son is becoming a man. Like a melody line repeating in my heart, I kinda quickly managed three deep breathes and calmed myself. Time began to return to normal.
Yes, my son is becoming a man, I reminded myself. True that. And, my son is my kinda man. My son is still my son. My heart swelled further and made a little peace with my mind. Taylor’s signing was a kairos moment. Taylor’s signing was a mile marker of sorts in our journey. Miss and I are so glad we are with him. There’s the melody line again. We are so happy to be together. We’re good and I know it. Peace.
And, I’m coming to believe, we always will be together – in some sorta fashion. You see Taylor’s signing is just another signature he has inked indelibly on our hearts. This is good. Indelible ink never goes away. I kinda like that. Today, ink some memories with those you love. Allow yourself to associate with your feelings. Gotta go. I’m off to make some more memories with the Krits.
Peace will come…