I fell in love with Raleigh on the soccer fields almost eleven years ago. Ever since then, I've secretly hoped to marry him, have his babies, and be a soccer mom myself one day. A few weeks ago, he signed the girls up to play in the micro-soccer league and we have been giddy counting down the days until their first game. Well, game day came yesterday and let's just say it was nothing like I expected it to be.
For starters, momma was slammed tired after working all weekend. Being tired hindered my inner-planning self and we weren't as organized as we should have been for this "big" event. We made several mistakes as first time soccer parents.
Mistake #1: Raleigh left early for the coaches meeting and I had to wrestle my children to put on soccer shin guards, socks, and cleats. Let's just say that didn't go very well.
Mistake #2: I had no game day chair. True, this should not be a big deal but when I was already exhausted, I had no desire to stand for two hours. Let's just say that made me a little grumpy.
Mistake #3: Due to my losing battle of dressing my children and grumpiness over my chair we were late. So late that there were no parking spots and by the time I found one, Maralee had already dozed off in the car. So not fun to wake a child from her afternoon nap and tell her to go run in the cold wind. :)
Despite the mistakes we made getting to the game, the sport warmed my heart. Any anger that I had harbored toward my husband about leaving the house early vanished when I saw him in his coach shirt. And, my children looked so stinkin' cute (I know I'm completely biased here and don't mean to brag) that I couldn't help but smile and enjoy myself.
The teams play two twenty minute games each. During the first game, Adeline decided to eat her snacks instead of actually play. Typical, right?
Maralee ran out to the field and during her very first play she got knocked down.
She ran back to me crying and we had our first character talk about when you get knocked down you've gotta get back up again. She played the rest of the game and Adeline continued to enjoy her food. :)
Game #2: Maralee encountered her first giant.
This kid was super sweet and if I were his parents I would already be looking at college scholarships. But, seriously....that kid was playing against my baby? Momma bear might have appeared for a second to guard her young. Just maybe.
Adeline finally decides that she does indeed want to play soccer....just not in the game. She wanders off to play with another kid while her team is actually playing against another team. I think she was chasing butterflies y'all.
We steer her in the direction of the game and lo and behold, she finds a friend.
They choose to eat animal crackers and watch. :)
Finally, Adeline tries one more time to play and she is up against the-boy-with-very-long-legs. Dad tells her to play defense. She stands still and lets long-legs dribble the ball into her. I'd say that was pretty good defense.
At the end of the day, we were tired, happy, and still hungry. But, we were no longer grumpy or playing against each other.
Even though we made several mistakes, I learned three lessons:
Lesson #1: Build your children up, don't tear them down with your own frustrations. I played sports my whole life and I don't ever remember my parents complaining. I want to be that type of example to my own children. Yesterday afternoon was about them, not about me. I've got to learn how to harbor my own feelings of exhaustion and be more energetic and enthusiastic about their activities.
Lesson #2: Sitting on the ground isn't so bad. Nobody thought I was weird for not having a game day chair. I don't need to focus on what other people are going to think; instead I should focus on being a cheerleader for my children and husband.
Lesson #3: My children aren't even three and they are playing micro-soccer against kids a lot older than them. If they just want to eat, let them eat. If they want to play, let them play. Really, at this age, it is about having fun and learning some fundamentals. So, I need to have that level of expectation - nothing more.
How about y'all? Got any crazy stories from your sporting experiences? I'd love to hear :)
Till next time, let your light shine!