I spent 2 cold, soggy hours sipping tiny, tepid cups of espresso standing in icy rain watching J play in his first tournoi de foot (soccer) yesterday. It could have been the same as watching my eldest nephew Justin, currently competing for the national university football (soccer) title in Toronto but it wasn't. It could have been the same as watching my niece Renee, a former elite national level Ringuette player, but it wasn't. Or it could have been the same as watching my 15-year nephew Jordan play football (soccer) with fire in his belly, but again it wasn't.
You see J is something of a sports mystery to me. From infancy, he was climbing like a orangutan up anything scalable. "Oh what an athlete he's going to be" everyone proclaimed. He could cross monkeybars with ease by age 2, and was riding a 2-wheeler by 3. He loves mountain-biking, mountain-climbing, and skiing, and is really good at all of them. He dislikes baseball, detests hockey school, and spends the last hour of football training yelling at me from across the field "Is it over yet?" When I told him at the beginning of the year to pick a team sport for the winter, he suggested tennis. See the pattern??? A team player clearly he is not.
I wasn't much of a team player myself, even now I prefer running with my iPod than a friend. Neither was C2, he ignores friends at the gym, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. But still, when I look at the brotherhood of friends Justin has built from his early days playing with his Foothills soccer club in Calgary, I lament that J may not have that. Even much of the strong and loyal social network that my brother and sister-in-law enjoy was birthed from the shared experience of watching their children compete in team sports. Not that I lack friends or social networking, far from it but you get my point.
I will encourage J to find his passions in life and will enthusiastically support them no matter what they are. Still, is it wrong to secretly want J to have a tattoo over his heart pledging brotherhood forever like Jus's?
So, yesterday's tournoi was comprised of 6 teams playing 4 mini matches. J was fully engaged for the first two. By the fourth, he was picking up leaves and playing pretend sword fights. Sigh.
My life as a Tim Horton's commercial isn't looking promising.