Thursday, October 29, 2009

...and in spite of having to play soccer, he had a really good day

Tuesday dawned an incredibly beautiful day....the sun was shining...a slight breeze was was a perfect day for being outside. Which was good for hundreds other parent-types, like myself and their kids..their 11-12 year-old kids, to be exact....because we were out there in it, for most of the day.

Tuesday was the annual Nagasaki City 6th Grade Sports Festival. Sixth graders, from over 100 elementary schools participated in basketball, soccer, track & field, jump rope and something that is called "tama ire" which is basically "how many bean bags can you throw into a peach basket that is on a pole about 12 feet in the air in 30 seconds?" Each 6th grader throughout the city chose one event to participate....and Issei chose soccer.

Just for the record....Issei? My manga drawing, classical musical loving, DS addicted young NOT exactly what one would call "an athlete". Oh....he plays sports with his friends, but that is all for fun. So, when he told me he signed up for soccer, I was a bit......surprised. He likes soccer okay..."better than basketball and running"....and jumping rope and throwing bean bags into a basket were just a bit too girly "silly" for him!

The kids practiced most afternoons. They got some pretty snazzy uniforms. They were ready to go. Our elementary was in the 7th Block of teams (I think there were 10 different groups), and each school was guaranteed at least 2 games...more if they won. the morning, as he was leaving for school.

Not exactly the pose I was looking for when I told him to "Act tuff!!" Goof!

Issei and some of his friends before the first game...they were a little nervous.

The boys played their hearts out...even Issei, in his own way. But...the best part of the morning?The other parents that were there and I had such a great time. I haven't laughed like that in quite awhile. One of the principals even mentioned in passing that it was nice to see parents enjoying themselves so much!! (She might have been insinuating that we were too noisy, but we didn't really care!!)

As for the matches....I had my camera was hard to take pictures, cheer, holler and laugh all at the same time. There were so many things that I missed. Things that, if I think of them now, make me smile:

When the goal keeper kicked the ball and it was debatable as to which went further: the ball or his shoe.

When one of Issei's friends just kicked the crap out of the ball only to have it wing back up and fwomp him in the head!! A great combination...kick AND header....THAT one put the mom next to me almost to the ground.

When one girl who, during the girls' game, was in perfect position to head the ball and as it was slowly coming down to her, struck a pose....not unlike that of The Karate Kid (arms out, one leg up and on the ready to attack!). Her mother just sighed and then laughed until we were all almost in tears.
And....Issei's unintentional block..yeah...he wasn't really ready for it and got his bell rung pretty good. The funny part? Right after it happened he looked up at me and gave me one of those "animation shaking it off" looks you see in cartoons when a character gets something big tossed onto his head. Yeah....we laughed big time at that...THEN one of the fathers made a sound effect that matched it perfectly.
That is when I officially lost it!! Tears, my friends, I had tears running down my cheeks!!
That said....I did actually manage to get pictures I can share....
As the first game was about to start, one of the dads pointed out to the field and asked me what Issei was doing. I looked at my young son and then to the dad I said, "Waiting. He's just waiting for the action to start and come to him."
To which, the dad replied, "He looks like a company president or something out there."
#14, by the case you were wondering!

In the first game, he did see some action...he got to throw the ball in, but..sadly, there was a penalty...something about one foot coming off the ground.....whatever!!

Another of the boys before the first game. The relaxed a bit before they actually had to get on the field.
Seriously? A peace sign? ~sigh~
His Japanese DNA shines through pretty loud and clear sometimes!!

Issei (now #15) in an action photo. This one was actually taken a few minutes before he got hit in the head with the ball had a strategic block.

One of my favorite parts of sports here in Japan? Win or lose, a team will go to the opposing team's bench and coach (and on this day, the girls' team who was cheering for the boys) and bow and say "otsukarasama deshita"...which is like saying, in this particular case, "That was a great game, thank you for playing against us."
("Thank you for playing like crap, giving us the chance to beat you.")

Issei and his team won their first match, but lost their second. Even though they lost, they played really hard and only lost by one point. The day was all in fun and no one was upset about losing...which was good to see.

When he got home later that afternoon, he informed me that our school had actually won 3rd prize. "Really? How did that happen?" asked I.
Issei's reply? "We're not sure, but we don't care...we got something!!
He was just beaming!!
After talking about how much fun he had had that day, I asked him if he might want to play soccer in junior high next year.....hahahaha....I really wish I had a picture of the look on his face after THAT question!! Let's just say that, no...he's not really interested in doing that.

But still....Tuesday? Yeah..Tuesday was a great day for Issei...and soccer!


Helena said...

Company president?! Now, that's a compliment!

I remember the sports days at school. I really wasn't the sporty type at all but gave it my best. I'll never forget when we had to throw a small ball as far as we could and as I was about to throw I dropped it behind me!! Oh, the embarassment!!!

smalltownmom said...

Way to go, Issei!

Yarni Gras! said...

that sounds like you had a GREAT time!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I love Issei's tuff stance!

Yay Issei!

blogbehave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phd in yogurtry said...

The Rolling Stones said it best, "To live in this town you must be tuff, tuff, tuff, tuff, tuff!"

WTG, Issei!

Anonymous said...

Congrats...Issei and fellow team mates on a game well played. And debbie glad to hear that you had a enjoyable time as well.