I admit I was resentful about it: a soccer tournament, in Morgan Hill, Saturday AND Sunday, two weeks before Christmas, after their season was already over? But we went along with it. We had to leave the house at 7:30 am this morning, and weather was predicted to be in the 30s. We got there an hour early and stood around sleepily until it was time for them to play. The Scorpions (my younger son's soccer team) played their game, and they played really really well, even missing three key players. And they won! Yes, it was very very cold, but I wore my down jacket. We had a 3-1/2 hour break until the second game, so my husband and I and our son had a delicious, peaceful and restorative lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, then we hit the premium outlets in Gilroy and bought pants, shoes, belts, and some secret items. We saw quite a few people we recognized from the soccer complex at the outlets. Back to the fields for the second game, which the Scorps also played really really well. They worked really hard, had some brilliant plays, took chances, got knocked down, and knocked some other players down. They won again! It was very exciting. Even though they still have one more game to play on Sunday, this means they go on to the quarter finals, next weekend. Oh.
Youth soccer is insane, my husband and I decided long ago. Mostly because of the parents. And yet there are some endearing things about it, like the kids, and even, sometimes, the parents. At a tournament like this (not a select or elite level, but strictly recreational, class 4) the families are not just from one ethnicity or one socio-economic group. There are teams from all over Northern California. We played Hayward and Napa, and tomorrow is Manteca. A parent from Modesto gave us some tips on what our players should and shouldn't have for lunch. At the end of our second game, one of the Napa parents came over to ask who were the parents of player #17. I hesitated a moment (was she going to complain his flying elbows?), but it turned out she was grateful that he paused on the field to check on her son, who was down. She appreciated his concern. Player #17's parents weren't there, but we made sure the compliment got passed on.