Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Glorious Game

(John, that wonderful IT man, fixed my camera/computer thingy so I have pics of Noah!)

The boy loves soccer. At 9 years old, Noah is tall and thin and fast. Perfect for running up and down a grassy field chasing a black and white ball. For the past year and a half, or 3 soccer seasons, our son has played on the same team with same coach. (Every season some kids leave and some kids join.)

In those 3 seasons, Noah’s team has always lost more than they have won. But they have always won a few games so he has never really been upset about the team record. He just loves the game.

His attitude changed a little a week or so ago.

See, at the time, the Wildcats’ record was 2 ties and 3 losses. 0 wins. So during our bed time prayers, Noah asked God for the following:

“Father, please let us win one glorious game.”

John and I laughed but then echoed our son’s request. At the time, there were 3 more games. The next two were losses. Again.

So then came this past Saturday.

Just as Noah had prayed 2 or 3 times every day, he repeated Saturday morning before breakfast. “Please God, just one glorious game.”

On the way to the game, I encouraged my boy with “Noah, really want it today! Be Scooby when he’s chewing up a toy.”

John added, “Get the bunny, Noah!”

Noah growled like Scooby.

We arrived at the park, the scene of several crimes (our soccer victories had been stolen) and one ridiculous blizzard soccer game. (See my post on April 29)

John and I set up our chairs and Noah joined his team for warm up.

On the field, a soccer game was nearing the end. We sat and watched and couldn’t help notice a tiny, sweet-looking grandma yelling in an incredibly loud Darth Vader-venom saturated voice, “CHALLENGE HIM! TAKE IT AWAY!”

John and I glanced at each other and chuckled. We love to cheer but neither of us have the killer instinct. It’s not that we don’t want Noah to win. It’s just that we are realistic. We understood losing to the Dominators and the Street Fighters, but when we started losing to teams like the Panda Cubs, the Hello Kitties and the Nice Kids, we saw the writing on the wall. It kind of felt like the Baton Death march with soccer balls.

We played one team that had 9 kids, no subs for an hour long match. We had 17 and still lost 5 to 2. We get it. We see the big picture. In fact, on this Saturday, our team is warming up while the other team, knowing that they are playing the Wildcats, are sitting in a circle eating pie.

Noah has not picked up his parents’ cynical, sarcastic sense of humor…yet. His attitude is great. John and I would’ve faked massive knee injuries 3 games ago. Noah just wants to play ball.

So Saturday’s game begins.

12:10 – The coach’s daughter scores a goal. 1 – 0 Our team and all the parents celebrate as if we’d won the Super Bowl. It is our first lead of the season.

12:25 – Another player scores. 2-0 This time we parents just look at each other with questioning glances that say, “Dare we hope?” or “Are you seeing this?”

12:29 – Noah breaks away from the pack, ball at his feet and dribbles down the field. Could it be? He’s past mid line…Oh, sweet Father in heaven, dare I pray, where is the camera? He’s nearing the goal…
The ref blows whistle for halftime.

Halftime – Silence. We parents aren’t sure what to say to each other without using our normal phrases of “Next time” "Good effort" “This half” or “We was robbed!”

12:45 – The other team inadvertently kicks the ball backwards into their goal. We’ll take it! 3-0

I keep looking at my watch. They could still come back. They’re Tigers.

12:55 – Noah once again is near the goal with the ball. He gets closer, closer….
Oh, almost!

1:00 – The whistle blows! The Wildcats and parents of each aforementioned Wildcat go crazy wild! They won! They did it! John and I cheer and yell our boy’s name. He looks over at us and holds up his index finger with a big ‘ole smile!

Victory at last! We all partied like it was…well…ONE GLORIOUS GAME!


Loretta said...

Being a soccer mom myself, I've felt that victory that we all want for our kids. Just think what it will be like when we are cheering as they enter Heaven!

Danica/Dream said...

What an amazing game!! Love it when those happen. :)

Jan Parrish said...

What a awesome game and you told it so well.

Jan Parrish said...

Love the new pics!

Kay said...

I love that! Oh what a little victory can do for us!! And this victory didn't come till the end. It was HOPE that kept him going. Love that.

And I love that God CARES!!! He cares about even stuff like this! You gotta love that!

dianne in colorado said...

I feel like I was right there at the game with you! Even though my daughter's soccer league doesn't keep score, she does. Her team's record is VERY important to her. This makes me kringe every time she plays goalie because a missed ball on her part could change her win/loss ratio! Thankfully, soccer season just ended and baseball starts this week. There are no goalies in baseball!

cj marley said...

That is one beautiful kid you got there. !!

Julie said...

Yahooo! I love to win also! It is hard to always not win, and a win just every once in a while is all the more wonderful! Oh, and I like you pictures...looks a little mischivious...;)