Saturday, December 4

Another goal

If I had known how parents feel when watching their son play a game, I would have tried harder when I was playing soccer as a child. I would have tried something, I mean, beyond the minimum required. If I had known what parents feel when hearing ‘that one cuts them all’ from strangers, when that such ‘that’ is your son, it would have been a better defense, a better person and a better son.

Teo played his first ‘real’ matches last week, with a referee, rivals and goals in a tournament. Ever since he knew he was going to play, he asked us every day how much time was left. He asked when he woke up and went to bed. Teo wanted to know everything: what the field was like, what the prize was and how the other teams dressed. My son was happy and calm, even when he arrived and when he played his games, when those things made me super nervous as a child. But not Teo, neither before nor during nor after his enthusiastic mood changed.

It’s love: since he finished he keeps asking when to train again and when the next game is for him. And it’s unstoppable: we came home and he made me play and play and play all Sunday. There are no more loves that are so spontaneous, disinterested and simple. There are those who want their children to be like them. I am grateful that they are better than me, that they are different from me.

Senior matches

Teo also likes, after his sessions, that we stay to watch other games. Matches of ‘older’, which means for him to have more than 5 years. The other day we saw a very unbalanced duel, with one team conceding one goal after another. At the end, the goalkeeper turned to his parents happily, generating some astonishment after the win received. The boy explained with the greatest naturalness, and with a loud shout, that he was happy because they had achieved the goal: “We had to receive less than twelve goals and they only scored nine for us.” I suddenly liked that boy – and his coach, by the way – because that’s just the necessary attitude towards life. Be realistic with the goal.

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Teo’s team won both of their games, but he wasn’t just talking about that. He talked about how he helps his friends, how he watches when they attack, how he is always attentive and goes strong to the ball so as not to hurt himself, how he runs to celebrate the goals first with his team’s goalkeeper. I have instinctively got a defender, one of those weird guys who thinks for the collective. Watching him play, so small and so brave, I envied his ability to accept mistakes, to get up and ask again after a failure, to celebrate with healthy joy and to be happy along the way. Sometimes we have to be grateful that our children do not resemble us. Sometimes we should tie football to football, because it couldn’t be more beautiful.

To be up to the task, I would like to be a father of those who know how to give the best advice, one of those who always know how to help their children. I’d love to, but I’m afraid I’m no good. The tweeter Fansy recently recalled her first menstruation, said that her period lowered and came out of the bathroom screaming: “Mom, what you said was going to happen to me has happened to me!” “Since then,” he added, “more or less my whole life has been ‘what you told me was going to happen, has happened.’ Child of the nine goals against, I will have to look for another goal.

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