Every four years, I've got an excuse to watch soccer.
(Excuse me, I mean football.)
Every four years, despite myself and despite the depressing prospects of the French team, I am captivated by the World Cup. I start out ambivalently watching the match between France and Uruguay, and I wind up glued to the screen in front of Germany vs. Australia. I was, naturally, thrilled that the underdog American team managed a tie with England. Le Petit giggled as I sang along to the Star-spangled Banner. No other sporting event draws me in like this, and I can't explain it.
Le Petit is, for once, exposed to television for hours at a time; he runs around yelling "Il y a BUT! Il y a but?" (GOAL! There's a goal?"). After a half an hour of a tied match, however, he loses interest and asks us to put on a Jordi Savall CD.
I'm embarrassed to admit, however, that he's memorized the commercials aired on TF1 at half-time.
"Mommy is going to Seattle. Mommy is taking a plane, and a boat, and... a Toyota. Grandpa and Gramby have a Toyota. And Toyota is the official car of the équipe de France!"
While my husband was putting le Petit to bed and listening to rehashed car commercials, I was watching the second half of Italy-Paraguay, hoping against hope that Paraguay would hold onto their one point lead. (After 2006, no self-respecting French fan can stomach the thought of an Italian victory, no matter how well-deserved.)
The Italians score. The match is tied. And I feel a tentative, tiny kick somewhere in the middle of my abdomen, one of the tickles I've only started to notice in the last week.
"So you're a fan of the Italians, huh, little one?" I pat my belly. "Well, I suppose Mommy can find a way to be one, too, then."
And now you know why I've been a bit distracted lately.