Breaking the news

 We sit at the table for breakfast with a good spread of fresh fruit and cereals. The football season, or soccer as they call it in this country, was meant to start at the end of March but the pandemic put everything on hold.

The little man has missed a lot of things during the lockdown, his friends, Taekwondo, visits to the library, watching movies in the big screen… but when everything started to reopen it was football that was most in his mind.

Training in the dark, in the cold, for weeks, he has been so focused to be ready for the first game that I don’t know how to break it to him. I’ve noticed that he’s been eating less sweets and has been asking for healthier foods. He has also been asking to watch videos of Messi, so he can observe and learn from the best. Only nine years old and so committed!

A smile blossoms in his face as he gazes at me lost in my thoughts. He’s in such good spirit, how can I break the news? But really, I can’t wait any longer. It’s Thursday and his first football game was meant to be this Saturday.

He senses something’s on my mind. “When you come back from work, we can play Exploding Kittens,” he says.

I smile. If it was up to him we’d be playing Pokemon but he knows I like Exploding Kittens much more.

“Sure,” I respond and decide to just let it out. “The football season has been cancelled. We’re on lock down again.”

A shadow appears in his forehead, his eyes darken for an instant.

“That’s a shame,” he says containing his emotions.

“I know, you were so looking forward to it.”

“It’s okay dad,” he says as his eyes brighten up and the shadow vanishes from his forehead. “We all need to do all we can to stop this Covid thing.”

Nine years old and sometimes, it seems like he’s taking it all in better than myself. I haven’t slept well worrying about what a second lock down means and the effects it will have on so many people.

We embrace, giving energy to each other.

“When you come back from work, can we play football in the park?” he asks.

“Of course,” I reply.