Yookoso!Last year around this time, I rather forget the exact day, my older sonconfirmed my worse fears and said, “I do not want to play football —soccer for some neophytes— anymore.” In panic I asked him why? And he justsaid, “it is boring and I do not want to do it anymore.” And then a few dayslatter we had an 9.0 earthquake in my adoptive country.
Man, it hurts to see how much destruction nature can cause. We, humans, arehopeless against the destructive power of nature. No doubt, she gives and takesas she pleases.When a few months before the devastating earthquake my son seemed to beless than enjoying the ‘beautiful game,’ I wondered about it. From his toddler years, he seemed so happy to play football. Is something wrong? Or the kickingand heading common to footballers were to much for him ? But then, I convincedmyself that it was just normal fatigue.On 11 march 2011 at 14:46 I was working in Tokyo when the shaking began.Inside of the building I was I heard the cracking, people screaming, but I couldonly imaging the damages. We all know that tragedies happen, but we do notknow when or if they will ever happen. Being prepare is the norm in Japan, buthow can you prepare for what you do not know. And the truth is, no matter howmuch you prepare it is never enough.Now with my son’s decision over the table, how could I convince him that thebeautiful game is beautiful? What kind of steps should I take to accept hisdecision? I was not ready for that. I have planed for years to pay the expensesnecessary for him to go to a private school that will give him the education andtime to fulfil what in that moment thought was his dream, to be a footballer. But Iwas wrong.How can you prepare for something that shakes the earth so hard for you tostand still? At the moment of the earthquake I even though my co-worker lookedfunny with his scared face, fast talk, asking me not to move, and badlyarticulating that it was safer to remain where we were. But when I understood theearthquake lasted too long, about 3 minutes, my brain played games on me. Iwanted to run, and hide, and run, and find my love ones. I thought if somethinghappens to them it means I failed on my promise to protect them. My God, I haveto run to them! When the earth stopped shaking we ran to the parking lot anddiscovered that a building, in front of where our car was parked, almostcollapsed. We jumped into the car, and drove as fast as we could. Meaningless itwas, it took us 11 hours to drive the 40-50 kilometres that separated us from our families.Did my son learn to lie at a short age or I failed to notice the changes on his will