Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Winter Display of Affection

Youngest is the captain of his varsity soccer team. It is his senior year of high school, so this season marks the end of a very long career for me: pacing up and down the sidelines as the lad plays soccer, muttering to myself when a player screws up, shouting far too boisterously when his team scores, and generally being an easily identifiable figure at each game. I am the pacer. Attempts to force myself to stay in one place have failed spectacularly. Seriously, how can anyone not physically follow the action up and done the field?

Yesterday's match, the second one of the season and against one of the perennial favorites in the league, was played in a deluge. [I really have a bone to pick with the folks who changed soccer from a spring sport to a winter one.] Storms like this aren't unusual, but they are for this early in December. It was windy. It was cold. It was pouring rain off and on. It was awful.

It was a great game. It was an absolute joy to watch. It was at times hilarious. C'mon, you gotta laugh when the kids slip and slide and fall down and lose the ball. We won, 2-1, with Youngest taking the assist for the second goal. I think we were at 2-1 about 20 minutes into the first half, so the remaining 60 minutes of play was spent rooting for the best outcome. [As an aside, nearly every team Youngest has played on has done a massively crappy job of defending corners. There were at least 8 corners in yesterday's game, and they gave up zero. Sweet!]

* * * *

I apologize for this sport-hijacked post. The march to winter with both Youngest and Eldest in the house has meant I have started making hot chocolate again. It has always been a nighttime occurrence in our house. None of the watery, American, instant hot chocolate. No. It's milk and Galaxy drinking chocolate heated in a saucepan, whisked and beat until it is a frothy delight. It's the good stuff.

We were back home from the game about 3. Youngest was drenched and cold, of course. He didn't get the benefit of the umbrella like I did. He came up to the kitchen where I was making a throwback fluffernutter sandwich. "Would you like me to make you some hot chocolate?"

* * * *

In the early elementary school years, I lived in Northern Virginia, where winter means snow, not rain, and where sports aren't played outdoors, but the kids are out in the snow, sledding and building snowmen and snow forts and having snowball fights. We would come in after hours outside, and my Mom would often ask, "Would you like me to make you some hot chocolate?"

* * * *

Yesterday was the first time I had ever made hot chocolate in the daytime. It was the first time in a very long time that I had remembered my Mom doing that. I'm left again feeling her presence and her absence at the same time.

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