Soccer….Family Style

USMNT Makes History vs Italy, My Kids Made Sure I Don’t Miss It
March 1, 2012, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Family Fun, International Soccer, Uncategorized, US Soccer

Clint Dempsey, US Soccer Superhero in flight. (from his Facebook page)

I admit it. I’ve been busy. Between parenting 2 kids, beginning the restoration of our “new” 125 year old house (you can read about that at the Hatton House blog here), and trying to steal time to write and paint, I’ve been running around. So as the rest of AO Des Moines bailed one by one from our US vs Italy watch party at Victor’s Sports Bar, I prepared to bail also and maybe watch from home. I really wasn’t in the mood to watch a game in a bar that was empty, save me and the kids. What’s the point?

Imagine my surprise when I picked them up from school and my nine year old asked if we were going directly to the bar for the game. Wait…you WANT to go to the bar? Yeah, of course Mom. Look at that…my children are supporters, die hard, official supporters. We all talk about the proverbs that our kids will keep us young and be our legacy, but the truth is, this is the first moment when I realized the real truth behind all those trite little sayings. Here are my children, excited about going to watch a game at a bar, in the middle of the afternoon with just me. Fantastic.

Now, I could pretend that this fairy tale ends with my kids being riveted to the game and asking insightful questions about the gelling of the Klinsmann era team, and how Dempsey and Altidore are exceeding our expectations as they make the transition from good players to history-making great players. I might feign that they were frustrated by our back line and apprehensive about what happens to our defense if , G-d forbid, Tim Howard ever ceases to be available at the top of his game. Wouldn’t it be great if they sat there discussing the cautionary tale of Giuseppe Rossi, and how you should never underestimate the potential for growth in this US Soccer?

But they didn’t. They were kids. They snacked on their food, pretended to play video games (no, you can’t have any quarters, the game’s on!), asked me how long until it was over, and generally behaved like the 4-1/2 and 9 year olds that they are.

But then, at the end of the game, when I was too excited that we might finally beat Italy, and friendly or not, beat them at home. I couldn’t even sit down, and didn’t really care that my roller coaster of play-by-play squeaks and squeals must have sounded insane to the handful of people at Victor’s not for the soccer game. But my children noticed, and came close and watched. I told them that we’d never beaten Italy before, and told them about the times I’ve watched us play Italy, and that this was a really amazing moment for us in the soccer world. We stood there, through all four minutes of extra time, me standing with them clutching me from their perch standing on chairs, until finally the game ended with the US victorious and we could shout and create havoc in our little corner of the bar. I think, when I look back over my encyclopedia of US Soccer experiences, I will remember that moment. My kids and I, practically alone in a bar, watching the US beat Italy for the first time ever.

When we got home last night, and my husband asked the kids about their day over dinner, my daughter proudly told the story about watching that soccer game, and I could tell that she got it, even if George Vecsey couldn’t. It was an epic win for the US. And my kids made sure I didn’t miss it, and for that, I’m so thankful.

1 Comment so far
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Very cool! I could picture the scene and happy that your kids share in your U.S. Soccer joy!

Comment by Jimmy

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