Michael's Happenings

15 Minutes on the Soccer Field

The sun is setting on the horizon, there’s about 30 minutes of sunlight remaining. Two sisters, on opposing teams, combined with 10 of their children, play soccer on the green field. There’s five 9 and over, three between 5 and 8, and two under 4. The goals are set with sweatshirts, and one of the boys stands guard in each.

The sisters face each other, trying to get the ball into the opposing goal. One giggles in a silly way, disbelieving that she is running, kicking, playing. Being a mother, doing the washing and the dishes, looking after children, has given way to hilarity on the field.

The two year old runs on the field, and off again. He gets the ball a few times, running like streak, albeit a fairly slow streak.

The 10 year old kicks the ball, bouncing it off the legs of the 8 year old, who while not watching what was going on, manages to stop it. And so it goes for a few moments, and then the 10 year old gets a goal. The players erupt with delight.

The 2 year old kicks off, and then runs off the field and says, “Kick ball, Daddy”.

The 12 year old gets the ball, aiming for the opposing goal. He has to manuovre to try and get the ball past his aunty, but fails.

The two sisters face off, the older booting the ball for all its worth down the field. Children scatter to retrieve it, and seek to get a goal.

The goalie gets the ball, and throws it out to one on his team. It bounces off him, and rebounding to the 11 year old on the opposing team, she skillfully kicks it through the sweatshirts. Screams of delight light up the atmosphere.

The 5 year old has asthma, but runs despite her coughing. Then the ball comes over to the side, and is booted a couple of times into the frame of the pushchair in which the baby lies. “Hey, there’s a baby in there”, someone of the sideline yells.

The sun is behind a cloud, and it’s got a lot colder. The grandparents head off, to prepare the food for a combined dinner.

“Time to call it a day” the grandmother calls before she turns to leave, and in the closing moments of the game, the side that’s 2 down gets their one and only goal. The mother who scored lifts her hands in delight — it’s been a long time since she’s felt the thrill of scoring a goal.

It’s another afternoon at the field, 15 minutes of family fun.

Categories: Michael's Happenings