Sunday, July 22, 2007

Soccer Showdown

Shaun showed up at my door this evening. "Are you going to clean up again?" he asked me.

"I need to, don't I?" There was a styrofoam sandwich container sitting out front on the sidewalk, a couple of chip bags, some copies of Hoy's weekend edition in the street, etc.

"I'll help you," he offered.

"Let me get some bags." While I was back in the kitchen, James from two houses up came over and joined him. "Are you going to help clean up?"


"Let's all have blueberries when we get done," I suggested.

"I like blueberries!" James said. "I had them at camp." We cleaned up from my house to the traffic circle. First James held the bag and I picked up, then we switched. "Are you cleaning up for your barbecue?" he asked me.

"Kind of," I said.

"It's gonna get messy again."

"Yeah, but if we do this again Friday before the barbecue, they'll be less to do."

"Yeah," he agreed. Meanwhile, Shaun was jumping all over the traffic circle, digging under weeds to pull out trash.

"When you gonna clean my side?" asked Ms. Ribs, watching us from across the street.

"Maybe Friday, before the barbecue," I told her.

We went back to my house. The boys washed their hands in the bathroom. I washed mine in the kitchen and washed off the blueberries.

James found the mango on the counter and asked if he could have some. They took the blueberries out while I was still cutting up the mango.

When I came out, Shaun was done but James was still eating. He had some mango and then they started playing soccer. My new neighbors on the south side watched their one-on-one with interest. I kept score. They played to 21, then 32. No defense, but plenty of kicking--high shots, wide shots, lots of goals. Neither James nor Shaun speaks Spanish, but they know how to say "Gol" just like the Mexican kids. We were all hollering "gooooooool!!" and having a fine time.

My first crop of boys (Junior, Danny and Joey) are getting too old to play soccer in my yard, so it's nice to have some new sprouts coming along.

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