The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
And the Crowd Roared
By Gary Zenker
“Why is there a soccer ball in the shower?” I ask my then-six-year-old son Seth. The soccer ball is a new addition to the usual assortment of action figures and nerf guns. The shower is oversized and can accommodate two people and a few child toys…and apparently, a soccer ball.
“I invented a new game. Come play with me.” Any game that encourages a six year old to take a shower on a regular basis without begging, pleading or threatening is a good one. So I tell him “okay.” He turns on the water and strips down before entering the shower.
Then I see him kick and hear the sound of the ball bouncing off the shower walls. “See?” and he explains the rules to me. “I kick the ball and it bounces off the wall. If I block it from hitting the wall behind me, I win. If I miss, the ball wins.”
Two things become immediately obvious. The first is that the kid is an inventive genius. The second is a less happy revelation. My son is an only child and lacks playmates. He is adopted and one of the roughest stories of adoption most people have ever heard. The time and money it took to make it happen made a second adoption impossible to consider. He’s surrounded by a loving family but it is moments like these that I feel guilty for not being able to give him a brother or sister.
So, after watching him for a minute, I strip down too and enter the shower. “How about if you play against me?” I offer and see a smile light up his face. We lightly kick the ball at each other in the confined space, trying to get it past the legs blocking the wall. The cascading water almost sounds like the sound of a crowded auditorium…if you pretend a bit.
The tight space and the state of undress inspired an important rule on my part. “No aiming above the knees. Please.” He nodded and added his own. “And no tickling me so you can get the ball past me.” And the game began in earnest.
Our score was five-four and the crowd was cheering when the shower door suddenly swings open. “What are you two doing?” We hadn’t heard his mom enter the bathroom or call for us.
My “Ummm,” is interrupted by my son’s direct explanation. “We’re playing Shower Soccer.” She stares at the two of us for a few seconds before shaking her head, shutting the shower door and walking away.
I guess some things only a father and son can understand.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.