Coincidence is a magical thing. It typically is something that happens once and is special primarily for that very reason. It is nearly impossible to replicate and often, is best preserved in our memories. In fact, if we are too driven to try to recreate a special event we may ruin our enjoyment of the first coincidence.
A few weeks ago Jen had a Sunday afternoon soccer game. The game, part of her Coed Summer Outdoor Season, was played at a local park on some wonderful fields. On this particular day they had closed a couple of the fields, probably due to preventing over use and to keep them in good shape by giving them a rest. Plus it was a little wet out (a rare treat this Summer) so perhaps they wanted to avoid them being torn up by cleats.
As usual, we took the boys with us to the game. When they got there they were full of energy so we told them to run around on the closed field next to Jen’s game. They took off their shoes and ran around like mad men. My youngest kept his socks on but for the amount of fun they were having, we figured a pair of sock tossed because the dirt would never come out was a small price to pay.
But their fun was elevated several notches when the step children of one of Jen’s teammates started to play with them. The four of them (my two boys and a boy and girl that joined them) ran and tagged and played during the entire soccer game. They couldn’t stop. Even after the game, exhausted as they were, they were convinced to chase balls while the other two kid’s step dad punted the ball out on the field (and he could really punt the ball).
The boys had a great time, the other kids seemed to also. They were so tired they hardly made it back to the car. It was a classic moment for them. A true coincidence and unique time where everything came together to create a playful, fun moment.
In the following weeks the boys asked if the other kids were going to be at the games. Sadly, they were not for the next couple of weeks and the season ended. But even if they were, would the fun be the same? Would they be able to recreate the excitement and energy and experience that they had that day? I don’t think so. I think that was one of those moments. An isolated incident that had all the right chemistry – kids who were new to each other, an open field to play in, it wasn’t too hot or raining and they had time to get used to each other and create games.
So, were they better off not seeing the other kids so that the memory of that day lives on without tarnish? I won’t go that far. I think if they had been able to play with them again they would have had fun. But the uniqueness of that day, the special magic that it brought, will now live on for how ever long as just that, a special time that was unique. It will be a coincidence that will be a part of some great memories for the Summer of 2010 and be something to build on but not something that they realize they could not recreate. Because for now anything is still possible and anything can happen the next time.
That is a great feeling, very liberating, and a lesson we should learn for many things in our life. Don’t stress on recreating special moments, be good with memories of the ones you have had and create new ones but don’t be so driven to recreate the coincidences that you taint them. Remember that for our kids many moments are special because they involve us, their parents, and most of them are new to them. Let that be something they can keep unique and exciting. And use that to inspire them to move onto and try new things. Inspiration can be found all around us but don’t expect them to see it without help. Even coincidence isn’t obvious to young minds.