A Week’s Worth of Things, I. – Futbol

I’ve been truly lax about regular updateage, but that’s not to say I haven’t been considering it. Heavily. And not acting. But considering it no less! Mmyes. *cough* Anyhow–declarations of good intentions aside–hitting the gym regularly, seeing friends a lot, and getting incrementally more sleep explain my poor blogging habits. It’s been a busy, fun week. Here are some things:

Monday, though thanks to my new position as first grade beast wrangler I am free to leave school at 3:15 instead of 4:00, I tarried in the ‘burb where I work ’til 6:00. This little suburb or Madrid really isn’t anywhere I’d be psyched to spend extra time, but keeping a promise to a bunch of 7-year-olds surmounted my own selfish desire to lounge in bed like the big tired walrus I become at approximately 4 p.m.

Last-last week, Rubén García invited me to his soccer game. Though I couldn’t attend the Monday that on which I was invited, I promised him I’d be there the following one–this past week. After my last first grade class I killed time by going grocery shopping (for some delicious ravioli, no less), and taking myself for a ramble ’round the town. I was back on school grounds by 5:00 to witness both the end of 4th grade’s practice and also the arrival of the menacing, yellow-and-blue clad Artilleros team. As soon as Rubén caught sight of me he set up a delighted whoop and notified the other second grade boys, José, Andrés, Carlos, Miguel, Willan, and Eduardo, that I’d come. Of course, they swarmed.
Rubén was the first to bound up to me. “Has venido!” (you’ve come) he crowed “has venidoooo!”
“Pues, claro que he venido!” I told him, “me invitaste, no? No pensaste que iba a asistir?” (Of course I came. You invited me, didn’t you? Didn’t you think I was going to come?”)

Winsomely enough, Rubén just hugged me in response and introduced me to his mom and dad. Before he went off to the field–where he made the only goal for the first half–he rushed back over to me.
Ya tienes una flor?” he asked.
A flower? I asked him. What do you mean?
“Una flor!” he insisted. “Alguien te ha dado una flor?”
No, I said. Nobody’s given me a flower.
“Ay! Pueeeees…” lamented Rubén. In short order he’d collected a lovely assortment of autumn leaves, poked ingenious little holes in them, and gifted me with a bouquet of “fantasmas de hojas,” or, leaf ghosts. Of course. Who doesn’t want a leaf ghost?

After I received my corsage I sat back on the icy cement stairs for some gripping 2nd-grade soccer action. The game was great, though I’d be telling a bald faced lie if I alleged that my kids played well. Between shameless displays of baseless machismo and confused kicking tactics, it was a delightful shitshow. All except Andrés, the goalie, were relatively poor (but adorable!) players. Perhaps the worst player of all was my favorite kid Miguel, who kicked the ball maybe twice–when he could remember to stop chasing his own imaginary tail on the wrong side of the field. Also, unsurprisingly, Miguel was the only child sporting a white high-necked turtleneck and gray cargo pants beneath *cough* his uniform.

Long story short, my school lost to Artilleros, 3-7, but I had a great time and screamed loudly for my kids. I was happy to be there for them, and so happy they were happy to have me there. *insert glimmer of joy here* God bless us everyone!

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