Once I collect all 3 from their classrooms we make our sweaty way to the car. This means passing through the playground and the newly astro turfed mini football pitch before the school gates. The kids have a tendency to dump their bags at my feet and make a beeline for the football pitch. By the time I straggle to the mini pitch they seem to be in the throes of a very exciting shoot out!
In the past few weeks I have noticed a Dad on pick up duty who joins in the football ‘match’ with the kids. Until today, I have dreaded seeing him there. The only reason being because when he is there playing football with the kids, egging them on, encouraging them in this beautiful game, it means I am left on the sidelines, weighed down by what feels like a gazillion bags (honestly, they have fewer bags travelling home in the summer), and slowly expiring in the autumnal temperatures of nearly 40 degrees.
Today however, I got chatting as all 3 were playing football. I hadn’t intended to stop and chat, but I could not avoid it. As the faces of the footballing kids turned pinkish, I began to make the ‘I’m going now kids’ noises. Before I could round up all 3, the ‘goalkeeping’ dad came to me.
Pointing to DS2 he asked me ‘Is this your son?’
‘Yes’, I answered defensively, wondering where this questioning was going.
‘Please, please, make sure he gets football training. He is very talented. He is a very good player’.
DH and I had already acknowledged that DS2 was quite good at football. Outside of his school uniform, he lives in football kits, plays football outside as often as he can, and when he can’t, kicks the ball incessantly (and much to my annoyance) against the wall of the playroom. During his ‘downtime’, he forces the rest of the family to endure every football game on TV….live or repeat, irrespective of the league or the language of the commentary.
I think it is safe to say he is hooked.
The lovely security guard blew his whistle. Time’s up. Everyone out.
As my 3 ran towards me, the lovely football Dad was still there imploring me to enrol DS2 in a football club. He mentioned he was a former pro footballer in his home country. He told me he was qualified to recognise talent from an early age and could see professional potential in kids, and DS2 has it.
I was bursting with pride. I rang DH as soon as I could. We will definitely be putting more thought and effort into encouraging him (not that he needs it right now!) to play.
Later this afternoon, I asked DS2 what he would like to be when he grows up.
Answer: Karate person.