This past Saturday was a fun one for me and Nugget. Even as of last Thursday, I didn’t know if it would be or not. See, HawtWife was going to a concert on Saturday night, so I wasn’t sure what Nugget and I would do. Given that last weekend we spent the entire time inside the house because she was getting over an illness, I knew I wanted to get out. But that elusive “what” just kept escaping me.
That remained true until I was reminded via Twitter that there was a soccer match taking place Saturday night. Now, Nugget and I have watched quite a bit of soccer on the television, but this would be her first time seeing the game live in front of her face. I figured I’d take a gamble, knowing full well that the odds of making it through to the end of the game were fairly minimal. Besides, it always helps when you’re watching a couple of pretty darned good teams, with a decent amount of dislike, playing against each other. With that knowledge fully in mind, Nugget and I ventured into the crisp Minnesota autumn evening to take in a Minnesota United soccer match.
Now, even though Nugget is only 14 months old, this isn’t her first sporting event. She’s been to roller derby before, so it’s not like this is her first real experience with the kind of noise that a sports crowd can bring. Still, she’d gone to the roller derby when she was still relatively new, and not quite processing things (like, for example, where Daddy’s voice was coming from). So this was kind of a new beginning for her. Given that we’d watched plenty of soccer games at home, I thought that she’d be keen on seeing the action play out in front of her face.
Yeah, I overestimated her interest level. Not that she didn’t have a good time. She was having a blast all night long. It’s just that she didn’t really seem to notice what was happening on the pitch. She barely even followed when the ball came near us after being kicked out-of-bounds.
So what was Nugget so fascinated with?
The noise, and the boisterous attitudes, of the other fans. She kept looking towards the large group of fans, the MN Dark Clouds, tracking their movements, giggling a little when the drums were off, and overall seemingly enthralled with their festivities. She could have cared less that there was soccer happening in front of her. Off to her left, there was a big party going on, and she wanted to at least absorb it all with her eyes. Yes, by the end of the game, she was starting to get a little restless and wanted to walk around, but, hey, I am more than willing to accommodate her on that one.
So, while HawtWife was watching one of her favorite musicians rock the stage, I was watching Nugget watch a bunch of passionate fans, with occasional looks towards the soccer game happening in front of her. I was observing how she loved bouncing chains separating lines from each other at the food vendors. I was an active part in her current favorite past-time, the rousing game of “How Many Leafs Can I Hold?”. I even got to take pride from how good she was around other people, and the team mascot, even if she wasn’t quite warmed up to the idea of being friendly.
Really, the only thing that could have made the night a little better would have been a goal. Of course, I DID go to a soccer match, so maybe my expectations for any sort of scoring were a little high.