Well, it's official. I'm a soccer mom. The kids started soccer yesterday. One of The Princess' classmates (for the last two years) is a great soccer player and his dad is a coach. He runs a small soccer club for local kids and it's awesome! This is definitely one of those things that makes me wonder why I put it off so long. And why did I? Weeeeeeeeeell, I guess because of my own lack of enthusiasm for the game.
But, the kids were somewhere far beyond excited about it. They were THRILLED. Going and buying soccer cleats, shin guards, and long socks was a monumental thrill for them. I let them get soccer balls too -- TP got one that is tie-dye color (really!) and The Boy Wonder got a silver one. Nothing would to but to put on their soccer gear and play outside for awhile. So cool. Yesterday when I picked TBW up at after-school care, he saw me and yelled, "Mom! Soccer!" So excited.
So excited, in fact, that I started to worry. It couldn't possibly live up to their expectations, could it?
Or could it?
Well, it did. They had a blast. The Coach is great with kids. It was just wonderful. We packed up a bunch of snacks and blankets and books and two chairs and headed off. We sat in the sun watching them and taking pictures. The kids did everything they were supposed to. TBW was the biggest surprise to me. He was right in there mixing it up. At home, if he doesn't get something quickly, he gets mad, changes the rules, quits, or cries. Here, he not only got everything and did everything, he was aggressive and successful. WOW! TP was good but a bit more cautious. She got the ball during the "game" and ran the wrong way and that made her way more tentative than she had been before. But, being TP, she went up to the coach (whom she has known for two years now) and told him that she didn't think she was doing well or doing enough. He fell for it in a big way (he only has boys and totally adores my daughter). He was totally looking out for her, encouraging her, egging her on. So awesome.
On the way home (and about 1 million times since), they have both said to me that once a week is just not enough. They want to do it more than that. At least two times a week. So awesome!
As for the Soccer Mom and Dad. We were left wondering why we'd been reluctant. It was great. We sat out in the sun watching the kids have a blast. It was low-key and relaxed. We knew everyone. One older sister of one of the little ones playing was running around the field -- for each lap her mom would give her .50 to spend on their upcoming trip to Yosemite. She's in the 3rd class next door to mine and I know she's getting tutoring on her multiplication tables. So, everytime she went by us, we'd give her a times table fact challenge. She did great. Once she'd done that awhile, we switched to spelling. So fun. What a great sense of community.
The most amazing thing for this new Soccer Mom was that I saw my son (in particular) getting something that I didn't know he was missing. I know that sports are important but neither Mr Wonderful nor myself have ever been big on team sports (other than volleyball and even that brings out the jerk in a lot of people). So, we haven't pushed it. They have had swimming lessons and other physical activities but not team sports. Well, I saw TBW (aka Wolverine :) THRIVING out there. He was aggressive in chasing the ball. His first time on the field and he was doing really well at ball control. They played a "keep away" game where one person was it. If they kicked YOUR ball out of bounds, you joined them as the "Guard Dog" in the middle and started taking away other kids' balls. TBW was one of the last ones out there and he ended up in the middle of a mob and held on to that ball for a LONG time. He LOVED it. He needed this and I didn't even know it was missing from his life. Amazing.
Live and learn.