My nephew plays soccer now. He’ll be five in December, which is actually a little old for most Catholic kids in South City to start playing. You’d think we were all immigrant kids or something, but it might be because compared to other sports, soccer needs relatively little equipment, and since equipment costs money, we might as well play the cheapest sport around.
His first game was last weekend. He did pretty well, at least based on my previous experience with preschool soccer (ahem, herd ball). He does seem to have a problem with taking the initiative to do anything with the ball; he’s really energetic and enjoys sprinting to wherever the ball is, but once it’s right in front of him, it’s like he forgets that he’s supposed to do anything with it. His team played in a tournament yesterday, so I drove out to some bizarre, cult-seeming Knights of Columbus campus in the suburbs to watch him play the kindergarten team.
His team does okay against their own age, but there’s a significant difference between preschoolers and kindergartners. Kindergartners are bigger, faster, more aggressive, and have a better understanding of things like not running the ball towards their own goal. Also a few of the kids on that team actually are immigrants. So of course, my nephew’s team got their asses handed to them. They’re not supposed to have a concept of winning or losing yet, but it was his second game of the day and he was exhausted by the end (exhausted enough that, five minutes before it was over, he looked over to us and yelled “WHEN DOES IT END?”).
But since he is four and kind of a shit, that exhaustion had nothing to do with what happened in his brain when we passed by the playground. Nor did he understand that the fourth grade bitches throwing dirt and rocks onto the slide weren’t going to let him down it, nor did he understand the feelings of three grownups (myself and his parents) who had been driving from game to game that day and just wanted to go home. So he scampered off when his dad tried to grab him, and since I was closer, I went after him, as well.
I didn’t see the strip of wood sticking up from the ground between the playground and the grass, so of course I tripped over it, and of course I fell down like a redwood tree with an inner ear infection. There’s no grace to my falls. I just lumber onto the scene and wipe the fuck out like I’m trying to destroy Tokyo. Like this. EXACTLY like this:
My nephew (who I told you is kind of a shit) ran up the jungle gym because who cares that I wrecked like a truck in front of a huge group of children, although they must have cared because they all gasped. And the kid I’d inwardly mocked earlier for having emo hair was the one who handed me my keys (the ones that had practically catapulted out of my hand) and said, “Here you go, ma’am, are you all right?”
Yes. I am all right. I am hugely embarrassed that I am nearly 30 and somehow still humiliating myself in front of middle schoolers, but physically, I am fine.
Someday I Plan To Have Significantly More Grace
Careless Love, Camera Obscura
We Don’t Need Love Songs, Fitz and the Tantrums
Daydreaming, Dark Dark Dark
Only Shallow, My Bloody Valentine
Love Like a River, Girls
No Surprises, Regina Spektor
Dear Prudence, Siouxsie and the Banshees
Shake It Out, Florence + the Machine
How’d You Like That, The Kooks
He’s Coming Back, Hunx and His Punx
Heard You Want to Beat Me Up, The Strange Boys
Fats Domino, The Features
A Damned Old Dad, Kevin Devine
Born to Sing the Blues, Shirley Bassey
Love the Way You Walk Away, Blitzen Trapper
Dilettante, St. Vincent
Grounds For Divorce, Elbow
I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothin’ (Open the Door, I’ll Get It Myself), James Brown
Mama Rock, Johnny Powers and the A-Bones
Save Me, Wagons
I Like Fucking, Bikini Kill
The World’s a Mess, It’s In My Kiss, X
Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid to Know About, Galactic Heroes
Southtown Famous, Bunnygrunt
Growler, Sleepy Kitty
The Closer, The Baseball Project