Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Big Day

So after 10 weeks of sitting out, our ten-year-old tree faller was finally cleared to play this week. Today was the big day.  10:30 game.  He was up by 7.30 and after a half an hour of worthless TV we made some dip eggs and peanut butter toast. He started to collect is soccer gear as I collect the sleepy and unwilling little brother.

We piled into the car an hour before the game. Thank goodness because we did have to go back for something.  But with only a 20 minute drive we were still a good 25 minutes early.  Which was the plan, well Mom's plan anyway.  I knew that his nerves would get the better of him.

When we got to the field he sat in the car doubled over crying that he was going to throw up.  To which his mother, the non-athlete replied "Ok throw-up now then you'll be ready to run."  He gave me that look I used to give my mother when I wanted to say, "Shut -up Dumbass!" I was glad I just got the face.  I made him jog a couple of laps with me which was hysterical.  As I am trying not to look like I am dying my son who runs like a gazelle has now lapped me twice.

One of his teammates showed up and looked at us like we were crazy.  Z's mom breathlessly yelling instructions at him from 100 feet behind.  "Grapevine, high knees, skip, sprint" I swore I heard the kid say, Is that your mom? Now I'm sure he's totally mortified as other teammates start to appear because he ran to the bathroom.  When he came out to change into game gear the opposing team was starting to arrive.  We couldn't see the kids just that they were wearing the colors of his old soccer team. 

I watched his whole body sag.  I told him not to let that get in his head because no matter what it's just a game and his first one of the season - literally!  Then through that voice I don't often hear from my now big strong, tall as me, ready for the world, ten-year-old boy I hear, "Mom, I'm really nervous." I wanted to be Bounty-the Quicker Picker Upper so badly at that moment.  But instead, I committed the ultimate ten year-old boy mom sin - I grabbed him in a bear hug and kissed him on the cheek.

The seven year-old and I took our chairs and set them up on the side lines.  The other moms all gave me a thumbs up and a sympathetic he's OK mom look.  I was so grateful the coach didn't start him because my heart was pounding in my ears.  I could hear John Fogerty in my head....Put me in Coach I'm ready to Play - Today.

Five minutes into the game he put him in as Striker which is a position my son has never played to my knowledge.  One minute later he scored the first goal of his career and the first of the game.  Our bench erupted! Mom's were cheering, Dad's were whooping - one Dad came over to shake my hand and one yelled "Welcome back Z!"

I am not going to lie.  I was too shocked and proud and awed to speak.  I was stunned.  I was trying not to let the tears roll down my face as he strode back to position his teammates squealing and high fiving and he just shrugged with a slight grin on his face.  As if to say, "Aw shucks, it was nothing."

But it wasn't nothing, he has worked so hard for this moment.  From writing a contract promising his dad he'd practice everyday if he could join this new more expensive soccer team.  To going to every practice, scrimmage, and game and sitting most of that on the sideline with a bum elbow.  To hours of therapy letting mom and a stranger push and pull his arm until the tears ran down his face from the pain.

Yep, today was his day. A moment neither of us will soon forget. Today was his Big Day. Congratulations!

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