I coach Emma Jo’s U5 Soccer team.

At this level the coach is on the field exhorting the squad and working to keep the ball in bounds.

There was fast break and young Mason bolted for the goal with a trail of teammates and forlorn adversaries quickly fading behind him. There is a player from the other side that is standing right in front of the goal. This is not actually allowed – but, it happens.

As Mason streaks for the goal, arms pumping madly, Emma Jo Suddenly comes out of no where and cuts him off just as he launches the size #3 ball – generally in the direction of the goal – with a mighty kick. The ball bounces off of the player standing defiantly (well… actually looking slightly panicked with Mason crashing down on him) in front of the goal and spins around on the turf. Emma Jo fairly minces forward and nonchalantly pops it squarely into the net – with authority. She then spins on her left foot looking for me. She raises her spindly little arms into the air in evident ecstasy and victory, takes a running step, and leaps into my arms. I heave her high up into the air and begin a delirious dance… It’s just me and Emma Jo and the delicious sun.

Later Emma Jo gets hit in the face with a ball and she doesn’t want to play the rest of the game.

But, I have my perfect moment. I will never forget her face; the connection; and, how sweet the air smelled mixing with her hair in my nostrils as we twirled about in a victory dance.

I love being a Dad.

Peace to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork