soccerballSoccer. COPA Tourney. We watched in silence. Not because we had a real stake to cheer for either Argentina or Chile, but because the only station in our package that played the final game had Spanish speaking commentators.

While the kids can count to ten and say, ‘Gracias,’ they are not anywhere near fluent. And my Spanish? Well, I was an exchange student in Guayaquil, Ecuador during my college days, but that was quite a few days years ago.

But something unexpected happened when we turned down the volume. Conversation. We talked to each other through the entire sporting event. Our middle child who usually has no interest in team sports sat with us and asked a million questions. How many yellow cards equal a red card? Where is Argentina? Who won last time they played each other? Is it chilly in Chile? What is a corner kick? Why do so many players get hurt? And then they can run again so quick?

Our oldest child, who plays a lot of soccer, answered many of the questions for him and helped him find South America on the globe. “Wow – they are neighbors.” And the conversation continued all the way through the overtime, until the penalty kicks. And then we were all silent with anticipation. I must say the keepers for both teams were very impressive. Felicitaciones a Chile!

In our daily lives, there is so much noise. Radios. Traffic. Sirens. Phones. Timers. Little brothers. I think the opportunity to watch in silence, focus on the same sporting event at the same time, and talk to each other was a valuable lesson in LISTENING. We may just do it again someday.

But tomorrow. It’s our turn. We are headed out to the fields to play soccer. Game on!



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