Sometimes I don't have a camera handy, or the kids are so far off that the picture would be too small and difficult to make out. Sometimes it is the atmosphere surrounding us that won't be able to be captures in a picture.
This Saturday we were at the Leo Nedheoff AYSO88 tournament. Another Saturday and more games of soccer. Tournaments are different though. Hundred of same age soccer-playing kids are hanging out at the park, killing time, and when its game time, playing hard. This past weekend the weather was gorgeous a little overcast in the morning, a nice breeze in the afternoon. We applied sunscreen (not often enough) and the kids were the kings of the park. They played together, they played with strangers, they looked after each other.
Games were back-to-back. Every hour a new game started which only gave spectators and players 7 minutes between games to get into place. It was hectic, but it was running like a well-oiled machine. At noon the field was empty for a one hour lunch break. The siblings swarmed the field, barefoot, with their own soccer balls; size4, size, 3, and even a few size 1s. An impromptu game popped up with the under 8 crowd. William jumped in goal, he looked even tinier against a U10 goal. The U5 kids started trying to make goals. Even Eleanor got in on the action. It was fun knowing that every one of those kids will be playing in the fall season and when they are old enough they will play tournaments too.
I love being at soccer. We are surrounded by good people, great sportsmanship, people that are kind and considerate. People, strangers, that are willing to watch out for another child and enforce the rule of the game. I love congratulating the other team on a good game, even if we didn't win. I love when the girls encourage each other on the field. I especially love when the girls make a tunnel at the end of the game chanting "We are proud of you, so very proud of you".