This weekend we went to The Boy's first official soccer game. His team has uniforms and everything, and played a team from the next town over. The field was still soggy from the 10,000 inches of rain we've had recently, so they played in a local soccer field bubble.
TB started as a goalie. The Wife, The Girl, and I sat on aluminum bleachers behind a net and watched the game. I wasn't prepared for the intensity with which we'd get involved. Any illusions of being above it all vanished at the first save TB made. The whole “psychotic soccer parents” thing suddenly made sense. Watching your kid out there is waaay more intense than watching, say, Game 7.
As with any intense sporting event, scandal erupted. Late in the game, after TB had cycled out as goalie and was playing in the scrum with the other kids (they don't really have much concept of 'positions' yet), some little miscreant head-butted him. TB has a massive bump right between the eyes. He looks like a unicorn. Bless his stoic part-Scandinavian heart, he didn't start crying until after the game when TW hugged him. He held the ice pack on his head until the game ended, and even went through the post-game high-five line with the other team with a poker face. I was hugely proud of him. It's all well and good to communicate your feelings and all that, but learning to compartmentalize when it's okay to let it out and when you should just sack up is a major life skill. He handled it like a pro.
Although his team was technically outscored, I'm pretty sure he didn't notice. His coach told him that his team won, and he believed it. In a way, it was true.
He has another game next week. I don't know how many more I can take.