The other team had 7 players. We had 3. They were all 5, almost 6. One of our three was 4. (this makes a huge difference on the field. A lot of growth takes place in that year). Our guys had to play the whole game. Their team got to rotate out players to rest.
The whistle blew. The game started. The other team scored a goal, then another, then another. Declan started walking off the field toward me, his face screwed up like he was about to cry.
"You're not done," I said. "We're still playing, and your team needs you. I know it's hard. They're bigger and faster, and there are more players. But we keep playing. You can do it."
It was so hard to say. Harder to watch their dismay as they realized they were outmatched.
But then Morgan scored, then Declan scored, then Morgan again. Their morale was back.
The other team scored a couple more. We scored a couple more. It was hot. We stopped often to drink water and Capri Sun Sport.
And after it was all over, everyone on each team got medals.
I can't really think of another time I've been prouder of my little dude.
Big lesson for him. And big one for me, too.