As parents, my husband and I have always said that it is important for our kids to be part of something-teams, clubs, activities-something, and that they must stick with it. We want my children to have perseverance and learn to not give up when things are always get difficult. So with this notion in our minds, we signed our three-year old up for his first organized activity (aside from swimming, which, did not go as well as I had imagined…”no mommy, not this!”)
I guess I always pictured my children loving the things that I did, soccer, volleyball, sports in general, so soccer seemed like a natural choice. I went right along merrily signing him up and getting all the “gear” so my little man would love the pitch as much as I did. And, let’s get real, I also bought myself a few Soccer Mom pieces, just to try on the part. But when the first Saturday morning rolled around, K was already complaining about not wanting to go. I pushed forward, promising donuts after if we just went and tried something new. So, reluctantly, he went. Because, well, donuts.
Let’s just put it this way, 3 year old soccer practice is unlike anything else I’ve experienced as a parent. It’s whole other world that I hadn’t seen from the outside until we showed up for our first session. Some little boys and girls are chatty and jumping up and down, ready to chase after the ball and giggle through the shark and minnows game. And there are a few, of which my guy is one, that aren’t quite so willing to jump “into the water”.
I’ll admit this is hard for me to see him shy away and stay on the outside of the huddle, while other kids run around without a care in the world. It’s hard when he runs the opposite direction towards the sidelines and loves water breaks the best out of everything. But, this is just one more part of my first born that makes him who he is. And even though it’s really hard as a parent to let go of the images in our heads, I’m learning to see things through his eyes. I love him even more for it, even though in the moment, I’m frustrated, looking around to see what other parents are thinking. I know, firmly, that my child won’t just do things to please me. He will make his own choices and really care about them when he does. And that is comforting in ways I never knew possible.
But, he will be going back to soccer next week. And I’ll be right there next to him.
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