Rada started soccer practise last Friday. We reported to a field near Tufts at 5:45pm.
Earlier that week I had bought cleats and shin-guards. Rada was so enamored she wore the cleats out of the store and through the apartment all that evening. When she woke the next morning, she made sure they were in the same place they’d been left the night before.
Soccer practise was a loosely organized affair with six kids and a friendly coach. The finer points of coaching involved reminding players where the ball was. Hints such as “turn around” and “go in the other direction” were also helpful. Younger siblings of the players kept running on and off the field, sometimes participating in the practise.
And then we learned that not only was there practise on Friday but there was a game on Saturday.
The day dawned cool and breezy. We showed up at the same field, which was now crowded with 40-50 kids and their families and with games going on in 3 fields.
Rada’s team was the Bears and she is player number 8. During the game she ran up and down the field, very proud, very happy to be running, mostly looking at me and smiling. I suspect that some of the finer points of the game still elude her. Nevertheless, several times during the morning she kicked the ball, and once she got to throw it from off-field. All the teams cheered for all goals. And the best part was the break with fresh cut oranges.
No one really knew the score but at some point the game was over. Every kid was congratulated for doing a great job, and the parents finished up their relaxed conversations, picked up their lawn chairs, dunkin donuts coffee, bid their hasty goodbyes until next week and headed off for the rest of their Saturdays.