We have enrolled The Boy into America's biggest baby-sitting service, a/k/a soccer through our city's community center. He's getting a feel for the game. OK, he's better than that.
Then again, this is the 3 and 4 year olds program. Some of the kids either behave like they've done one too many headers, or yowl if the barometric pressure changes in a way not to their liking. I try to be understanding, but since Dale isn't in either category, my sympathy increases in proportion to my physical distance from their meltdowns.
As their coach put it yesterday, "Today will be an emotional day." As in the first actual game, or game-like conditions. It was the "Bumblebees" vs. "Rainbows." Because Dale had yellow on his windbreaker, he was a "Bumblebee." There were four players to a side. The Bumblebees had a smaller proportion of kids who were "getting it," though in their defense the Rainbows had the only rugby player, a boy who repeatedly insisted on picking up the ball and running with it when the whistle blew. Something of an embarrassment to his father, a recent immigrant from Europe, who eventually persuaded his son to play it correctly.
But the Rainbows also had two girls who got the game instinctively and between them quickly buried three goals. Dale and another 'Bee were good at pursuit, but unclear on taking the ball away.
Then Dale got the ball and started running with it--goal! It barely trickled over the line before one of the Mia Hamms got to it, but count it anyway.
Dale managed to force another one out of bounds. His "clear on the concept" teammate took the in-bounds away and ran it down the field. Another one of the Mias took him off the dribble, but Dale recovered it and buried goal number two.
The 'Bees were back in it!
Again the Hamms sprinted down the field, but the taller of the two rang it off the goalpost, out of bounds. Dale's teammate got it and in a really fine run the length of the field, buried it.
Tie game! Back from 3-0, were the 'Bows really going to have the biggest choke in suburban "Little Kickers" history?
Yes, they were. That's because they were up against the Pale Pele', the Terror of the 4 Year Old Footers, Dale's Boy.
There was a scrum down the field, heading for the 'Bows' goal. Suddenly, separation! Again, The Boy was loose with the ball, in the clear--goal! Game over!
His joy was something to behold. Matched that of his Dad, who's going to have to watch himself if he's not going to turn into one of those obnoxious sports parents he's never liked.