Ending Soccer with a Kawamoto Bento

My youngest child is graduating. I am experiencing a few “end-of-an-era” type of feelings as all the senior recognition activities are going on. One of the activities I had the pleasure and honor of experiencing was a soccer team recognition that my daughter’s club team planned for her. The team made posters, the mamas helped decorate, the coach coordinated it all. My daughter is the only senior on the team and everyone made her feel so special. As I reflect on this day, I feel stuff in my heart that I thought my non-emotional self would not be feeling. I write this with a few tears falling down my cheeks. It is happening. This is it. The end of an era. No more mud and grass being tracked in my car and house. No more practices and games we have to fit into our family schedules. No more trips to neighbor islands or to places beyond for tournaments. No more selling tickets for fundraisers to pay for these trips. This also means no more walks in beautiful places while waiting for her to finish practices. Sometimes alone and enjoying the solitude, sometimes with other mamas who have become friends, and sometimes with my husband enjoying time together. No more having fun socializing while baking cookies, washing cars, or serving teri beef plates. I’ll always have memories of competing to see who could be the fastest (while still maintaining total quality control) cookie dough scooper or being able to thank people with big smiles who come through the line to buy the delicious teri beef plate at KTA. No more hanging out with the other moms and dads when traveling and watching our children have the time of their lives with their teammates. The end of an era.

Pre-COVID, this senior game would have included a potluck gathering where the athletes and parents gathered and enjoyed themselves for a few hours. This year, since a party was not recommended, we did a grab and go for the team. My supportive fellow mamas made individually-wrapped desserts and brought Gatorade to go with a keiki bento from Kawamoto Store. If you have a grab and go event and don’t know what to bring, consider this bento! It has two spam musubi, teri beef, and a Korean chicken for only $3.80. This combination of ingredients is classic and appropriate for ending a soccer career full of spam musubi, teri beef, and Korean chicken parties. Excuse me while I go and get a Kleenex. Living Hilo Style.

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