Sunday, March 14

Esher Colts & Crystal Palace

Eitan and I out the door by 8AM for his double-header at Esher in Surrey - to retain KPR's top-of-the-league a double win needed but instead we get a split winning the first and tying the second match in a wild 4-4 thrilla. Eitan scores a go-ahead left footed shot moments before the first-half ends but Esher come back firing and soon up 3-2; KPR ties then Esher 4-3. With a minute to go, Eitan scores the equaliser and our side erupts in joy. It is a cracker, too, spreading two defenders and a gentle tap into the net. His a safe pair of boots the dads comment. 

Eitan's team-mates pound him and he ducks their affection with a charming bashfulness. But wait - the game not over! Esher races down the pitch while our boys distracted and their striker, a strong kid with wavy hair, hits a drifting shot that sails above our defenders towards the top goalpost for a certain goal .. we watch .. Maxime, our splendid goalie, somehow gets a hand on the ball and forces it over the top. Whoopee! Today Maxime the hero as the boys smother him with love before lining up to shake hands with the other side. (Eitan: "In every picture you take of me my hair is messy or untidy.")

From Esher we drive to Crystal Palace so Eitan can swim in the British Gas County Championships which are held at the National Athletic Center. I am so used to grody London pools that a well-designed 50-meter indoor pool, even if dated, catches me by surprise.  Our frogger in two relays and begins by leading off the 4X50 medley relay - backstroke not his best stroke yet he gives his all, coming in last of eight. Later, his 4X50 freestyle team wins their heat - I get a big thumbs up and happy grin as he looks up for me in the stands - but his squad disqualified for an early start. What ref would do this to the 9-10 year olds? For Pete's sake. Eitan is sanguine: "we still won anyway."

Sonnet spends her Mother's Day with Madeleine, who is up late last night making a card: "you are a very good cook" she notes lovingly.