Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who Was That Boy?

Last night Handsome had a pick-up soccer game to go to, so I took him to the right park when I got out of work. It was looking like it might rain a bit, but it had looked like that off and on all day and we hadn't gotten anything worse than a 5 minute sprinkle out of it. The kids were all running about and the parents were all looking at the sky. Most of them seemed prepared for rain, having brought umbrellas, but though the sky was gray it remained dry.
The coach showed up.
Just as he was starting to organize the kids and get a game started, the rain started as well. It was just a gentle sprinkle, and it wasn't slowing the kids down any, so the parents all put up their umbrellas and waited. They started talking to each other in hopeful tones about it passing, or stopping soon; as if by convincing each other that the rain would stop they could actually make it so.
It began to rain for real. The coach decided to put the game on hold for 15 minutes to see if it would clear up a bit, and everyone headed out to the parking lot to sit in their cars and wait it out. Everyone but Handsome. He had his soccer ball, and he was outside, and he said a little rain wasn't going to stop him.
"I like the rain! This is fun! Can we practice head-balls?"
This from a kid that we have to fight with to get him in the shower. Who sometimes is so lazy that when he can't find the remote for the television he just watches what is on rather than taking the two steps required to change the channel manually. (He has been stuck on the QVC channel before, and now he can give me the pitch, practically verbatim, for: The Buxton Organizer, Mighty Putty, Wonder Hanger, Oxy-Clean, the Awesome Auger, the Quick Chop, and a host of other things you can find in the 'as seen on TV' section of your local store.)
We practiced our head-balls and throw-ins in the rain while the other people (the sane people, if you will) waited in their cars and watched the sky for signs that it was letting up.
Instead, it rained harder.
And harder.
"Don't you want to get in out of the rain?"
"No, Dad. Can we just stay out here a while?"
Who was this kid? The ball couldn't roll far, it kept getting stuck in puddles, but he didn't want to stop.
Other parents were calling it quits and driving their kids out of there, but he didn't want to stop.
The coach drove up and said he was calling it and going home.
"Maybe we'll have better luck next week," he said with a wave as he drove off. Handsome walked up, holding the ball and soaked to the skin.
"Who was that?"
"That," I answered, "was the coach. I think it's time we went in and got dry, Handsome."
"Do we have to?"
He sighed and got in the jeep. I paused for long enough to take off my soaked shirt, then I got in as well. Even with the shirt off I still soaked my seat. Handsome was sluicing water off his head and face with his hands, and smiled as he pointed out the puddles he was making in my car, thrilled to be so wet.
I pointed a finger at him.
"Remember; when we get home you go right in the shower."
His face fell.
"Aww.... do I have to, Dad?"
"There you are! Where have you been?"
He looked at me quizzically, still wiping at his face.
"I was wondering where you were," I explained. "I was just playing soccer with this other kid, he looked a lot like you, but he was way active, and he didn't seem to mind being wet at all!"
He made a face at me. "Ha-ha. Funny, Dad."
"That's okay, Handsome," I said, reaching out to ruffle his hair and accidentally spraying water on the inside of the windshield. "That kid was wearing me out. I'm glad to have you back!"

Talk to you later!

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