Tournaments, tournaments, tournaments… My husband hates them, I actually like them. They have all the frantic preparation of horse show weekends when I was a kid: packing lots of stuff, early morning sandwich preparation (for the first day at least—things kinda fall apart on the second and—God Forbid—third day, and we are eating every meal from the snack shack at the field or Dunkin Donuts), waking sleepy kids up at 5 or 6am to get to that first game, blankets in the car, last minute backpack checks. Ok, there is less braiding of manes and tails at 3am, no soft and warm horse noses to kiss in the pre-dawn darkness, no mucking out the trailer, and I don’t get to ride or win any ribbons—but you get the idea. Actually, my role as head organizer is more important and less glamorous or fun then for horse shows but someone has to get them there.
This last tournament was probably the weirdest I have ever been to. We played in NH, which is a lovely state but less, shall we say, constrained than here in uptight North-Shore-of-Boston-Massachusetts. We played some Canadian teams from Quebec and the parents knew how to cheer their kids on! They brought a drum! And a horn but the ref put a kibosh on the horn. Every time their team had the ball, the drum started beating. At first I felt an uncomfortable feeling in my shriveled New England heart hearing so much encouragement. Games are for telling your kids they did fine and not for going nuts (except when they score a much needed goal—then you can go a little nuts). But despite the parent with the drum being right next to me, after a bit I got pretty into it. I even started chanting along to the drum beat. Inserting my team’s name in the appropriate place, and in English, not French. While the drum was initially distracting to everyone, it ended up giving the game a certain energy. I missed it when we played the next team, another New England bunch from the Cape (South-of-Boston uptight) and found myself listening for it wafting over from three fields away where my new little Canadian friends were playing.
I think I will have more to say about tournaments in future posts. Here are two lovely pictures of the NH one by very talented photographer, Mae Hogan. Please take a look at her stuff at http://www.maehogan.com/about.html