Soccer was a sport that never caught on since its season meshed between the end of baseball and the start of hockey and perhaps due to the fact that my lanky body threw the ball much harder than I could kick one. Sure, deep in my parent's treasure trove of little Drizz baby and bath pictures are faded photographs of the moppy-hair-turn-sideways-and-he's-invisible elementary school kid in soccer gear with kids from the neighborhood that I could name to this day despite having trouble recalling one memorable moment playing the sport.
Last night wasn't about playing, it was my first of many parents vs. kids games of which I assume there's a graph of parent's age/ability that crosses over kid's age/ability for the perfect game when neither side has to "let" the other team win. Since my son is seven and three of the dads actually PLAY the game on a semi-regular basis complete with shin guards, 25 yard rockets, and touch passes light enough for the rank amateur in the Surly beer t-shirt to put one past the sprawling second grader. The parents played position while trying to spread the mob of purple jerseys with their first names imprinted on their backs.
Before the window's down ride to the field after a long day at the office and having to check my email at home, my son had to make a choice if he would like his mom or dad to join him. "Daddy's always super-busy and needs to work". Ouch. Instantly I was set back to 1985 where my father wouldn't get home until it was too dark yet again, but just in time for a meal because of working overtime so his kids could play those sports and we could continue our lower middle income existence with a few much appreciated extras. A lot of self-practice that involved a tennis racquet and wall, of course later on "self-practice" would be better served by a Penthouse or wavy porn on a 13 inch TV after the parents were asleep but that was far out of mind for the geeky kid who just wanted his father to play catch with. Before I took on going back to school full-time, before I took on the gig with PokerStarsBlog on the weekends and during its big tournament series, I sat down with my wife and kids and told them, no matter how tired I may be I will always make time for them. Period. Exclamation point. Signed, sealed, and delivered with a lisp.
My wife gracefully bowed out claiming a need to get ready for a trip (which she did, but not for two days), as I set down the laptop and peeled out of the work clothes for more suitable attire. The old man held himself well remembering how to curl a ball inside the posts, and make a few passes that would turn the head of Victoria Beckham (actually... she needs a steak dinner) and the rest of the WAGs of in my direction. That's right babe, bring that 70 pound body and 50 pounds of tits my way, I got orange slices, lines of blow, and 80's metal waiting in the truck. The boy's spirits seemed lifted with a genuine smile as we traveled back home in time for me to start up my new quarter school with the Wadsworth book of too many frickin English grammar rules that I'll never learn.
I may be busy. I may be tired. But, I've learned that if I don't spend my short time here enjoying all the people around my existence what's the point of sitting in front of that monitor at 11pm learning about literary canons and contra-accounts. None. There's no reason to work yourself silly for money unless you know the real value are those you spend the money with. I work full-time so we have a home/food/Sportscenter, I go to school make sure I keep my current and future work positions, I work at the PokerStarsBlog so I can see my friends both far and near along with some selfish reasons. And that's enough I's for the day because the Twins are on tonight and WE will be watching them take down the Yankees for once.