20 hours ago
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Poetry in Motion
Sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field today watching Kennedy guest-play on a team coached by Gayle's college roommate, I overheard some people behind me talking. Kennedy's name had been mentioned.
"Who's Kennedy?" one asked.
"She's a guest player. She's the little fast one."
I smiled to myself. Yep. That pretty much describes 11-year-old Kennedy. She was definitely the smallest player on the field, and a year younger than most, if not all, of the other girls. But fast she is. She runs like a gazelle. She leaps across the field, zigzagging to wherever she needs to be. If you blink, you may miss her.
Kennedy was a full term baby, but she weighed under 6 lbs. She was born screaming. Feisty. But sweet. Determined. But kind, and champion of the underdog. Unless the underdogs are the opposing team. Then, not so much. She likes to win. As a baby and toddler, she earned the nickname of "Houdini" because she could escape any restraint, which has translated to being able to slip through small openings in packs of aggressive soccer players with the ball in her possession, and "Mighty Might" because of her sheer determination at anything she attempted. There was no stopping her. There still isn't.
At another soccer game a few months back, I overheard a teammate's father call her "The Streak".
Today, she earned that nickname again when a teammate who was being pressed on the other side of the field passed the ball to Kennedy. She seized the ball in the open, moved like a flash toward the goal and launched it over the goalie's head into the net. Her grace and agility, the ease with which she moved, the absolute perfection of her lithe body, brought tears to my eyes. Poetry in motion. That's Kennedy.