Rachel had her last soccer game of the season on Saturday.
Her enthusiasm for soccer has not waned. She has been excited about every single practice and game. Her coach was wonderfully positive and encouraging and her teammates were good at working together.
Rachel didn't care if they won or lost (and often didn't realize when they were winning or losing). She was always delighted if there were kids she knew on the opposing team, because she liked waving to them and possibly chatting with them on the sidelines.
Rachel didn't care that she wasn't the best player on the team, but she was determined to improve. And she did. She learned to anticipate where the ball would go. She learned to jump into a pack of kids and try to get a good kick in. She fell down and endured misplaced kicks on her legs and got smacked in the face with a ball and just kept going. Miss Persistence at her best.
And she had a grin on her face through it all.
Before her last game, Rachel told me, "I wish this was my first game and not my last, so that I could do it all over again. And I wish we had 20 games instead of 8. Soccer is just the best!" My girl has found something she truly loves. There will be many more soccer seasons in our future. And we're both looking forward to it.