Monday, September 09, 2013

Soccer Mom

For a long, long time I fought hard for our family to have calm weeks, dinner together, and not be rushing around from place to face like crazed maniacs. I won the battle for several years. Recently, it appears, I have lost!

Up until this year I would say we sat down, ALL of us, to a family dinner five or six times a week. This week I think we'll be lucky to be together three times... Some of this is due to changes in Matt's job. He has more of a commute than he used to which impacts his ability to be home on time to eat with the children. Harper, Michael, and I still sit down together, but even that is becoming more of a challenge.

Dance is taking a much larger roll in our lives this year and that's a big one because it is a commitment that goes on all school year. So does Michael's swimming lessons. Then, throughout the year, we are going to have things which come up on a temporary basis. Right now it's soccer.

This first picture is from Michael's first soccer game, back in April. I never got around to writing much about it then. Let's just say Michael did not appear to be gifted on the soccer playing front. I spent exactly zero time worrying about this. He loved playing and was so happy and excited every time, even if he barely managed to kick the ball.

After Michael played in the spring Harper decided she wanted to try soccer.

You guys, I am not kidding when I say that I believe the major factor influencing Harper's desire to play soccer was the fact that she would get to go shopping for shoes, shin guards, and a soccer ball. I think a second factor was the fact that she wasn't thrilled that Michael was getting to do something she hadn't ever done. 

The soccer program we attend is through the YMCA - so it is focused on sportsmanship and learning basic skills, the time commitment is relatively minimal, and the price is right. We decided to let Harper give it a try, even if she was only in it for pink soccer socks.

Before their first practices

Harper did... better than expected during her first practice. She might be the kind of child who just has a little natural athleticism and will be able to "pick up" sports throughout her life. I think she's going to enjoy it, but doesn't know the game at all. Even if she doesn't fall in love with soccer, this is a good experience for her because she's learning to deal a little with being in an uncomfortable situation. She nearly scored a goal in her first game but didn't seem like she really understood what she was supposed to do or where she was supposed to go. I'll be interested to see how it evolves.

Harper and Michael practice on the same night, but her practice is an hour before his. About fifteen minutes into her first practice I received an email saying Michael's was cancelled. I was thrilled not to have to sit in the rain for another hour. Michael, on the other hand, was a little dismayed. He borrowed a ball from Harper's coach and did some independent practice for a while.

I don't know why, but something about this picture makes me think of Christopher Robin.

Somehow I failed to get a photo in which you can see Harper's face on the day of her first game. So maybe the second child thing applies here - since she was the second one to try soccer I didn't think to take as many pictures!

As the children get older I find myself struggling with different things about parenting. Right now one of them is how to set the kind of limits that allow them freedom to try different things, without making us all crazy by letting them try everything. I think soccer will turn out to be a good choice for the fall and then we'll see what winter brings. 


Swistle said...

Ha, yes, I see it too: with the other person's umbrella positioned like that, he looks like Christopher Robin stomping through puddles!

Emily said...

I am SO right there with you right now. This is exactly what's on my mind. We have two things that go all year - Wed night Awana at church (all the kids at the same time) and Girl Scouts (2-3 times a month and I'm the leader so it's me and Katy both). When it's just these 2 things, it feels like the perfect amount. But right now Katy AND David are playing soccer - but GS and Awana don't take a break, so our schedule is nuts. The good thing is that they are all on the same nights so no matter what we still have two nights with nothing going on. The bad thing is that the are all on the same nights so we have to be late/make decisions about which things to skip. Through in open house this week when we have 2 games and Awana and you've got a mess.

Also...remember how recently you said that we were mini-golfing at "Michael's" course? I'm pretty sure that you are playing soccer on "my" field. I totally played soccer at the YMCA very close to your house when I was a kid. Light blue jerseys, the Cobras, I was the only girl on the team, my mom was pregnant with my sister. I remember it clearly. :) (That was before the YMCA in my suburb was built when I was in jr high)

Emily said...

*THROW* in an open house...

Giselle said...

Ugh...this is the part I didn't factor in with multiple kids. My sisters and I never did sports. So each kid is doing one But that is 3 practices on 3 different nights and then 3 games on Saturday. And now that Andrew is in U12 with 4th,5th,&6th it is many times 2 games a week. For intramural, no pressure soccer. Ugh.

But then they have so much fun...what's a furl to do but pack up her minivan and surrender to the soccer mom stereotype!

T, T & A said...

So Christopher Robin!