Youngest is trying out for the select soccer team this year. He wanted to do it last year, but we pointed out that, as a third child, he is not as loved as the first two so we weren't willing to pony up the money for it. He accepted that notion with his usual aplomb.
But he really is that good. And he really loves the game, playing it every single recess at school and every single day after school and every single day on the lower deck that has become his personal pitch. He watches football matches online and on television, getting up early on weekend mornings to watch the Man United matches. He saves up his money to buy more football kits from Barcelona and England and Madrid and even Los Angeles.
He regales us with his tales of recess games, and how he scored a hat trick or how he scored a PK goal, and how he argued mightily against the other team cheating at this, that or the other. He blathers on and on and on about football. He doesn't care that Wayne Rooney cheats on his wife. He doesn't care that David Beckham sold out to play in the U.S.
He only cares about "skillage." [His own made-up word. I think.]
After the first week of try-outs, the coach told Pete that Youngest was good enough to play on the A team if he had a spot open. See, the team he would be playing on has enough players to create an A team and a B team, and the coach appears to be hesitant in knocking some A team player (or players) from last year's team down to the B team. Even if Youngest is a better player than another.
Which leaves me wondering something: if this is competitive soccer, where, precisely, is the competitive part? Certainly, I wouldn't want to be the parent of a child knocked down to the other team. That would be tough, trying to comfort such a boy. And I wouldn't want to be the parent of a child who played on the B team last year only to see his chance of getting on the A team usurped by Youngest. Also tough, trying to comfort such a boy.
But it's either competitive. Or it's not.*
*[Yes, I'll remember to eat these words when Youngest gets his comeuppance in the world of competition.]