Yep. I have been driving one of the official soccer mom vehicles for years. I guess it was only a matter of time before I actually became one.
So there's Jessa. She always wants to be involved in everything. And she brings home handouts from school all the time. Play Soccer! Play Softball! Give Hockey a shot? Is football for you? Or maybe Tee-ball? Try gymnastics! What about Martial Arts? Want to learn to knit? OK, I may be exaggerating with the last one, but every week more handouts come home.
And she wants to Do. It. All.
I do not want every moment of her life to be planned with an activity, so I always try to not let her get carried away. But it is her nature, her personality, who she is. She is a social butterfly. A joiner. Up for anything. And athletic. And thankfully way more coordinated than her dear old mother.
My sweet boy is more shy and standoffish. He lets Jessa do his talking for him. He lets Jessa make his decisions for him. He is not ever the first to try anything and sometimes, he never gets up his nerve to try it at all. He is more quiet and content to stay in the background.
So, when a handout came home for a "Backyard Soccer" program that only lasted 6 weeks, I was intrigued. And BOTH kids were interested. Yes, you read that right, for the first time my Spencer wanted to try something. I jumped on it! Of course, the fact that it was only 6 weeks helped matters. I am firmly in the "once you start it, you CANNOT quit." So if either one of them was not thrilled, hey, it is only 6 weeks, right?
We were off to a great start. They were both pumped. We went shopping for shoes. Oh, and special socks. Oh yeah, and shin guards. Oh and don't forget a practice ball, each. And some Big League Chew. (The last one was not required, but it was a fun addition!)
I labeled all their new gear. I packed their little backpacks. I froze water bottles so it would stay cold. I helped them pick out outfits. Jessa could not sleep the night before because she was SO PUMPED. She said to me several times, "I am so happy to be part of a team." Oh, and her Frosted Flakes intake has increased. Those "We are Tiger" commercials really get to her. She wants to be properly fueled so she does not let her team down.
So the day finally arrives. We need to leave at 5 PM to make it to practice. My children started getting dressed at 3:45. Yes, they were excited. I agreed to let them get ready early IF they promised to pose for some pictures. We both win!
So here they are getting all ready to go.
They were ready so early, that my precious babies even took some time to make signs to root for each other!
We get to the field. We turn in all the last minute paperwork. And we head over for Spencer's practice, which is first. We walk all the way out to the middle of the field where all the boys were gathered. The coach told him to have a seat. Jessa and I turned to go sit with the other families. But I couldn't walk. I looked down, and there clinging to my leg for dear life is my son. He has changed his mind. In a big way. He does not want to play soccer AT ALL. So the kind Coach tells me I can stay with him. This does not help. He is done. Finished. Nope. No soccer for him. So I walk my sweet boy and my anxious girl over to the sidelines. I try the entire practice to talk him into just trying it. Just for a minute. For me? Please!
No. He only wants to play with Jessa. Alone. Without all these people watching him. I tried to explain that when you are on a team, there have to be other people there, you know, your team mates? And that the other grown-ups could care less about him. All the Mommies and Daddies were watching their kid. All of this did not help him, at all. So he spent the entire hour of his practice like this.
His shins are protected AND aren't his cleats precious?
Both important to watch soccer, don't you think?
Then it was time for the girls to practice. Yahoo! Jessa is ready to go. She runs out to join the group. She listens. She watches. She dribbles. She runs. She shoots. She has the most fun EVER. Look out Mia Hamm!
Jessa: Mommy, can I play soccer even when I am old? Like your age? Or even May's age?
Me: Yes, Jessa, as long as you are enjoying it, you can play.
Jessa: Hey, Momma? Can I ask Jesus if I can even play soccer in Heaven, too?
Me: I am sure that Jesus would love for you to play soccer in Heaven.
So to sum up:
Jessa LOVES soccer.
Think David Beckham ever tried this fancy move?