Paddy's Turn (age 11)

I am from freshly painted soccer fields, autographed Nike soccer balls, and ripped up backyard nets.

I am from the brick house on Kettle Lane with toys in the front yard and goals in the back.

I am from the grass of soccer fields, the bluebells at Bull Run (not far from the soccer fields), heat and humidity of Memorial Day tournaments, hauling dirt for the front yard garden--lavender, daisies, and daylilies.

I am from Daddy trips to Colorado, to Minnesota, to England, to Florida and from Beanie, Superman and Bee.

I am from born athletes and good cooks.

From “Pass it quicker” and “Don’t stop running.”

I am from Father Bob baptisms and donuts on Sundays and lighting candles at the Shrine.

I'm from Fairfax, Virginia and Italy and Poland, from Spaghetti Carbonara to eating more dough than cookies.

From dancing when they scored at Reading to winning the National Championship in Orlando with Mr. Lee.

I am from lapbooks and notebooks and workbooks galore.

I am from trophy shelves and more trophy shelves and bigger trophy shelves. From ribbons and medals, hanging from my bed rail. I am from souvenir jerseys and bobbleheads and every season’s media guide.