Mom, dad, and I sat down for dinner. Mom made chicken soup in the instant pot. Bummer. Mom’s on a healthy kick. I knew this was going to happen when I saw her watching a healthy eating show. I’ll starve this week. I said, “I thought we were having pizza?”
“I never said we were having pizza, Vinnie. Eat your soup. I got a healthy recipe off the Healthy Food Channel. It’s good for you. It will make you strong,” said Mom.
Why do parents always say, ‘It’s good for you? Chicken soup will make me strong? I’ve never seen a strong chicken. If chicken soup was so good for you how come you never see chicken soup fast food places?’ I said, “Can I made a bean and cheese burrito in the microwave?”
“No. Eat your soup,” said Mom.
“Can I microwave a hotdog?”
“Okay,” I said. I took a bite of the soup and said, “Sorry, Mom. This really is good.”
“Thank you, Vinnie. I knew you’d like it.”
It tasted horrible. I was trying to think of a way to get rid of it. Dexter was at my feet waiting for me to toss him some scraps. It’s impossible to toss soup without making a mess of everything. I faked eating my soup. Dad got up to get a glass of water. Mom said, “Hurry up, Vinnie. You don’t want to be late for the soccer game.”
I said, “Mom, my soup is really good, but it’s too hot for me to eat. Can you save it for me so I can eat it when I get home? I want to get ready for the game.” When I come home, Mom will be busy with something else and I’ll take a personal frozen pizza out of the freezer and put it in the microwave.
“Okay, Vinnie. Good luck,” said Mom.
“Thanks, Mom,” I said and took off for my room before Mom realized I didn’t eat anything. I always keep a stash of treats in my drawer for such occasions. I quickly ate a Snicker’s candy bar and I put another one in the pocket of my soccer shorts. I slipped on my jersey, shin guards and carried my soccer shoes to the car. I got in the car and waited for dad. It was his turn to take me to the soccer game. I hate to tell him, but it will be another big disappointment. I don’t care if I score a goal. If I luck out and play goalie, I don’t care if the other team scores a hundred goals. Don’t you hate it when parents try to live their life over through their kids?
We get to the soccer fields. There’s a gillion cars and kids and parents already here. My game starts at 7 and goes to 8. I could have used the time to play with my friends, mess on my tablet, or practice jumps with my skateboard. Playing soccer is like Mom’s chicken soup, it’s supposed to be good for you, or so parents say. Dad drops me off by Coach Tobin. I get out and run to my friend, Alex.
I said, “Hey, Alex, I hope I can be goalie.”
Alex said, “I was hoping I could be goalie, Vinnie. I don’t feel like running up and down the field.”
Oh, oh, I thought. Alex is heavy and slow. Coach Tobin will stick him in goal for sure. That’s how it happened. Alex got to be goalie. I got to play forward. Whenever the ball came near me I kicked it. I even scored a goal. It was the first goal I ever scored. Too bad I kicked the ball past Alex and scored a goal for the team we were playing. It didn’t affect the game, we lost 10 to 2.
On the way home, Dad said, “Son, the object of the game is to kick the ball in the other team’s goal.”
Like I didn’t know this. I came up with a lame excuse, “I know, Dad. I was trying to help Alex out. The poor kid doesn’t know a thing about soccer. I was trying to pass the ball to him so he could kick it downfield. He was daydreaming and the ball wait by him into the goal.”
Dad glances over at me and says, “That’s a pretty smart play, Vinnie. I admit, Alex just stands around.”
I say, “He usually is picking his nose when he plays goalie.” Why I said this, I have no idea. It seemed like something Alex would do. I take a chance Dad is as hungry as me, “How about you and me stopping by TCBY and getting a yogurt? You can surprise Mom with a cup of her favorite. That will make her happy.”
“That’s a good idea, Vinnie,” says Dad.
I’m very thoughtful. Actually, I knew Dad didn’t like the chicken soup anymore than I did. He’s in pretty good shape. He goes to the gym in the morning before work. He got a large frozen yogurt. I got a medium but loaded up on toppings. I finished my frozen yogurt before we got home. I was starving. Now for my personal pizza. Before I can open the freezer, Mom hollers, “How did you do, Vinnie?”
I answer, “We lost, Mom.”
She says, “What was the score?”
I answer, “I think it was close. I forget the exact score. I played forward. I had so much fun. Soccer is a great game.” One of the rules you learn as a kid is to tell parents what they want to hear. If I told Mom I didn’t like it, lecture time starts, you know what I mean.
Mom hollers from her study, “Take a shower and head to bed. I’ll be in to say goodnight in a few minutes. You want to be ready for school tomorrow. You’re going to have a math test.”
This is news to me. It’s not fair, I didn’t have advance warning. Teachers love to torture kids with surprise tests. I say, “A math test? Mrs. Navis didn’t say we were going to have a math test.”
Mom says, “It was in an email she sent it to all the parents. I’m not worried, you had all your math homework correct. I’m proud of you.”
Oh, oh. I’m in deep trouble.