As we get closer to moving, or I think we re getting closer I am realizing few things.
As much as I don’t like it here I have made a life for myself. In the 6 years my husband and I have been together (married for almost 5) we have traditions. Its those things I will miss.
Every summer, the local City Park (the big one) opens up their mini amusement park. It has little kiddie rides. Most are sized for the under 48 inch crowd but a few things are good for everyone like the roller coaster, the horrible spinning thing that watching makes me sick to my stomach, the train that goes into the park and around the fishing hole and the 100+ year old carousel. The best part about this mini amusement park is that every ride is a quarter except for the train and carousel which are 2 quarters. My entire family can have 2 hours of fun on $10. We will be able to hit this up one last time since they usually open up the weekend before memorial day but we go a few times a summer.
Another thing that is new to the area but we love is the Wild West Fest. It is put on by PBR (Professional Bull Riders) as they are headquartered here and it is the same weekend as a big PBR event at the State Fair Grounds. Its a big street fair (one of many put on over the summer) but the part we love the most is the Duck Drop. 10,000 yellow rubber ducks are “adopted” by the community for $5 each.
Then the 10,000 ducks are dropped into the Historic Arkansas RiverWalk and they “Race” to a finish line. The first few ducks that cross the finish line are winners for the adopters. There is big monetary prize for the first duck and then other prizes for subsequent ducks. The prizes are donated and the money raised from the duck adoptions goes towards the county’s project that supplies each third grader with a dictionary at the start of the school year.
Its a great fundraiser but mostly it is beyond awesome to watch 10,000 yellow rubber ducks fall into the river walk and watch them race down stream. We will get to go to this one last time also but this will be it. The last time. 😦
I will miss playgroup, though I can find a new group and make new friends. I will miss having a very inexpensive children’s museum to take the kids to a few times a year. I will miss the excitement of going into the Rocky Mountains, hiking through some snow and lots of trees to find the perfect one to make into our Christmas tree for the 6 weeks of the holiday season. Yes this is perfectly legal as we spend $10 to get a Christmas tree permit from the National Forest Service and Yes, the tree lasts that long because it was cut in November not September like the overpriced trees you buy off the lots.
I will miss thunder and hail storms. I will miss ignoring the tornado warning in hopes of catching a glimpse of a twister. I will miss the drive in movies. Oh how I will miss paying $15 to get the whole family into not one but two movies and not have to shell out any more money for drinks, popcorn and candy.
Most of all I will miss Soccer.
It won’t be gone completely from my life but it will be missing. This is what we do as a family. This is our religion. We watch every game unless we are on our death bed. We talk about soccer. We talk about our local MLS team. We talk about the English Premier League. We talk about Barçalona and Real Madrid. My husband referees for pay. He has goals and aspirations as a soccer ref. My kids play recreational soccer. My oldest wants to go to a very expensive soccer camp so she can insure herself a spot on a high school soccer team. We have dozens of soccer balls in every size made around the house. We play mini games of hallway, bedroom or living room soccer all the time. The baby says “GOOOOAL!!” The preschooler knows the hand motion for diving and uses it appropriately. We all wear our Season Ticket Holder Scarves proudly to every game – even if it is 90 degrees out. Heck we just got family pictures done in our Jerseys.
Soccer is woven into the fabric of my marriage.
It sounds so cheesy and maybe excessive but it is true. When we were dating my husband decided to take me on a mystery date. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me where we were going I just knew I could dress casual and should maybe bring a hoodie and it was in Denver. Other than the Colorado Rapids I am not 100% sure who the other team was but it didn’t matter because it was my first game ever and it was pretty amazing. We went to 2 more games that year.
The next year we got married and the 4th of July game was the start of our Wedding week. We went to the game, saw the fireworks and then left from Denver and drove to Las Vegas for our 7-7-07 wedding that Saturday. In 2008 our anniversary vacation to Corpus Christi Texas started with the 4th of July game. In 2009 we took our first child together to her first game ever also on the 4th of July. She was 3 1/2 months old. The music and fireworks were messed up and the show ended early so we ended up at a make up game with make up fireworks 3 weeks after that. That August we bought our first set of season tickets.
April 3rd 2010 we went to our first game as season ticket holders. Our Daughter had just turned 1 two weeks before. In the time before kick off we were in the team store; there were some infant onsies and so I grabbed a few in 3-6 month size and said we should buy them.
My husband asked “in a different size?”
“No. In this one”
“But that is 3-6 months, it won’t fit Tori. Is it in case we need it one day?”
“We will need it around this time next year”
And that is how I told him I was pregnant with our second child.
That year we planned our vacation to Salt Lake City so we could catch a Real Salt Lake game and make it home in time for the Colorado 4th of July game. We watched as much of the World Cup as we possibly could. We found out we were having a boy after already deciding on a boys name which “coincidentally” a middle name that is also the last name of a star US Men’s National Team player. I spent my whole pregnancy going up and down the stairs at the stadium because we have front row seats. This was pretty difficult at the end but I am still proud to say that I went to the final playoff game against the San Jose Earthquakes in 22 degree weather at 36 weeks pregnant and stood and cheered as much as if not more than any other supporter there. We won that game and I cheered on my team, as they won their first MLS Cup Championship, from the comfort of my couch since 1. it was in Toronto Canada and 2. November 21st was a bit too close to my due date of December 11th. Jack Donovan was born on December 1st. I spent the offseason reading and tweeting, in all those spare waking hours while nursing my big baby, about soccer.
March 2011 – Opening day also happened to be our daughter’s 2nd birthday. The weekend was planned around both. That June we flew to Florida to see my husband’s oldest two children. We made it a two city vacation so we could catch a USMNT Gold Cup Game in Tampa and then made sure we got back the night before our local team played again. November our Coach got sacked. The supporters groups had a farewell party/MLS Cup viewing party. We went to that to say thanks for helping to win us the Cup and goodbye.
Now here we are in our third year as season ticket holders and we are going to be giving them up. Forever. Saying goodbye to our amazing seats. Saying goodbye to seeing our team play live 19 times a year. Saying goodbye to tailgates. Saying goodbye to our soccer family. Oh how they are our family too. I actually talk to my soccer friends more than I do my own mom or dad.
When I think about giving this up it makes me want to cry. Thinking about the game on May 19th and how it will likely be our last game this season almost makes me want to change our whole plan. I know we can still travel to away games but it won’t be the same. Our Rapids family won’t always be there.
Honestly I think this is how people feel about moving and having to change churches. Sure you can find something new, and maybe it can be better but it doesn’t feel like that now. I think that the way I feel about soccer is how some people feel about Jesus. That may seem silly when you are a believer because to you it is so much more than just Jesus, but for me soccer is so much more than just a game. It is a lifestyle. Its not just something I do on Saturdays. It is something we truly take part of everyday and though some of that will still be there after we move a hugh chunk of it is going to be left behind.
Basically we are losing much of why we hold dear and that is what I will miss the most.