Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bend it Like Beckham

Chloe, Max, and Sam all played soccer for the first time this Spring. Greg coached Max and Sam's team, and Chloe played with her buddy Ryan, whose Dad was her coach.

This was the first team sport any of the kids have participated in, and it sure was interesting!

I'll be frank: Chloe hated it at first. Our friend Jon, who was her coach, asked if Greg and I showed her his picture at home and then pricked her with pins. I think he was joking :-). It turned out that it really bothered her that no one was watching her and encouraging her. Greg was on one of the other fields coaching the boys, and I gleefully saw them all off after the morning huddle and took Charlie home for his nap, so she was on her own. She's gained so much confidence in the past few years that it didn't even occur to me that this might bother her, but after two weeks of mid-game tears we realized it did. We're sharp, huh?

The next Saturday, Charlie and stayed by her field and cheered her on from the sidelines, and she became the Chloe we know and love before our eyes: determined, hardworking, and encouraging to her teammates.

Here she is with Brooke, one of her besties.

The boys were a riot. They've played "soccer camp" with Daddy for the past year, which is basically Greg's little drills for dribbling, kicking, and soccer basics. They had no clue that people from the opposing team might actually run up next to them and try to steal the ball. The first few games were rife with meltdowns, confusion, and boredom. Everyone seemed to score in their own goals. No one could remember which team they were on. Many bouquets of dandelions were picked, and snack time was the highlight of every game.

The other moms and I looked at one another and thought, Ummm, we're giving up our Saturday morning for this?

By the last game, Greg gave an enormous sigh of relief and announced that, lo and behold, the boys had actually improved in both their attitude and their ability. He has been dreaming about playing soccer with his boys since before they were a twinkle in the eye, and if he saw one of them flopped in the grass counting clouds one more time, I think he would have lost it.

Unless she changes her mind, our little ballerina is going to stick to dancing. I think we're going to let Max and Sam just play with Dad in the back yard for another year or so and see where that leads us. All in all, it was a fun season, and I am definitely delighted to have my Saturday mornings back!

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