Yesterday was a big day in our great-grandsons' lives being that it was their first soccer game ever. A crowd assembled to watch the event. I bet there were at least fifty people (mostly parents of the players, with a few like my wife and I) in the spectator section. Of course, there were two games going at the same time at the elementary school field. The temperature was only 105 degrees, no breeze to stir the few leaves on the ground, but it was a lively group gathered under the playground awning and under a tree on the other side of the field yelling their hearts out for the sweating players. In a hard-fought contest, with the team goalie doing cartwheels under the goal net out of boredom, the final score ended up 2-2, I think. There seemed to be a couple of goals that were called back for some unknown reason and the ball given to the other side.
There was no lack of courage of the six and seven year olds as they prodded, pushed, kicked, and wrestled for the ball with two or three players picking themselves up and getting back into it, even the girls, a couple of whom were taller, faster, quicker, stronger than the boys and almost ran circles around the tired, dirty sweaty boys. But it was the boys who prevailed, getting all the goals, although one girl almost kicked one in.
When it was over, finally, they were all given a bottle of water and a snack of something or other, and allowed to walk around and cool down, discussing their stalwart efforts with the coaches (my granddaughter, who was no slouch when it came to kicking a ball when she was that age, and their grandfather, my son-in-law). We gave them a jolly good pat on the back and a "way to go, good kicking" support yell and discussed where we would eat lunch.
As it turned out, my wife and I ended up eating pizza with the daughter and coach, and the unanimous vote was that it was a fine game, an outstanding performance, an encouraging effort, a fun time, and a great way to spend a hot Saturday morning, writing be damned.