Sunday, August 12, 2012

Neighbor vs. neighbor soccer match

Connor spent his camp concession money on a pack of fake mustaches.  This afternoon, I had to do a double take at his little brother Cooper.  He had adhered one of those mustaches onto his face and was proudly promenading around the house with his new more mature look.

Cooper has a small radius of space around our house where he's allowed to roam.  Being that Cooper isn't the least bit shy, he's become well acquainted with the neighbors that live within this space.  He adores them all, but seems to have formed a special soft spot for our neighbors, the Duncans.

The Duncans moved here in the dead of winter from North Carolina.  I swore the cold temperatures and icy conditions would scare them away, but they braved that first winter and several years later they still live next door.  

We hit the neighbor jackpot when the Duncans moved next door.  They keep their yard and house immaculate and show us ample grace when our yard is in desperate need of a mow and in serious need of a good weeding.  They laugh abundantly and still seem to enjoy our boys even when I'm sure they've stepped on their flowers or been a little too rough with their dogs.  They ooze everything I love about southerners: hospitality, warmth, and charm.

 Many a nights, I'll see the Duncans nestled on their patio chairs, enjoying pleasant evening temperatures and warm conversation.  Those are just the evenings when Cooper feels like he's part of their family and parks himself at the next patio chair quickly diving into their conversation.

After Cooper's last visit with the Duncans, he came racing home.  Winded, he announced, "We've got to practice soccer tonight."

I shot him a puzzled glance.

"We're playing the Duncans tomorrow," he announced as if we were two Olympic competitive teams squaring off.

I couldn't help but chuckle imaging our ragamuffin team versus the adult Duncans and their two teenage boys.

Tonight, we ate dinner on our patio.  We glanced over at the Duncans yard where they too were enjoying the evening in their lounge chairs.

I shouted over "There's our competition."

After a couple friendly exchanges, the boys dug out our soccer goals and positioned them in our yard.  I'm sure the Duncans were none too pleased to be leaving the comfy confines of their armchairs to chase a soccer ball around our yard, but they were such (literally) wonderful sports about the whole thing.

Pretty soon, the Duncans (Mom, Dad, and Sam...with an arm brace) faced off against our crew (the whole gang).  We didn't exactly look the part of top notch athletes.  Two boys were wearing swimsuits, one wore his church clothes, and another didn't seem to wear anything that actually covered his backside.

We had a cheerleader (neighbor girl) sitting on the sideline and a sports fan (another neighbor) watching the action.

Our teamwork and athletic skills need some serious practice.  The boys seemed to treat each other as competition as much as the Duncans.  And for one boy, the idea of anyone scoring but him was really quite devastating.  But the boys ran around and seemed (mostly) delighted by the play.

I think our team (the Dominators) eventually won, thanks to the Duncans kindness and Sam's need to leave for football practice.  We parted with smiles and a promise for a rematch...unless Cooper finds another neighbor family to challenge.

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