A perfect day

November 14, 2010

How could a cold, rainy, dark, November day be perfect? When its spent on the sidelines of my son’s soccer game.

There I stood. It was well over an hour now and the field lights had come on. Soaked players sitting on the covered bench. Shivering with their sleeves pulled down over their hands to keep warm yet eager for their next shift.

It is a critical game for positioning for playoffs. We’re playing a team comparable in skill and standings. One of our team snipers, a kid from South America, just had fired a bullet of a shot from about 30 meters out whistling past the opposing goal keeper and rippling the mesh. His father standing beside me ecstatically cheering and congratulations his son in Spanish.

There I stood, on this cold, darkening, Canadian November afternoon, warm in my thermal boots, jacket, hat and umbrella, elated at my son’s team success that included an impregnable defense line of which my son is a part.  4 young teens that opposing teams dreaded for their ability to break up offensive plays.

My son, an average-sized new kid on his team, never backs down to any play or player.  His key skill is his ability to read the field, strip the opposing player, and put the ball in the right place for the midfielders and forwards to do their job.  Humbled by what he felt was a demotion to defense on this team he is new to this season, I was so blessed to be able to be there to support him through and help him understand the importance of proving himself in this role so he had a chance at the forward positions he excelled at on his teams in previous seasons.

After the game, we had dinner and a DVD planned at my house. I realized at that moment that this was a perfect day. It didn’t require my son to be the star of the team. It didn’t require that we be standing in a tropical paradise. It didn’t require that we had reservations for the best restaurant in town or a trip to Disneyland. Dad’s hamburgers and a DVD were all we needed.

I looked around in the closing minutes of the game in which we won 1-0 and what felt like currents of gratitude flowed through me. In that moment, all the amazing blessings in my life at that moment began to come to mind and I felt overwhelmed with how remarkable life was.

Ironically, the state-of-the-art turf field is located only blocks from where I used to hook up with drug dealers a few years ago. Only a few years ago, I was not in a physical or emotional state to care for my kids. And now feeling a flood of elation over life on life’s terms better and more pure and trustworthy than the cocaine rush and alcohol numbing of years ago.

I could now be there for my son to watch and help him grow and mature as a contributing member of a dominating soccer team and life.

I used to mire in self-pity over only seeing my kids once or twice a week. Now, I feel like the most blessed twice-weekly parent on the planet. I am able to do more with and for him in a couple of days a week than many parents do full time.  I love the life I am blessed with. I take less and less for granted. Even a cold, rainy, November day is something to be grateful for.





  1. I hear you Chaz, I hear ya!! Life is so amazing, I enjoy the smallest things today and don’t take things for granted. I feel like a kid all over again, enjoy life all over again. Seeing all the little things for how special they really are.
    I love the way you spoke of your son and being a good parent. You sound like a very proud father, you are lucky to have each other. It’s always nice to hear people talk about their relationship with their children, it gives me hope that one day it may happen for me. I have 2 teenagers 1 girl, 1 boy. My daughter is coming around but my son is still so angry that after 2 1/2 yrs he still will not speak to me. Reading stories like yours reminds me that in time it will come. Just not my time!
    As for now I enjoy the things I have,treasure the little things and every little moment. 🙂

    • Glad this gave you hope Anna. It is amazing when we surrender things how they come back to us in ways we never expect. Rest assured that I had my painful challenges with my kids and there were times that I was separated from them. Sometimes as a result of my behaviour, sometimes not. Either way it was painful.

      Keep steady in being the best you that you can be. You really cannot go wrong by doing right.



  2. What a great post! Congratulations to both you & your son for your victories!

    • Thanks Donna…

      I am just so grateful for days like this. There was a time when I never thought it would be possible. And the biggest constraint was my own complicated, dysfunctional thinking.

      Thanks for the encouragement.



  3. […] A perfect day « Chaz' journey back. […]

  4. I felt right there with you, in the rain, with a feeling of fulfillment and gratitude, while I was reading your post. Thanks, Chaz!

    • Those life events are really something else arent they? A completely natural high.

  5. I love this. You sound so happy, so blessed and so aware of where you are in life. That’s amazing. Love it.

  6. Thanks Jolene… It would be nice if it were this great all the time. Life continue to have its challenges but more and more, it is peppered with wonderful moments like this.



  7. I appreciate your positive perspective. I single-parented for eight years and understand the difficulties divorce brings. So many times I doubted whether my children would make it through but their father and I decided to be there for them, even though divorced. As you can see by my most recent post, they are well-adjusted, world travels. You are giving your son a wonderful gift, a caring father.

  8. Thanks JoDee…. I do my best to be there for him. There were some lost years during the darkest period of my crash and burn. But somehow they feel redeemed and I am able to be the parent I had always hoped to be for my kids.

    I am told time and again it is not how much you see them, but the genuineness of the relationship that has the most impact.

    I am just glad to be there for him and share a common interest… namely his soccer. Plus others. I love being a parent.

    Thanks for stopping by.



  9. Hi Chaz. Thanks so much for your post. It’s good to be reminded that the most special thing we can do with someone is share an ordinary day. All the best.

    • Yes,Piper…. the notions many of us hold or once held that the great moments need to be glamorous, expensive, complicated or illicit continue to prove invalid. Elation with everyday life is the result of gatitude for how rare, precious, and wonderful those moments really are. Thanks.


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