The Fighting Orange Tigers

During the first week of June, when summer vacation was SO BRAND NEW, I hauled Thing 2 into the local rec center and signed him up for soccer.  To say that he was excited would be similar to saying that the sun is a bit warm.  We stood at the rec center’s counter, while the nice lady at the computer entered all of our information, and then boom!  She printed us a receipt and let us know that soccer practices would begin the week of June 21st.

Yes, ma’am.  And thank you.

When we left and headed straight for our Suburban, Thing 2 nearly collapsed with his grief and tears, because he thought that we were playing in a REAL SOCCER GAME THAT VERY SECOND.  I actually felt sorry for him, as I explained that SIGNING UP isn’t the same as GAME DAY.

It was exactly like explaining string theory to a four year old.

I told him over and over and OVER that his coach would call us when it was time to start soccer.

And then we drove home.

843,920 times that day, Thing 2 asked me if his coach had called  yet.

The next morning, Thing 2 was up at 3:45, asking quietly, “Hey, Mom?  Did my coach call about my soccer game yet?”  And that is when I realized HOW LONG the next three weeks were going to be.  3:45 in the morning is pretty early to be thinking about soccer practice.

But then… behold!  Our coach called, because all good things must come to an end.  This means June was basically over, which translates into THE END OF SUMMER IS CREEPING UP ON US, and NO, NO, NO!  WE WANT IT TO BE SUMMER VACATION FOREVER!, and IT’S TIME FOR SOCCER NOW.

Finally.

We’ve had practices in 102 degree weather.

We’ve had games in 98 degree weather.

We’ve practiced again at 94 degrees.

It’s all been very lovely.  The soccer moms have endured by applying extra layers of Secret deodorant, so that we can sit beside one another in the bleachers.

And then Small Town received the favor of the Lord today, as the skies clouded over, and the sprinkles came, and we topped out at 78 degrees today.  In other words, GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH.  We all smiled and grinned and high-fived one another at the game, because WHAT IS THIS COOL WEATHER WE’RE SITTING IN?

It was wonderful.

Thing 2 is a mover and a shaker and a hustler.  He has one speed, and it’s LIGHTNING BOLT QUICK.  If he is anywhere near the ball, you can bet the very last penny that you own that he’ll get it.

IMG_0178 IMG_0180On the flip side of that, if the ball is kicked downfield and Thing 2 has missed his window to pounce on it…

… there.  will.  be.  tears.

Our four year old is the most competitive soul we know, and in the last two games he has… ahem… CRIED when the soccer ball ends up sixty-two miles away from him on a giant kick.

We are working on that, people.  We are insisting that THERE IS NO CRYING IN SOCCER.

Bless us.

Also?  Why do boys always feel the need to wrestle one another when it’s their turn to sit out of the game for a few minutes?  What is it inside of a boy’s brain that says, “Hey!  Look!  There’s another boy sitting four inches away from you.  TACKLE HIM.  WRESTLE HIM.  MAKE GRUNTING NOISES.  LAUGH LIKE HYENAS.  WRESTLE HIM SOME MORE.  DON’T STOP UNTIL YOUR COACH’S HEAD SPINS SIDEWAYS AND SHE COMMANDS YOU TO QUIT.”

IMG_0174Thing 2 got a throw-in tonight.  The Tongue of Concentration kills me with it’s cuteness.

IMG_0188 IMG_0189And then…

… Thing 2 and a teammate worked together (and by worked together, I mean they fought over who was going to kick it, AS YOU DO when you’re four and a member of the male tribe) to score one of their team’s nine goals tonight.

IMG_0195 IMG_0196 IMG_0197Thing 2 spun around after he’d kicked that soccer ball into the net and hollered for all of North America to hear, “Hey!  I scored a goal!!!!”

He may have even done a little showboating down there, before the referee sent him back to his side of the field.

IMG_0208Hubs and Thing 2 spent a little time talking offense and defense, discussing plays and passes and open teammates, and chatting about HEY, DAD!  THERE’S A HELICOPTER!  LOOK!  IT’S A HELICOPTER, DAD!  IT’S FLYING!!!

Squirrel!

IMG_0211The little player from the opposing team, in the blue, is one of Thing 2’s very best friends.  We adore him, and he has some crazy mad soccer skills, too.

IMG_0215IMG_0220 IMG_0223Even though the rec center discourages score keeping, in the name of LET’S PLAY FOR FUN, all the parents and older brothers and sisters KNOW how many goals each team has.

The Fighting Orange Tigers came away with the W, by a score of 9 to 2 tonight.  That kind of evens out our big, chunky L from last week, when we were toppled, 2 to 7.

It was a fun game tonight… tears and all... and we’re still rejoicing over that 78 degrees.  THAT number is far more precious to us than the 9 goals we scored.

IT WAS ONLY SEVENTY-EIGHT DEGREES, Y’ALL!

Have a happy weekend.

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