Tuesday, April 07, 2009


When I picked up the paper on Saturday morning, this is what I saw:

Yes, I'm not renowned, but I appreciate the family bias.

I'm 48 now, and unlike any other birthday in my life, I think my age is beginning to bother me a bit. No matter what 50-year olds say, 50 is not the new 30, or the new black, or the new anything else.

"Since it's my birthday, is it okay to focus on the phony headline and not the incredibly depressing '14 Dead In Rampage'?" I asked.

"Yes, yes, yes," Gloria said.

That was quite a start to my birthday, and the rest of the day was just as nice. Eli 7.8 had his first soccer game of the season, and he was all over the field. I don't think I've ever seen him dominate a game like that--4 goals and 2 assists, and they won 7-1.

Oh, and they played a man short for most of the game, because some kids didn't show up and one of the kids who did cried for most of the game and wouldn't play.

No, it was not David Beckham.

In the second half, he was playing defense and lined up for a goal kick. Eli has a sledgehammer shot for his age, and I knew he would kick the ball well past midfield. He did, on the fly, and then it was like one of those climactic scenes from a shitty sports movie where a miracle happens and the downtrodden underdogs win--kids running into each other, falling down, kicking at the ball and missing. I realized when the ball was still 20 yards from the opposing goalie that it was going to be a shot on goal, and at decent speed, too. I started laughing, because it just seemed so ridiculous. Then it got even more ridiculous, because the goalie was so flustered that the ball went right past him for a goal.

Eli's coach walked up to him, laughing, and said "I can't even let you goal kick!" He'd pulled Eli from offense because he'd already scored three times.

I really enjoyed watching Eli have such a good time, and be so dominant, but what I enjoyed most is how hard he worked. I've never seen him play that hard before, and he was dominating on sheer effort.

Still, though, in the middle of the game, he ran up to me (I coach defense, so I stand beside our goal), said "Here, Dad," and handed me a purple wildflower. It was one of those little moments that just overwhelmed me.
Later, Gloria made the cupcake tower, which you've seen pictures of before, and in the afternoon we ordered pizza and watched the Final Four (a four decade birthday tradition, believe it or not). No injuries, no indigestion, and a fine time was had by all.

Site Meter