I wrote last year about the world part of the world cup being important to my mother and me, and about how I seem to be always travelling during world cup soccer. While I was pregnant with Aster four years ago, the Women's World Cup brought me to tears.
Turns out it still does. Sitting high in the stands in Vancouver, I missed the big Ecuador-Cameroon handshake for peace because I was crying so hard. Dianthus asked why I was crying and I tried to explain I was crying because I was happy, to which he replied, "I know tha-at, but why are you crying?"
|Before first match, after first big happy cry.|
I was crying because it seemed perfectly normal to him to have driven almost 3,000 miles to watch women from South America play soccer against women from Africa at a stadium in Canada with his grandparents. He has no idea that lots of people still don't consider women's sports a sport worth watching. Half his soccer team is made of girls and he passes to them just as much as he passes to the boys on his team**. He has no idea that his grandmother played half-court basketball in her youth, and the logic that girls couldn't run the whole court would baffle him. He has no idea that his mother, who played soccer for ten years, never dreamed of playing in the World Cup because the Women's World Cup didn't exist when she was young. He has no idea how excited his mom was when she met his dad twelve years ago, because not only was he a soccer fan, he was a women's soccer fan (with previous world cup experience and a Boston Breakers shirt to show for it).
|Because I selected the short sleeve (Ecuador) shirt,|
the Mister made friends and official FIFA pre-game footage.
Dianthus was amused by the internationality of it-- that people kept taking pictures of his Dad in his rare Cameroon jersey or of our whole family sporting our Ecuador, Cameroon, Germany and Italy (not actually in the tournament) allegiances, and he keeps asking who we are for in every match (he cannot imagine why we are not cheering for Germany tonight when he has cousins who live there). But he is not overwhelmed by the idea that these people have come together from all over the world because of women's sports.
And the very fact that this is ordinary to him overwhelms me with joy.
*8 years of blogging with nothing other than a password and now blogger wants me to verify with a phone number from West Virginia? We are home now, by the way.
**Which, for accuracy sake, I should add is not at all, but that will change as other teams start to learn things about defense.