Thursday, April 16, 2009


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone ! As always, thanks to the folks at for organizing this event, and thanks to you, the readers, for visiting.

This week I'd also like to say a special thanks to ShankRabbit for his "Have Friends. Get Music." contest. More cowbell!

It's been a few weeks since I've talked about Big Brother's soccer practices or games.

Due to the combination of spring break and rain outs, we didn't have any soccer-related activities for 2 weeks, until our game last night.

I was expecting that the long hiatus (2 weeks is long when the whole season is only 6-7 weeks), that my players would probably forget what a soccer ball looked like, not to mention how to play the game.

And things started off on the wrong foot when I was running borderline late from an all-day meeting at work. I had to change into my soccer clothes in the Port-O-Potty at the field. I was afraid that this would "set the tone" for the rest of the game.

Fortunately, I was wrong.

Amazingly, our team actually improved during the layoff. Go figure. Maybe exposure to my coaching made them worse? Don't get me wrong, we still gave up a truck-load of goals and we still had trouble keeping 3 players on the field at all times, but this game was much less lop-sided than others.

The most important thing was that all of the kids had fun. I had fun, too. What's not to laugh about kids kicking the ball in the wrong direction, or running full-speed for 20 yards after the ball has gone out of bounds (putting them right in the middle of the adjacent field)? And let's not forget a lots of crying because we don't want to play, and lots of picking up the ball with our hands.

And Big Brother earned the "Reformed Dirt Pile Player Award."

I'm not sure what happened, but his effort, listening, and politeness at the game was impressive and unparalleled. Did Busy-Mom-E sew magnets into his uniform that repelled him from the dirt piles?

In fact, he SCORED HIS FIRST GOAL! And the best part was that Grampap was there and videoed the game for posterity.

(For those of you keeping score, that means lifetime youth soccer goals for Big Brother=1, Busy-Dad-E=0.)

I must admit to being guilty of a little fatherly pride here. I felt imitating Steve Martin's "victory dance" in the movie Parenthood after his kid catches the pop fly that wins the baseball game for his cellar-dwelling team. Oh wait, I think I actually did a victory dance.

The most touching part was after the game, as I was putting him in his carset. Big Brother looked at me and said, unsolicited, "Dad-E, I love soccer." (And he said it again on the way home.)


It's amazing how one moment of your child's happiness makes countless moments of frustration for you as a parent/coach just disappear. I'd go through it all again in a heartbeat to see him so happy and hear that reaction.

In a single moment, Big Brother summarized one of the core goals that I want for the lives of my children (and aspire to facilitate as a parent): I want them to pursue interests that make them happy and elicit their passion.

Maybe that interest will be soccer for Big Brother, or maybe it'll be something completely different. I'll support and encourage him either way, which is much more important than the "what it is" part.

As I strive to balance a full-time career, marriage, and quality time with my boys, it's moments (and days) like this that I'd like to bottle-up and store.

This is what keeps me going as a parent, what keeps me going through long days at work, evenings and weekends with the boys (and Mom-E) that slip by all too quickly, and long nights with Mom-E cleaning up the "aftermath" of it all--the gargantuan amount of mess (and dishes and laundry) created by small children.

Way to go, Big Brother. You made me extra proud to be your Dad-E today. And you always will.

Have a good weekend,


  1. Fantastic! Congratulate Big Brother for me! Sounds like you're doing a great job of supporting him, no matter what his passions may be!

  2. Great post, that is awesome your son loves soccer. My sons starts outdoor tomorrow, we just finished up indoor a week or two ago. I love when at the end of the game my son tells me how much he enjoys playing soccer it makes me feel good that he is having fun! Check out my FF post at

  3. Good for Big Brother!!! Soccer is a great team sport

  4. Congratulations, Big Brother. I watched the video last were great!

  5. You should be proud. Way to go Big Brother.

  6. My son loves soccer and he's become quite good. His enthusiasm has motivated his sister to play also.

  7. Congrats Big Brother! I am so excited for you! I'm so happy that he is enjoying soccer! Aunt-E

  8. Great post, it's great your son loves soccer. I'm from the UK so my son naturally loves soccer (football).

  9. His 1st goal!!!!! That's awesome!!!!! WTG, big brother.
    Although I miss laughing myself 1/2 to death about the crazy mishaps.

  10. Great Job Big Brother! Rosi

  11. @Otter Thomas, Justin, Jason, Andrew's Daddies, & WeaselMomma: Thanks. I'll pass on your congrats to Big Brother.

    @Rob: Have fun with your outdoor soccer season.

    @Mocha Daddy & Rob: We should start a soccer team!

    @Gramm-E: I hope we can work it out so that you can come to a game.

    @Aunt-E: You could bring Little Cousin to a game and he could play with Little Brother. :)

    @sprogspot: Thanks for visiting. Soccer has been a great first sport for Big Brother. The kids are having a blast.