It's ABC-Along time again! 'J' is for 'jonquil,' or so I say (having done the 'jonquil,' 'narcissus,' 'daffodil' research I still can't say with certainty that 'jonquil' is appropriate here but that's not stopping me), and
my 'j' letter form. I'm not considering it cheating that the original photo has been turned upside down and flopped to get the 'J' to show the right way; I could have taken the original photo that way had I myself been able to hang upside down and take the photo from the opposite direction -- well, in theory, anyway. Doesn't seem like unreasonable manipulation. Haven't conquered 'k' yet though, and I'm on the hunt.
This photo of Dean, winning the race to the ball, was from last week's soccer game. I wish I could show you the team photo I took from this week's game (I take one every week), but I don't feel right showing all those children's faces without their parents' permission. But the point isn't the photo itself but the fact that our team this week included 2 boys from the opposing team. See, our team itself has 8 boys, which means that when everyone shows up for a game we have the required 6 boys to play the game and 2 substitutes. That's a very small roster, and given that a game normally lasts for an hour, that's pretty hard on the kids (when you get a break it's only for a few minutes since there's always someone who's in need of water and a quick breather). Anyway, yesterday was a gorgeous day and our game was an hour away -- which meant that 3 of our kids for various reasons did not show up to play. The other team could have called a forfeit on us, but instead their terrific coach loaned us 2 players. This is as it should be -- we play Division 3 in a recreation league, which means (1) yes we keep and record the score and (2) the refs run the games by all the rules but also that (3) we are NOT making our way toward play-offs and (4) the entire point is to have fun and teach kids the fundamentals of the game so that they may decide if they want to go on and play more competitively in the future. Unfortunately, there are always coaches at this level who don't comply -- they drive their kids hard with a 'winning is everything' attitude. Had we faced this kind of coach yesterday, we would have all driven an hour for nothing. But he coaches just like we do and said -- hey, we're all here to play and have fun so let's do it! And the two boys he loaned us were great, great kids -- one even played goalie for us -- and they gave it their all. We thanked the boys profusely after the game, and the coach, but I wish I'd had a moment to thank their parents, too. It was the only game we've won this season (we've tied once); it may remain our only win. While indeed winning is NOT the point, it's also a little tough for the boys not to ever win a game. So here we had this mixed team and these 2 other boys helped us beat their own team. It was a close game, and everyone played well and was happy and smiling at the end, and it just felt like a slice of what's right in the world. Losing under these circumstances would have been just as sweet.