Monday, October 30, 2006


Oh, the pain of parenthood. The Boy played in an essentially meaningless tournament this weekend, one his team entered mainly as an end-of-season exercise to stay sharp for the high school tryouts that start tonight. They cruised through the first two rounds, and then went to championship match against a team they'd dismantled 6-0 the night before. Naturally, that game went through regulation and two overtimes as a tie and came down to the dreaded Kicks From The Mark. The first four kicks put The Boy's team up 4-3. The fifth opponent scored, tying it. The fifth kicker from The Boy's team missed, meaning the remaining kicks would be sudden death. The opponent's sixth shot scored, meaning The Boy's team's sixth kicker had to score or they lost. The Boy was the sixth kicker... and the keeper saved his shot, sending The Boy to the ground in tears and The Boy's mom holding her head and thinking, oh no, what the hell do I do now?

None of the usual platitudes (if the entire team had played better it never would have come to penalties, if your fifth man had scored you would have won, it's not your fault) matter when you're the one who stepped up as your team's last hope and put the ball into the keeper's hands instead of into the back of the net.

He is 14, tall and hairy. The moments reminding me that he's still a little boy in some ways get more and more poignant the older he gets.

Sigh. Where's that magic wand or whatever it was I had years ago that could make bad things disappear in a poof of giggles?

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