So, Thing One's new soccer team (those kids available for the summer, anyway) have a tournament this weekend. First time they've ever played a real game together, two hours from home.
Thing One was seriously nervous this morning. He was uncharacteristically quiet during the car ride down, and not just because we had to leave home at 6:15AM to get to the tourney in time to warm up for the first game. He looked jittery during pregame, too. Why the insecurity, I'm not sure, but he was clearly worried about how he was going to perform in a game at that level of play.
As he thought might happen, the coach started him at center back the first game. Luckily, once the whistle blew, he settled down quickly into autopilot. No matter *what* was going on in his head, the kid's body knows how to play soccer. He was on the field for 57 of the 60 minutes of that game and 59 of the 60 for the second game, coming off only long enough to grab a quick drink. His first touches looked good, he tracked down and blocked pretty much everyone who came into his area, and by the end of the day his booming foot had earned him the new responsibility of taking all the free kicks for the team as well. Most importantly, on the way home I asked him if there was any further doubt in his head as to whether he belongs on that team, and the answer was a resounding, "Hell, no." A sentiment with which I heartily concurred, by the way.
The team lost the first game 2-1 and won the second 3-2. Odds are that they won't make it to the championship game in their bracket tomorrow afternoon, but he's already a winner in my book. So unbelievably proud of him.