In the picture below, you see the highlight of the last three weeks of soccer.
Thing One's team had a game on Mother's Day, and his trainer/coach is a smart guy: he brought a bouquet of red roses to the field and gave each player one to give to his (the player's) mother at the end of the game!
Thing One had three tryout sessions over the past couple of weeks for next year's team: the two regular ones plus a callback for a third tryout for the highest team at his level. There was a whopping amount of drama relating to who got called for the third tryout and who didn't, and then again for who heard back about the top team and who didn't. We finally got word today that Thing One made the second team for next year, still highly respectable and nothing to sneeze at but a bit of a bummer given that he had a legitimate shot at the top team this time around.
Email, Facebook and texting have been positively abuzz all day with news of who made which of the three teams. Some of the balls appear to be still in the air, but it is clear already that next year's teams will look very different. For those who are moving down a team or losing their slot entirely for next year, the last few games and practices of the current season are going to be tough, no two ways about it... these kids are the proverbial dead men walking. This year is when things got real.
Yes, all of this is ridiculously small potatoes in the grand scheme of things and I do recognize this, for any who may be reading and thinking that my sense of perspective is skewed. Two or five or ten years from now, who will care which boy made what soccer team at age 11? Looked at through that lens, today's storm in a teacup is almost laughably insignificant. What it does represent, though, is in many cases the first time these kids have tried their hardest and *not* gotten what they tried for. The competition was fierce, and lessons are being learned about grace and dignity and consideration of others' feelings and the proper handling of both elation and disappointment. Unlike the actual tryout results, those lessons are important, if sometimes of the painfully learned variety.
That said, I can't begin to tell you how much I don't want to hear the word "soccer" again anytime soon. Pity that we haven't even begun to hear the tryout results for Thing Two's age group yet! Thank the good Lord that Petunia still plays at the Rec level because this nonsense times three would absolutely drive me to drink.