It's almost soccer time again
Yeah, the photography sucks; I'm the most incompetent picture taker ever. But much more than a staged studio shot could, this photo reveals the utter glorious chaos that is youth soccer: players more interested in their post-game snacks (here apparently those wretched Fruit Roll-Ups) than Vaughn's dork mother's photo request; parents and siblings milling about, banging into each other with their slung-over-the-shoulder camp chairs; the sun descending on our last game of the season while we linger.
My husband got blackmailed into coaching the team like a month after we moved to town in 2003. I'm not even being melodramatic about that--I stand behind my accusation. Mike called the local soccer club to get our son Vaughn (second from left) signed up for the fall league, and the director hemmed and hawed, all faux sympathy, "Weeeeell, we don't so much have an opening on a team right now. In fact, we have several other devastated children in the same tragic circumstances. If we could only find SOMEONE to start another team. . ." Uh huh. Bottom line: Coach a team or listen to your kid cry about not getting to play. Your call. . . coach.
The thing is, he's really good at it, and the kids adore him, which is wonderful to watch. I love my husband a lot anyway, but my heart trip-trips when I see those little boys gathered around him, their faces turned up like blossoms to the sun. He draws on a whiteboard with soccer field lines painted on it, and they crowd up to look, taking opportunities here and there to aim a jovial kick or push at each other, a litter of puppies gamboling around the world's most patient obedience instructor.
Compare Mike's benevolence to my game-day position-of-choice--parked in my camp chair talking smack about the opposing team's parents--and we have a clear champion of the moral high ground. But, hey, married people are supposed to complement each other, right?