March 6, 2004
It was Madeline’s first soccer game and we were all there to cheer her and her teammates on: Cyndy, her mother, who had played soccer at Bishop England, is the coach (officially); Jeff, her father, a former soccer player as well, was the assistant coach ( totally unofficially). The rest of us were mostly the cheering section: her little brother Sam; and her four grandparents, Gammy, Tommy, TomTom and JuJu.
The age range is supposed to be from 3 to 5. On our team there are no 5 year olds. Of the 10 or 12 team members, Madeline, Caroline and Serena are the three 4 year olds. Neither Serena nor Caroline was there, probably because they thought the game was rained out. It was very threatening the whole time, and was raining on our side of town when we left for the game, but no rain fell at the field.
And then the game was over. Time for the treats. Really different than when Madeline’s Dad was playing – before healthy eating came into vogue. Their treat was always some sugary drink or other. Not this crew. Ice cold water and a cup full of grapes. Jeff quickly pointed out, “Yeah, playing soccer means getting treats.” (That’ll motivate ‘em!) Many high fives, many hugs and a line up to high five the winning team. Nobody was keeping score (well, I guess somebody was, officially or unofficially, but WE weren’t) Of course we found out later that all the Dads knew EXACTLY what the score was. The green team parents, siblings, and coaches lined up to make a bridge for them to run under and our team got to run through it too. “We’ll have to do that next time,” someone said.
We gathered our stuff up and headed off to the cars. Madeline was unhappy (not about the game) and I couldn’t figure out what it was about, but saw her cheer up when she was assured that the grapes were the immediate after game treat and her promised ice cream treat was not off the table, but coming up soon.
Cyndy, Sam, Gammy and Tommy loaded up into the car. As we passed on by, walking toward our own car, I heard Jeff and Madeline talking as they waited their turn to get in.
Jeff spoke. “When, we get home this afternoon, we’ll get that goal out and set it up and practice some.”
“Ok,” she said, distractedly, thinking about the ice cream.