Any other year, Lebo Moloto would be gone from home all the time, traveling across the country for games in a season that lasts seven months.
It happened when Lebo and his wife had their first son Josiah two years ago. One month into their second son’s life, dad is there all day, every day. The FC Tulsa season is on hold until at least May because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Elijah joined the world on February 25. He was born premature, just shy of 37 weeks. He spent two-and-a-half weeks in the NICU with some respiratory issues, making him higher risk during this pandemic.
"I would sleep at the children's hospital and then wake up from there, go to practice you know,” Moloto said. “The hospital is a place that nobody should be."
Elijah though just got a clean bill of health this week.
"They were like 'he's healthy and good,' which was nice -- a relief," Lebo’s wife Lauren Moloto said.
No soccer for now means Lebo gets to split the child-raising duties more evenly with his wife -- diaper changes and bottle feedings and sleepless nights.
"Actually getting to be in the heart of it, you know," Moloto said.
But Lebo is a soccer player, and he does want to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.
"I miss the guys,” he said. “I miss being around the guys. I miss the locker room talks, jokes. I just miss everything."
As much as Lebo misses soccer, he understands why it's not here for now. He just has to look around his home for the reason.
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