Saturday, April 30, 2011

4/30/2011 Neighborhood kids

A most unusual sound coming from our backyard today: children! Four neighborhood boys found their way into our backyard today, and were playing ball and riding bicycles with Julian.

As normal an American scene as that might seem, this is still Cupertino (effectively), which means the non-English-speaking grandmother isn't far away. I felt bad for this lady sitting outside waiting for her charges, for hours, but I had a lot to do, I wasn't about to invite her in. I did try to talk to her, but she couldn't communicate at all.

One of the boys Julian was playing with is a 2nd-grader at his school, so he knows him. The boy's younger brother is going into kindergarten next year -- maybe he'll be in Katrina's class. The boy is also in the same soccer league that Gabriel is in, though in a different age division. Who knows -- maybe there is some hope yet for this neighborhood, and they'll be allowed to play together without the poor grandmother dogging them.

Speaking of community and kids, today Gabriel's soccer team had its official team photo. It was missing much of the official team, however.

Today's game was also missing much of the official team -- Gabriel's team was short one player, and there was no subbing at all.

Still, despite being short one player, Gabriel's team blew away its competition again, scoring 3 goals in the first few minutes of the game. Our coach had to impose measures in the first quarter, such as a "two-touch" then a "one-touch" rule, and telling the star Ivan not to score.

Gabriel was goalie for the 1st half of the game (too long in my opinion, no other players are ever goalie for more than a quarter). His teammates tried to stick him with goalie in the 2nd half too, but the coach insisted on a rotation. He had a good reason too: he needed to name the weaker players as the only ones who could score.

So in the 2nd half of the game, Gabriel was one of two "strikers," meaning one of only two kids on his team allowed to score. Gabriel assumed this was because he was one of the better players, but I straightened him out on that one. He had a few chances to score but didn't take the shots for some reason. Winning didn't matter by now because the game had been won in the first quarter. Many of Gabriel's teammates are just too good for this division, and will move to "U12" (under 12) in the fall, even though they're just 8 or 9 now. They'd already moved to this "U10" division when they were 6 and 7.

Soccer in the fall will be tough, but maybe a little easier if we actually get to know some of the other parents around here?!


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