We signed Arthur up for a soccer team as part of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation. And informal group of kids led by coach Ray, a dad and a fellow who's from England. He was a great coach and made it fun. Anyway, Arthur was nervous about joining, didn't know any of the kids, was shy. And super kind. The other parents delighted in him. I remember once during a game Art and another kid collided, they both hit the ground. Arthur immediately turned over to ask the other kid "Are you OK??" Which is so nice! But the ball, Art, the ball!
Anyway, they were actually a pretty terrible team at first. Lost bad. But they improved lots and made it to the finals (which sounds a little more impressive than it is). The coach warned all the kids that if the game is tied when it ends during the finals, they would have sudden death overtime (4 on 4, no goalies). Arthur desperately didn't want to play in overtime, way too much pressure. He asked coach Ray, more like begged, that if there was OT not to put him in. Coach emailed us after practice and asked if we could work on Art a little. Art! The team needs you, you've got a strong leg, don't just focus on yourself! This particular photo is of the moment the game ended tied and Arthur realized he was likely gonna be asked to play in overtime:
So anyway, the real reason I'm writing this post is to share one of the most wonderful moments in Arthur's short 10-year-old life. If you imagine a life as a line across page, drawn with peaks and valleys, good times and forgettable stuff. This is the high mark. A moment Art will never forget. The game ended tied. Coach Ray put Art, one of the team's best strikers and a great ball handler, was put in. Oh no! What if I fail! I'm so scared!
It was just great. I was so happy for Art and his whole team. He did it! They won the and then lost their next one, where Arthur also bravely played in OT (that's the game where these photos came from). I'm proud of our little boy, for being brave and trying his hardest.