This Article Was Part Of The April 1st Collection on The Nutmeg News
Chattanooga, TN – Following the first community soccer club practice of the year, Chattanooga resident Paul Shultz took his children Trevor and Cynthia (ages 13 and 8, respectively) to the local Dairy Queen. While the kids were allowed to choose a dilly bar, Shultz went with a Peanut Buster Parfait.
After stating that no cell phones were allowed during their dessert time and that they would have to put them away, Paul asked his to his kids to see how their practices went.
“It was good,” Trevor stated. “My friends Ryan and Paul are on the team again so that’s cool.”
"We worked on passing the ball and running for each other! IT WAS AMAZING!," stated Cynthia Shultz.
“Do you guys like your coaches this season?” Shultz asked. “If you have a good coach they can really help you to improve your game." Both kids simply shrugged their shoulders and continued to eat their desserts.
"We have to talk about something important," stated Shultz. "I don't know how to say this so I'm going to be honest with both of you and talk to you both like adults. Ok? With your mom passing away, we don't have the money coming in from her income, and I can't afford to put you both into soccer next year. I know this isn't fair, a lot of things aren't right now, but I can only tell you that I'll make it up to you guys when I can."
Trevor continued to pick at the stem of his popsicle stick while Cynthia sat quiet with her eyes down at the table between them. It seemed like ages before the kids did anything and the silence exposed all the weakness that he felt every time he had to be honest with his kids.
"It'll be ok," said Cynthia. "I don't need to play next year. I'll have more time to play with Bethany."
Mr Shultz knew this was a lie. Cynthia's room was covered in posters of Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. She was obsessed with the game.
"Ok. Well, um, we will talk about this again if something changes," lied Shultz.
Trevor just looked at his bar and and took a bite, he didn't say anything.
“You know,” Shultz said, “if you really love soccer and really want to play you can do it professionally. Think about it, how cool would it be to get paid to play a sport your whole life? It’s something you’ll have to want, though. And it’s something you’ll have to work hard for, but it’s something you both could do if you really put your minds to it. We can't afford things right now, but it's not always going to be this way.”
Trevor shuffled in his seat and Cynthia put her arms on the table stretching them out.
"It's ok, dad. I know."
The setting sun amplified the air conditioning casting a chill over the table. The kids finished their desert by picking the dried chocolate off the Dilly Bar sticks with their teeth.
“Well, it’s getting late but I wanted to do something special after your first practice.” Shultz said. “I’m excited to come out and watch you guys start playing. When is your first game?”
“A couple weeks maybe? There’s an app that has the calendar for our team. I’ll show you when we get home.” Trevor stated.
“Oh that’s right. I forgot they have the app now. I bet I have it already on my phone.” Shultz replied.
The three then got up, wiped the table a bit with their napkins, placed them in the garbage bins and left to get in their car.
The Nutmeg News will have more as the Chattanooga soccer season gets into full swing.