Friday, June 11, 2010

Soccer Camper(s)

So we all know that Miss Jessa loves being active and wants to do it all. This past week, she was fired up to play soccer again. She got her first taste in the spring and it tasted good. Or she enjoyed it, you know, you get it, right?

The group that we tried in the Spring was awesome. The Director rocked. He has been working with kids in soccer for 23 years, and you can tell because he is so good with the kids. They all worship him and want to please him and think that he is hilarious. So I signed Jessa up for a summer camp and the fall league. She was pumped to continue her soccer playing career. I say career because she is already planning to be playing soccer when she is 26, so maybe it will be a career. . . Please enjoy this incredibly long winded account of this chapter of Crazy Key Soccer.

Now, you may be thinking, "Wait a minute, crazy lady, don't you have 2 children?"

And I would reply, "Why yes. Yes, I do."

And then I would show you a visual aid to remind you of exactly what my 2nd born child did at his soccer practices in the Spring:

Based on this photo, you can see why I was not inclined to pay money to watch Spencer play with his backpack while the other kids played soccer. I mean, I can watch him put inappropriate items on his head at home. For free. But just in case, I did ask my sweet boy, "Spencer, do you want to attend soccer camp with your sister in June?" To which he replied, "NO!" And then he mumbled something about never playing again and not wanting anyone to watch him or something. FYI: his sincerest wish is to play a sport by himself with no spectators. If anyone can think of a sport that fills this requirement, please let me know. Also, if the sport encourages unorthodox uses of backpacks, that would be a plus.

So soccer camp starts on Monday. Jessa was PUMPED. She has a great time. She dribbles and runs and scores and giggled her way through the drill that requires them to put their bellybuttons and ears and noses on their soccer balls. And while May and I sat on the sideline, my sweet boy started complaining. He said, "Ma-uhm! Why didn't you bring a soccer ball for me to play with!?" And I explained that when a child says to me, "NO! I'm never playing again," that I assume that said child does not need a soccer ball with him at all times. My bad.

Day 2 of camp, Tuesday. Jessa is putting on her shorts and shin guards. Spencer says, "Mom. I think I want to play soccer today." Uh, WHAT!? And he proceeds to put on shorts and a t-shirt and shin guards. He gets his cleats, and he finds his ball. He is ready to roll. "Never again" has turned into, "Yes, please!" Luckily, the Director is so awesome and agreed that we did not want to pass up this opportunity since Spencer was excited about playing. And he welcomed him to camp with open arms (and a discounted tuition).

We were in HEAVEN watching BOTH kiddos play soccer: Mimi, Poppy, May, and I. And Spencer is pretty good, too. He dribbles and has good ball control. And the coaches were so encouraging. They all knew his name. I just hate it that he is so reluctant! Jessa still loved it, of course. She was scoring goals and even passed a time or two to a teammate, whether the pass was on purpose or not is not the point. And she was thrilled to have Spencer with her.

The only problem was that Spencer started to cry as he left the field at the end. I asked him what was wrong. Through tears, he told me, "Well, I didn't score a goal!" And I started telling him that lots of people did not score. THEN he got more upset and told me, "Coach M made me drop the flowers that I picked for May and Mimi!" Oh my! How dare that coach think that soccer was more important than flowers for your grandmother and great grandmother!

Day 3. Both kids get all dressed and bound out of the car dribbling their balls to the field. Life is good because Jessa has given him a pep talk all the way to the field repeating to him several times, "Now, Spencer. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" He was properly encouraged and played the whole practice on Wednesday, too. We even added Bay to the cheering section.

Oh! AND they got their camp shirts at the end of Day 3. Wow! Official camp shirts! I was so excited and proud.

Day 4. They are dressed. They have their brand new camp t-shirts on. They are ready. Well, Jessa is ready. Spencer was showing signs of not being terribly excited. He wanted me to walk him all the way out to the middle of the field. They divided up to scrimmage, and Spencer got upset because a bug flew in his eye. The coach sent him to me and just like that, his soccer career was over. He was DONE. Beckham out. And this is how he spent the rest of his evening.

Hey, this is an improvement. Note the lack of backpack on his head. Progress?

I was so torn. I wanted to explain to him that he had to stick it out and make him get back out there. But I also did not want to turn him off to sports altogether. So I made him keep his cleats and shin guards on and sit nicely until the night was over. Jessa AND all the coaches tried to get him out there. But he had said his piece and counted to three. And in the end, it was all his doing to get himself into camp at the 11th hour, so I guess it was OK that he decided to get out of it, too.

Day 5. He did not even bother. Jessa was out there in her shirt, sweating up a storm, having the time of her sweet life.

Spencer was hanging on the sidelines with his Momma and his May. He did not even bother dressing out. The coaches were still encouraging him, even as he sat there in flip flops

Overall, soccer camp was great fun! It was hot. And I do not like sitting in the heat, BUT it was worth it to see my babies. I am still so proud of my confident, willing to try anything, competitive, scrappy little girl. And this week, I was surprised that I got to be proud of my sweet, shy baby boy who gave soccer a chance, even though it was out of his comfort zone. AND I was able to sit there, a beaming soccer mom who loves her 2 sweet babies and celebrate their completely opposite personalities! Who knew soccer camp could be so enlightening!?

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