Halloween Report
Here are some people I love, making no sense.

The end of the season

Friday was the last day of soccer, and despite its considerable romantic charm, I’m rather glad it’s over. The boys enjoyed it, more or less. They both declared after the first day that they planned to be professional soccer players when they grew up.

*cough, cough*

That’s great, guys. You do that. You know you still have to learn history, right? Ok then.

But then after a few weeks Max decided he didn’t exactly LOVE soccer so much as he HATED soccer.

“Really? Why?” I asked.

“Well, it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that we have to GO there. EVERY Friday.”

I guess Max will opt for the professional league that meets once every other week, so as to keep the monotony down.

Honestly, I’m not sure how he managed to get tired of soccer. He only seemed to be aware of the game around him about 45% of the time. And don’t get me wrong, he was a TIGER for that 45%. But the rest of the time he wandered around, talking to girls, twining his jersey around his elbows, and gazing up at the sky.

Tre, on the other hand, was FOCUSED with LASER-LIKE precision on the soccer game at all times. He had to be, to maintain a safe distance from the ball. See, he loves the game, loves the camaraderie, loves toting his water bottle out on the field, but the actual kicking the ball portion of the activity? No. No thanks. He just doesn’t seem to have the competitive spirit for sports. Now, if they were out there selling popcorn for a fundraiser, he’d be in the midst of the fray, elbowing people aside and gouging eyes, I’m sure. But soccer? Nah. So he danced around, just on the edge of the action. I actually saw him dodge the ball once. And that’s FINE, he doesn’t have to be a sports star, for heaven’s sake. It’s just that he could NOT PLAY soccer for free, and that way I wouldn’t ever have to find his other shin guard.

Anyhow, Friday signaled the end of soccer, so it was with great joy that we hauled ourselves to the field. This was a special day because it was parent’s day. We got to get out there and PRACTICE! WITH OUR KIDS! WHO WOULD GIVE US POINTERS!

The boys were gleeful about this, so Clay and I donned our running shoes and headed out to join them. I took the first round with Max, so I found myself standing in a line with a herd of 7 year olds; waiting for my turn to intercept a ball as it came hurtling out of a ball machine. The idea was to stop it with a kick that would send it flying into the goal. Heh. I was unable to plan my strategy for this, as I was too busy looking around and noticing that there were no other parents in my line. Oh yeah, there were a few grandparents, taking pictures and exclaiming over their grandkids, but ALL the parents in that particular group opted out.


I was sort of into it, to tell you the truth. See, I played soccer when I was a kid. And I was *ahem* rather good. At least, I believed I was. The stories were all positive. And I remember the FEELING of skimming the ground, running full-tilt down the field, and slamming the ball into the goal. It was heady.

Unfortunately, I seem to have aged out of all my soccer skills, and responded to this particular drill by jogging awkwardly toward the ball, missing it, apologizing to no-one in particular, and then kicking it in the general direction of the goal. “GENERAL” being a key point here. Once I actually directed the ball so that it sailed in a lovely arc and hit my very own son in the backside. In my defense, he was IN the goal at the time, leaning over to fish his ball out of the net. He whipped around to glare at me, and I shrugged helplessly.

We took our balls back to the ball machine and ran back to our place in line (good heavens, the RUNNING! My legs still hurt!). As we stood there, the girl behind Max sidled up to him and asked,

“Sooo…do you want any opera?” Max thought about it, then said,

“Nah, not right now.”

She looked at me and nodded primly.

“He loves my beautiful opera.”

“SHOOT!” It was the boy standing in line in front of me. “I don’t think I put any underwear on!” He started frantically feeling himself through his shorts. “My mom’s gonna yell at me if she finds out. I always forget the underwear.” I started to nod, but just then Max turned to the opera girl and allowed as how yes, he would like some opera after all. She started singing random phrases in a piercing warble, while Max listened, nodding thoughtfully.

Somehow…soccer’s not how I remember it.

Clay and I both survived our soccer day, and the boys got their end-of-season certificates and cookies and hot chocolate. We headed back to the van, tired but happy. Tre looked over his shoulder at the field and sighed,

“I want to play soccer again next year.”

Again? I thought. But I looked back with him and agreed,

“Yeah, it was good, wasn’t it?”


Heather Cook

LMAO! I can't wait until my son is in soccer (which I might add, I just spelled socker). I love how different your boys are, it really drives home the knowledge that we are all such unique individuals.


I think as a child I would have been an amalgam of Max and Tre. I like activities as long as there's no schedule *forcing* me to do them at any particular time -- then they become a burden. And I have the most absent competitive spirit ever. Luckily, the main sport I ended up getting involved in was swimming, which while having a team aspect is fundamentally a solitary sport.

My husband, on the other hand, was involved in literally every team sport that his grade school and high school offered, and he loved them all. With luck, our children will represent the middle of the spectrum!

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