updates on soccer and fishing

6:18pm april 222012

My week­ends are free again but they are spent motor­ing kids to and fro between orga­nized sport­ing events that are only as orga­nized as 46 years kids will allow. There is the almost mil­i­tary-like prep time before match­es, putting on the uni­forms, strap­ping on shin guards that look like they are meant to stop pro­jec­tiles, pulling on long, thick­ly lux­u­ri­ant socks and final­ly the cleats, lac­ing them, pulling the them tight but even­ly and fin­ish­ing up with a dou­ble knot to pre­vent that cru­cial slip­page that pre­vents an errant shoe fly­ing and wack­ing some unsus­pect­ing parent.

The game itself usu­al­ly devolves quick­ly, depend­ing on how much the kids have been exposed to amer­i­can foot­ball, into maybe two to three kids still active­ly chas­ing the ball, the rest wan­der­ing the field, spin­ning cir­cles, pick­ing grass, chas­ing but­ter­flies or if they are younger than most of the play­ers then usu­al­ly they have already left the field in tears not yet pre­pared for the awesome—awesome in the way tor­na­does are awe­some to behold—field of kid sports. The emo­tion­al thresh­old will vary from par­ent to par­ent, but we all have some invest­ment in our kids and project these Sat­ur­day morn­ing pro­ceed­ing far into the future and pon­der whether that one kid who is shov­ing a bit too much will be man­ag­ing hedge funds or serv­ing prison-time or prob­a­bly both, and that one kid who is always behind the pack and not com­plete­ly aware that he is actu­al­ly in the mid­dle of soc­cer game and who instead will be look­ing at that pass­ing but­ter­fly or be bend­ing over look­ing at grass that has been tram­pled by the tiny hordes and you might wor­ry about this kid in par­tic­u­lar but then you see him hold­ing out some­thing: a four-leaf clover, and you decide he will be the next Steve Jobs or a fan­tas­tic, high-stakes pok­er play­er, either of whom will place you in ear­ly retire­ment on some beach in Tahi­ti and you will paint Gau­guin-esque pic­tures won­der­ing just what you were mis-think­ing all those many years ago.

Or as hap­pened to me today, I learned that although Mac does­n’t under­stand the intent of soc­cer, he can cast a fish­ing line shock­ing­ly well. With­in min­utes, he seemed to achieve a fish­er­man’s Zen, and so we spent an hour under an over­cast day sit­ting on a dock off the Yad­kin riv­er, before we decid­ed that his Cars™ toy-fish­ing reel would no longer suf­fice and called it a day.