Monday afternoon was frustrating. I left my house earlier than usual to meet the school principal: we needed to resolve a few adult communication issues. Good intentions get misunderstood at the best of times. All sides spoke; matters were well aired; we needed to talk again and make sure all roles and points of view were well understood.

It was 1pm, and football practice should have started. But, a huge cloud had rolled in over Manor Park and was shedding its load. Rain was flying in and onto the verandah, so I couldn’t train there. The first preschooler came out of her class. “Coach!”

She ran to me and jumped into my arms. I explained that bad weather meant we couldn’t play today. She frowned. “Aw!”

Moments later, two classmates came running: “Coach!” I gave the boys a group hug and explained that no football would happen. Their eyes drooped.

My Monday afternoons usually have half an hour of frenetic activity as I try to teach little kids at the Centre for Language and Culture, mobility and balance, some simple football skills, plus how to share. It’s more interesting because the school teaches in English, French and Spanish, and I may need to coach in any of those languages. It’s fun to switch, almost in mid-sentence, between the three languages, plus some Patois.

When I don’t show up due to other commitments I get complaints the next time I see the kids. When weather beats us they understand but remain disappointed.

Next Monday is a holiday, so no coaching again. What a big gap I have in my life.