Family Day means different things to different families.
For some, it means a day of active outdoor winter fun - strapping on the skates and taking a few spins around the pond or getting up a game of pick-up hockey with the other neighbourhood families; heading up north and spending the day out on the slopes; building snowforts and snowmen and trekking up and tobogganing on the hills at the park.
For some, it means hanging out at home and just enjoying the extra long weekend, an extra day off work and school without plans or obligations, a day to snuggle up with snacks and movies and a board game.
For our family, this holiday has for the last several years meant a long day at the Soccer Centre for our oldest kids' soccer tournament. The first competition in the long warm-up to the outdoor season, the Family Day tournament marks the first real chance for our club's rep teams to show what they can do after training together since October. It's the first real competition since last summer's outdoor season and by now the boys are always itching for some real games.
It's an all-day affair - this year we were on the field at 7:30am and pitch-side until 6:30pm. The Soccer Centre is a zoo, dozens of teams' worth of players and parents and siblings packed into one facility, the bleachers full, families set up with blankets laid out and cooler bags full of snacks and picnics everywhere, little brother and sisters tearing around after one another in the viewing area and players warming up between games under the stairs and off to the sidelines.
After so many years playing with the same club the other families on the boys' teams have become like family - our soccer family. And since soccer is such a focus in our family life, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the Family Day long weekend than at our little athletes' soccer tournament.