I act like a kid all the time. My wife likes to tell me that I keep her young. That’s basically her way of saying that I’m immature in a nice way, but I’ll take it. I’ll roll around on the floor with the kids and tickle my wife until she pees and all sorts of other things instead of actually acting my age. I rarely feel like a kid anymore though. The knees and back protest too much for that. Whenever I play with the kids or torture my wife, it takes me a few minutes to get back up again. I certainly don’t consider myself old, but a history of bad joints have taken their toll. That’s one of the reasons that I really notice when something makes me feel young again.
Last week, I talked about the Soccer Saturday that we had planned over the weekend. Basically, I was going to coach the kids’ peewee teams in the morning. Then, we were going to drive up to Oxnard to watch Swansea City play the Ventura County Fusion. That morning, I started having some doubts. That was going to be an incredibly long day for all of us, especially the kids. That was going to be a lot of time on the road to watch an exhibition soccer game. Eventually, I figured that when your favorite soccer team is from Wales and you live in Southern California, you better jump on any opportunity you can find to watch them play. Therefore, after the kids finished their games, we loaded up the Prius and headed north.
We hit the L.A. traffic on the way up, so the drive took about 4 and a half hours. Fortunately, we had planned for that, and we arrived right as the gate opened. Since it was just general seating, we found some spots in the front row right behind the Swansea bench. The game was a lot of fun, and it completely turned CinC HOUSE into a soccer fan which is always good for me (she was especially a fan of the part where all of the players changed out of their practice jerseys and into their game jerseys on the field right in front of her). The real enjoyment for me came after the game was over though.
I had been debating whether I should go stand at the fence behind the benches to try to get some autographs. It’s just not something that I normally do. I’m not a huge fan of being a burden or interrupting others, but that’s what it felt like I would be doing. I’m sure the athletes see it differently, but it’s a foreign concept for me. However, when the announcer said that both teams would be walking along the fence for autographs and pictures after that game, my decision was made up for me. Did standing there and waiting for the opportunity to talk to some of my favorite athletes make me feel like a little kid again? I’ll let you figure it out from the stupid grin that I have on my face in this picture.
In the end, it was a great decision. I got 9 or 10 autographs, and I even got a picture with my favorite player, Ashley Williams.
It was a lot of fun, and we even got some picture with the kids and a couple players. It just shows you that no matter how much your knees hurt, you can still feel like a little kid every once in awhile.