Més que un soci*

24 04 2008

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One of the primary reasons we started our trip to Europe in Barcelona was so that Hugo and I could attend an FC Barcelona match at the hallowed Estadi Camp Nou. Apart from being the greatest sports organization in the world, Futbol Club Barcelona also has a special place in Hugo’s heart: it is the first organization to which he has ever belonged. Soon after Hugo was born I signed him up as a club member (or soci). Barça is a club completely owned by its dues paying members, rather than by fatcat rich guys like most other sports teams. I present you with Soci number 154432.

The match we attended this month, Barça vs. Getafe, was not of the greatest quality. Barça has been having a pretty bad season (they’re currently in third place, the despised Francoists of Real Madrid are in first) and the match ended in a dull 0-0 draw which pleased the home crowd none too much. However the experience was great. The stadium is a temple really and it was my first time at a match there (I’d been before, in 2001, but could not get tickets for a game). Hugo was wearing his Barça bib and drew compliments and smiles from everyone we saw, on the Metro and at the stadium:
Fellow Fans

At the Camp Nou

I felt really bad before the match that I was dragging my family to a 98,000 capacity stadium for a soccer game that started at 9pm, particularly considering how badly jet lag had affected Hugo since we’d arrived. I shouldn’t have worried, he was perfectly behaved, content to drink his bottle at times, other times waving his arms excitedly. As soon as the game ended and we wended our way out of the stadium my poor sweet brave boy couldn’t take it anymore, and he collapsed in his Bjorn.
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He stayed asleep like this for quite some time, even as we survived a crushing crowd to board the Metro. I shielded his snoring little body with my forearms and elbows as thousands of fellow fans jostled around us.

Will he remember his first Barça match? Of course not. Will he even like soccer? Who knows, but we’ll always have this experience and some photos (not to mention this video clip of my son having his snot wiped from him by his mom during the triumphant Barça himno….

“More than a club member” in Catalan, a lazy riff on the club’s motto “Més que un club“.





Pony Up!

3 04 2008

I arrived home from work the other day to find an enormous box waiting for me in the breezeway. It was a gift for Hugo from my childhood friend Carissa.

 A pony!

Carissa’s mom Vicki painted this pony before she died last year, so this gift is very special and we are all very honored that Carissa would want Hugo to have it. Hugo seemed to be a natural in the saddle. It helps that he has been perfecting a lurching scoot forward that he was able to use, while I spotted him.