I mentioned before that Thing Two's been having a very tough weekend. And today was a long day for all of us...all three kids had to wear their soccer uniforms to Mass this morning, because we needed to go directly from the church to Thing One's game to Thing Two and Petunia's game to get to everything on time. Thing One's surname and jersey number were clearly visible through the thin fabric of the back of his altar server's robe as he processed up the aisle ahead of the priest. The two younger ones brought up the gifts as usual: the lady who doesn't believe that the head usher should let kids help with the Mass even when they are dressed nicely had her lips pursed even tighter than usual at the sight of them dressed for soccer in church (miserable crabby old biddy that she is.)
This kind of logistical situation posed a challenge even for a seasoned tactician such as myself. I had the car loaded with their drink bottles for the games, cleats and shinguards, and packed lunches, since I knew we wouldn't get home till close to 3. We also needed hats, sunblock, fleece jackets, the soccer blanket, Thing Two's special sports glasses, and handheld electronic games (for the two who hadn't lost game privileges due to backchatting Mom to play during their downtime)...not an exercise in preparation for the faint of heart, all in all.
Halfway through Thing One's soccer game, Himself called from the airport departure gate to see how things were going. I told him honestly (and in great exasperation) that if Thing Two had ever been prescribed meds for his ADHD, I would have given him some this weekend. He's been just that out-of-control hyper. Fortunately for all concerned, he doesn't need meds at school at this point, so he doesn't have any.
After Thing One's game, we loaded up and drove across town to the park where Thing Two and Petunia were playing. Petunia is young for this team, and relatively small compared to the other players. She's still trying to find her place and get used to the speed of play at this level. Thing Two, on the other hand, is either a really, REALLY good player or not a good player at all: which one depends on the day and the moment. He's either completely dominant or mentally out to lunch, and you never have any idea which one you'll get at any given time! This makes both his coach and his father completely nuts, but to their credit, both are very patient with him.
Last week, the Thing Two who showed up was mostly the unfocused one, although there were a few flashes of the other. Today, he was absolutely and utterly dominant from start to finish. I've never seen that before. It was amazing to watch, and I was near tears. He played the entire game, alternating between defense and offense as the coach dictated. On defense, he tracked down every opposing player who came near him, stole the ball, and cleared it out of the box. On offense, he charged and charged and charged every chance he got. He'd get the ball, make a run for the goal, and shoot. He must have missed half a dozen shots...just wide, just high...but kept trying. He scored the goal that tied the game at 1 all, and the score stayed there for almost the entire game. With literally less than ten seconds to go in the game, he had a final breakaway, lofted a kick over the opposing goalie's head into the corner, and scored the winning goal! The sideline went absolutely berserk.
We went out for ice cream after the game...talk about a mood-changer.