The one on the right in the blue plaid button-down. This is my husband. In his element.
You just gotta love this guy. Two or three times the age of any other player on the field and he hasn't played soccer in -- not just years -- but decades! Still, he held his own in the midst of them, on the ball constantly, contributing heartily, no incidents, accidents or writhing of any kind. He didn't make any spectacular goals, either, but he more than justified playing among his sons and their friends. One of the players, a very athletic
young seminarian we know, sat down to visit with me on the sidelines while he rested out. Shading his eyes as he watched the continuing game, he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye (a trademark look of this particular friend of ours) and smiled a big wide smile. "It's amazing, Mrs. Davis," he said. "He's really pretty good!"
Haha! ' Yes, he is!' I had to smile back at him, and agree. Not surprising to me, of course, my husband's athletic prowess -- but, yes, he is amazing. He keeps the ball in play, attuned at all times to where all the other players are; he passes, blocks, and guards -- and allows the kids to make the goals that he has helped set up. No drama, no grandstanding, no calling attention to himself, but aiming for the goal all the time, just the same -- and never shy about diving into the action. That's my husband.
Just the kind of guy God would pick to be the father of ten children. The Pele of parenthood.
(Thanks, God. I don't deserve him -- but sure do need him.)
A chart of unfortunate parenting:
Heehee! Not really. I just thought it was funny. Americans are pretty vocal about how they hate the writhing act, but our players are among the top ten worst! I have to admit, though, not being a soccer fan myself, it's the dramatics of the players that interests me most: the agony of the supposedly-wounded, the unbridled ecstasy of the victorious, the suicidal displays of the defeated. It vies with American Idol for entertainment value. But don't tell the boys that this is why I watch it (distractedly, while pinning on pintrest). Check out the lengths they went to in order to watch the games (since we don't have cable):
Anyone else out there remember using wire coat hangers to assist the rabbit-ear antenna on top of the TV? Or am I exhibiting my advanced age? :) But, with age comes wisdom, right? Or at least weird tidbits of knowledge! Knowing this little trick brought the World Cup to our living room for all the grown-son soccer fans and their friends -- and it worked splendidly, though it only helped picked up the games broadcast on a Spanish station. And if you sat on the metal glider outside the back door, it turned the feed to static... Loud groans from the soccer fans! And the game resumed to choruses of, "Get off the Glider!!" (Snickersnicker!) Memories are made of this.
(And obsession is sometimes the mother of invention.)
Click to find: World Cup of "Flopping" article if you missed it last week.