Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The End.

Well, not quite--we do have a couple more games this weekend, but last night was the last night of soccer practice for this season. Rebecca's season ended last week, so she's already feeling at loose ends, and Catherine was supposed to have practice last night, but it got cancelled. Leaving only Little Boy to haul around. Had some other stuff to do first--our local zoning adjustment meeting started at the same time as his practice, so Miss Reba took him and Cat and Rebecca with her to the park (leaving Oldest at the house) while I stopped by City Hall. Good meeting, and it only lasted about thirty minutes and then I was off again.

Got there, and it was eerily quiet. Only about three teams were practicing; Jonathan's, then a couple of the older teams on another field. Walked over and sat down with Reba and finally got a chance to catch up on the day. The kids' first day of summer break was yesterday, and they stayed with Reba's mom, which is always fraught with peril. They have a tendency to act like ill-mannered little [You can't call your own kids that! Ed.] persons and can be a chore to deal with. And judging from the After Action Report, the talking-to I gave them when I dropped them off had the effect of producing only a faint, high-pitched, buzzing noise in their ears, which was quickly ignored. ::sigh::

Reba took the girls on home so they could get cleaned up, and I stayed and watched Jonathan and the rest of the guys kick at the ball and exhibit their finely-honed dramatic falling skills. Jonathan had been doing the falling bit Monday night, but in yet another talking-to, I reminded him that when he is on the ground, he can't run, but other people CAN kick him in the head. THAT seemed to sink in, because he was one of the few last night to stay upright the whole time. Sure would be nice if they learned to pass and shoot instead of flopping around. But that's just me.

Sat there a bit apart from the other parents and mused. Watched the planes make their east-to-west approaches to the airport. Mostly commercial airliners, but I did see one oddball--actually, heard it before I saw it--small, twin-turboprop high wing monoplane with a radar dish on the back and twin rudders. It was odd because our ANG base flies tankers, and this wasn't one of the big Air Force AWACS type planes. I thought I knew what it might be (because I like planes and stuff) but wasn't sure until I got in today and did a bit of Googling--sure enough, an E2C Hawkeye. They made several long loops far to the west and back around. Not sure why it would be so far from the water, although the crew might be up here for training or something. In any event, hey guys.

It started getting dark, and getting time for them to wrap up their practice. Boy was doing pretty good, and having a whale of a time. Since he finally got himself some eye-foot coordination, he's been practicing a lot better. One of his teammates on the opposing scrimmage team got the ball and Jonathan challenged him without hesitation, which he used to never do, and WHAM!

Ball, mouth, tears.

Last practice, only five minutes left, playing his little heart out, and the one thing I have been dreading finally happens. I just knew all that newly installed mouthwire was going to have cut his lips to shreds. And then the wires would be dangling there asking for money to go get themselves repaired.

I walked out and he was in terrible shape--sweat and snot and spit and tears, and a slight tinge of redness arcing across his lower gums. He got his water bottle and the coaches kept fishing out ice chunks with their nasty hands for him to put in his mouth--he tried, but the ice, being slippery and all, just kept popping out. I finally got him to open up and in some sort of Providential gift, saw that everything was still in place. Seems his bottom lip had taken most of the blow, and his lower teeth had brought some blood out, but nothing too serious. He sniffled and snubbed for a bit, and then practice was over.

He gathered up his ball out of the net and we started walking toward the van. As we walked, he opened up his water bottle again and started getting ice cubes out, which he would deftly spit out toward me. "BOY! You're not trying to spit ICE on me are you!?"


"'Cause if you are, I'll have to get you and tickle your ribs!"

Giggle. Spit.

He asked for it. And got it, too.

They heal pretty quick, these kids.

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