My grandson Ford is playing soccer this Fall. And, just a couple of weeks ago, he scored three goals in one game. His first “Hat Trick.”

When I travelled up to Columbus and the two of us got to sit and chat about it, Ford was so proud. His words so excited. His smile so alive.

He talked about dribbling.

He talked about passing.

He talked about running as fast as he could.

But most of all?

He talked about celebrating. With his friends and his teammates.

He really liked celebrating. And, dancing.

Ford may never know.

But his “Pops” was even prouder.

His “Pops” was even happier.

His “Pops” felt like dancing, too, and I can’t put one foot in front of the other.

All I know is that when I got the photos?


Have to admit. Nothing beats looking at these moments captured in time and that capture the soul and heart.

Smiles pop.

Tears well.

Heart jumps.

Dreams build.

After Ford scores a goal, the fists pump into the air. His teammate and friend grabs him around the waist. Another jumps with glee.

I can feel the smile spread across my face every single time I look at it.

Every. Single. Time.

Don’t you wish that we all stayed this way throughout our lives?

That we celebrate life with just vigor and unabashed joy?

That we dance when we get the urge?

That we grab our friends and celebrate when something good happens — to all of us.

That we truly live our lives like children playing a Saturday soccer game. So full of fun. So full of smiles. So full of life.

Ford got to play soccer this Fall. His mom, the most wonderful Kate, was his coach.

I can’t think of any one better. She is an amazing mom. I am sure she is an amazing coach.

Kate was no slouch at soccer, mind you. She played at Lexington Catholic, where her father, Dave, was the Athletic Director. And, if not been for a serious knee injury, Kate would have been a primary player on her team’s run for the State Championship.

Ford’s Dad and my son, Brad, wasn’t too bad, either, I must say. Had so much fun watching him play at Woodford County and making the All-State team. He went on to play at Transylvania, and was All-Conference his Junior year, and, truthfully, should have been named as the MVP.

The only thing that stopped him and his team was a “Coach” that built his future on politics more than fairness. But that’s another story for another day. Doesn’t matter now, any way.

Now, Ford gets to play. And, next year, his younger brother, Jack, will get to play.

And, I hope they keep playing.

Playing soccer.

Playing baseball.

Playing basketball.

Playing Spiderman or Batman.

Playing Legos.

Playing anything.

I just hope they keep playing.

Playing life.

Don’t know yet what either Ford or Jack will choose to do, or what paths they will follow. They now have a cousin, John McLean Sharp, who will soon be running to keep up with them, as well.

But what they all choose to do, truly, doesn’t really matter. I am sure they will great. No matter what they do.

I just want them to never lose that smile. Or the urge to celebrate. Or the temptation to dance.

After all, it is what makes life worth living.

And, it is what makes my day. Every single day.