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Flight of the Bumblebees: Random thoughts as soccer season kicks off

Submitted by on Saturday, 20 September 2008 No Comment

* The yellow and black uniforms do make them look like a swarm of bumblebees. And they’re about as organized, too.

* Big Guy did OK for himself — three goals on the day, including one he didn’t know he made until Coach high-fived him. The team total for the first quarter was more than in the first four games last season. The most amazing part: No one ran toward the wrong goal all morning.

* It’s stunning what a difference a year makes. I look back on pictures from last season’s opening game, and Big Guy is so tiny, with the last remnants of baby softness about his face. He’s definitely a real boy now, waving frantically at teammates and yelling, “”I’m open!”"

* I’m rapidly falling in love with Little No. 1, who’s taken over Big Guy’s title as the tiniest player on the team. This kid has a grin that would light up the field for a night game, whether he’s running, kicking or tumbling.

* Wearing Big Guy’s jersey from last year mollified Little Guy — “”I a soccer player too!”" he crowed — though Coach did a double take. “”I was about to say, wrong uniform, Big Guy”" he grinned. Little Guy still was irritated at having to wear sandals instead of cleats. I’d be tempted to try Big Guy’s old model next week, except Little Guy would be beside himself he were completely decked out and not allowed to play.

* Last year, all but three teams in our 11-team group had corporate sponsors. This year only three do, which no doubt explains why registration went from $65 per player to $100. Sign of the economy? You bet. I’m not complaining — yet, though I will be next year when I’m shelling out $200 plus $40 or so for Big Guy’s gear. And I hope this year’s price hike didn’t keep kids from playing. The league offers payment plans and income-based scholarships, but I don’t know that the message makes it to households where it needs to be heard.

* Big Guy spent a big chunk of the game adjusting his uniform. The nylon bugged him, and he doesn’t like shorts anyway, so that was two strikes from the start. The sizes came in big and bigger this year, which meant the drawstring in his shorts kept coming untied and dangling around his knees. I’m hoping he’ll make his peace with it by Halloween.

* It was the first “”educator out of context”" moment for Big Guy when we ran into one of his teachers as we were leaving. “”Why is she here?”" he asked. I had an advantage when I was a kid. My first-grade teacher lived across the street, so I knew they at least got to go home to eat dinner. I didn’t think they were allowed to go anywhere else, though.

* Just because the ball’s yellow and has a face doesn’t mean it’s a round SpongeBob, guys.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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