"Charlie! Hurry up, your game starts in 20 minutes and we have to drive there!" I call from the kitchen, as I fill a thermos up with coffee for the game. For some reason, it’s necessary to have soccer games at 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday, in March. When it’s freezing outside. I hear footsteps running through the apartment, and Charlie bursts into the room, wearing his uniform and cleats. "I’m ready." He yawns, and I hand him an apple to eat.
"Let’s go buddy." I smile, and let him lead the way to the elevator. "Alex is going to be there, right?" Charlie asks as we step into the elevator, and he pushes the button to go down to the lobby. "Yep, he’s meeting us there." I smile, knowing that he won’t go back on his word.
It’s nice having a guy that I can trust around. Alex is one of those guys that you can’t believe he’s single, and he turns out to be the perfect guy. I really have no idea why he’s single. Arriving at the soccer field at the local elementary school, Charlie immediately rushes over to the coach and the rest of the team, leaving me alone. I mingle with some, saying hello to a few other moms and dads, before going to sit down on the bleachers. This gives me the perfect chance to catch up on my emails for work. I know it sounds like I’m one of the parents that works all the time and doesn’t have time for their kid, but I’m not. I love spending time with Charlie, and I spend as much time with him as I can. I work to provide for us, but there’s nothing better than that feeling of when I pick him up from school, and I see his smiling face looking at me.
"You’re not one of those parents that go to a game, but don’t watch any of it, are you?" Alex asked, as he slid next to me on the bleacher. Rolling my eyes at him, and smirking, I couldn’t help but laugh and answer, "No I’m not! The game hasn’t even started yet! It’s just that we’re getting a new attorney this week, and I’m supposed to be his 'welcoming committee' which is hard to do when I don’t know when they’re supposed to be here. Look, the Blackberry is off now." I smile at him, and shove my Blackberry in my purse. "Thanks for coming, if they win then maybe we could hang out after? The team always goes out with a few of the parents for pizza, but if we lose I always take Charlie out for ice cream and you’re welcome to come for that too."
"Ok, either way works for me." He smiled and draped his arm over my shoulders. "So, how’s the team doing?" He asks, changing the subject.
Swaying back and forth slightly, I answered, "Well… not that great. We’re 0 and 4. But they try hard, and they’re only four and five, so it’s not too bad." I laugh, as more parents begin to sit down on the bleachers, and the two teams ran onto the field.
"Hey, buddy," I smile down at Charlie as he wonders up to Alex and I after the game. Let’s just say Charlie had an off day… He tripped over his shoelaces twice, and barely touched the ball twice. Their team lost, and it has to be pretty hard on the kids because it was 3-0. "Hi mom," He groaned and started walking toward the parking lot.
"Charlie, it’s ok, it’s your first year; you’ll get better." I offered as I caught up to him and pulled him closer to me, so I could wrap my arm around his shoulders. Before we could get very far, Alex stepped in and spoke, "Yeah Charlie, what would you say if we practiced together after school one day this week? I got a soccer scholarship to college, I used to be pretty good and I’m happy to help out." We can plan it out while we’re out for ice cream… if it’s ok that I tag along," He asked, causing Charlie to stop and turn toward him.
"Really? That’d be great!" He smiled up at us, and twirled around in excitement. "Can we go get ice cream now?" He asked, the game now completely forgotten.
"Yeah, let’s go." I answer and lift Charlie up as we cross the street to the parking lot. I glance at Alex, and he just nods knowingly, understanding that it means a lot to me that he’s a good father figure.